Where is Kanopolis Lake State Park
Located in eastern Kansas, Kanopolis Lake State Park contains acres of desert lowlands and its namesake Kanopolis Lake. The park is popular among outdoor recreationists. The most popular activities practiced throughout the park are hunting, fishing, and boating. However, the park also contains an extensive trail system, the Smoky Hill Wildlife Area, a prairie dog town, and a campground. Using these features visitors can enjoy hiking, birding, wildlife viewing, and camping. Kanopolis Lake State Park is located 93 miles and an hour and a half drive north of Wichita, 203 miles and about a three-hour drive west of Kansas City, and 427 miles and a six hour drive away from Dever, Colorado.
How Large is Kanopolis Lake State Park
Kanopolis Lake US State Park covers over 22,00 acres. The park's geography consists of rolling hills, bluffs, woods, and Kanopolis Lake. The lake itself covers over 3,000 acres. The Kanopolis Lake State Park trail system contains over 25 miles of hiking trails. Three trails in the park are designated for multi-use and allow hikers, bikers, and horseback riders to share the trail amongst themselves. All other trails in the park are reserved for hikers only. In addition to modern campsites in the park’s campground, Kanopolis Lake State Park also offers its visitors the opportunity to reserve and stay in a deluxe cabin complete with air conditioning and picnic area. The cabins provide direct access to the Kanopolis Reservoir.
Kanopolis Lake State Park Weather
The weather at Kanopolis Lake State Park varies throughout the year. Summer temperatures throughout the park average between 60- and 95-degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, temperatures in the park drop and average between 15- and 45-degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest days of the year at Kanopolis Lake State Park occur in June, July, and August. The coldest temperatures arrive at the park in December and January. On average, the park receives about 50 days of rain per year. Yearly precipitation totals in Kanopolis Lake State Park consistently hover around 25 inches. Snowfall is common, but light in the winter months. Kanopolis Lake State Park sees about nine inches of snow per year.
When did Kanopolis Lake become a State Park
Kanopolis Lake State Park was completed in 1948 and is managed and maintained by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and Tourism. The state park was the first state park in Kansas and was created to establish public hunting and fishing lands. Motivation for the park’s establishment is also attributed to protection of Kanopolis Lake and the surrounding rolling hills and ecosystems. Through the years, the park has received several updates and renovations. These renovations have improved the park’s campground, marina, and other facilities.
Things to do in Kanopolis Lake State Park
Kanopolis Lake State Park offers interested visitors the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities. These activities include hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, and others. List of Parks discusses the most popular adventures found in Kanopolis Lake State Park below:
Visit the Park Office
The Kanopolis Lake State Park Office is the best place for visitors to start their trip to the park. At the office visitors can access park maps and brochures that will discuss the park’s numerous trails, park history, and the wildlife and vegetation found throughout the park. Park staff working in the park office can also assist visitors with any questions or concerns they have about the park and their trip.
Buffalo Track Nature Trail
The Buffalo Track Nature Trail is one of the more popular hiking trails in Kanopolis Lake State Park. The trail meanders throughout the park giving hikers an opportunity to interact with and visit the park’s various ecosystems. The trail extends for 1.5 miles through the park and provides information on Native American culture that influenced the area.
Take a Guided Hike
Visitors who would like to get the most out of their first hike in Kanopolis Lake State Park may want to check with the park office to see if any guided hikes are being offered during their stay. During these guided hikes, park rangers hike a particular trail along with a group of visitors. Along the way, the park rangers discuss and answer questions relating to the park's cultural, natural, and geologic history. Wildlife and vegetation found in the park is also discussed.
Mountain Biking on the Horse Thief Canyon Trail
Several trails in Kanopolis Lake State Park are accessible to a variety of outdoor recreationists. The Horse Thief Canyon trail allows hikers and mountain bikers the opportunity to traverse the region. The trail is open year-round and winds through the area’s forests and red rock canyon. Occasionally, after heavy rains the Horse Thief Canyon Trail will close periodically.
Fishing in the Kanopolis Reservoir
The Kanopolis Reservoir offers anglers a variety of fishing options. The reservoir is frequently stocked with trout and also is home to saugeye, white bass, black crabbie, blue catfish, channel catfish, and bluegill. All anglers fishing within Kanopolis Lake State Park are required to obtain and carry a Kansas state fishing license.
Wildlife enthusiasts visiting Kanopolis Lake state Park will be eager to spot the various species that call the park home. Popular species in the park include deer, beavers, wild turkeys, squirrels, pheasants, and coyotes. Bald eagles and other larger birds of prey are also periodically spotted in the park.
Camping at Kanopolis Lake State Park
The Kanopolis Lake State Park campgrounds contain over 200 primitive sites, and 119 utility equipped sites. These sites are split between 14 campground areas and are reservable online through the park’s website and reservation portal. Most campgrounds also contain modern bathrooms and other amenities.
When to Visit Kanopolis Lake State Park
Kanopolis Lake State Park is open year-round. However, the park receives most of its visitation during the summer season. Visitors looking to visit the park during the summer should make sure to make their camping reservations months in advance. Spring and fall are also great times to visit the park. In spring wildlife in the park is the most active, whereas the fall brings changing foliage and seasonal colors. The winter season at Kanopolis Lake State Park can be enjoyable. However, temperatures often prevent visitors from enjoying the lake or the park’s hiking trails.
Things to Bring to Kanopolis Lake State Park
A trip to Kanopolis Lake State Park requires a little packing and planning. Several essential items visitors should consider bringing with them when they visit the park are listed below.
Water/High Energy Snacks
Our State Park Visitors Guide advises that water and high energy snacks are essential for every outdoor adventure. Hikers and campers visiting Kanopolis Lake State Park should look to bring additional water and snacks. Beef jerky, dried fruit, trail max, and protein bars are stables in the outdoor community.
Sturdy Hiking Boots
The trails at Kanopolis Lake State Park range in difficulty and traverse various terrain. To be well suited for all of the park’s trails, hikers visiting Kanopolis Lake State Park should come equipped with a sturdy pair of hiking boots.
Layers of Clothing
Temperatures in Kanopolis Lake State Park can vary throughout the day and depending on a visitor’s location. To ensure their comfort on the water and in the canyon, visitors should arrive at the park wearing various layers of clothing. These layers can be added and removed to a visitor’s liking.
Anglers hoping to drop a line in the Kanopolis Reservoir will want to bring all of their freshwater fishing equipment with them to the park. The park’s full-service marina also provides visitors the opportunity to shop for needed tackle, bait, or other boating equipment.
Wildlife Field Guides
Visitors interested in spotting various wildlife found in Kanopolis Lake State Park will want to bring along a Kansas wildlife field guide or a field guide specific to North America. Wildlife enthusiasts may also want to bring a lightweight pair of binoculars to carry with them on the trail.
Where to Stay in Kanopolis Lake State Park
Visitors looking to stay in Kanopolis Lake State Park will want to make reservations for the park’s campground. These reservations can be made online through the park’s website and online reservation portal. Visitors looking to stay in a hotel near the park can search for options in Salina, Hutchinson, or make the hour and a half drive to Wichita. The latter option will provide visitors with more options than the previous two cities.
Food Near Kanopolis Lake State Park
The closest food to Kanopolis Lake State Park is located in Salina. The town is about 30 miles or a 30-minute drive away from the park. Visitors making the drive to Salina will find a few restaurants and a grocery store. Visitors looking for more options or a broader culinary scene should make the hour and a half drive to Wichita.
Airports Near Kanopolis Lake State Park
The closest airport to Kanopolis Lake State Park is located in Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City International Airport is located 215 miles and a three-hour drive away from the park. The next closest international airport to Kanopolis Lake State Park is located six hours away in Denver, Colorado.