Glen Elder State Park

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Located just west of the city of Glen Elder, south of US-24/K-9

On the north shores of 12,500-acre Glen Elder Reservoir (Waconda Lake), one of Kansas' largest lakes, Glen Elder State Park offers nearly unlimited recreational opportunities. With its rural setting, Glen Elder is a perfect place to relax.

The reservoir covers what once was a mineral spring sacred to many Native Americans and former home of a sanitarium. The Waconda Springs Replica at the park pays tribute to this ill-fated site of Kansas geology and Native American history. At Waconda Heritage Village, a living museum, visit the historic Hopewell Church south of the park office. The park is home, also, of the Wakonda Indian Festival.

Glen Elder Wildlife Area encompasses almost 13,200 land acres surrounding the lake. You can see and photograph a diversity of wildlife species. In winter, bald and golden eagles visit. Deer and pheasant are common sights. Waterfowl stop on their migrations, and a small Canada goose flock makes the area home.

Phone:
Address:
2131 180Rd
Glen Elder,KS    67446
County/Counties:
Park News - Updated: 08/16/2015

**Waconda Lake is 1.4' above conservation pool.**

ALL Boat ramps are accessible!

Camping with utilities (water & electricity) are available year around.   Make reservations at reserveamerica.com

Free "WiFi" at Glen Elder State Park provided by Cunnningham Telephone & Cable. Hot spots are located at the cabins, Kanza, Kaw & Cheyenne Showerhouses, and the Marina area.  NEW locations throughout the park/campgrounds.  PLEASE DO NOT USE SIGNAL BOOSTERS!!

State regulation 115-8-9 requires all camping units upon completion of 14 consecutive days in a campground must move to a different CAMPGROUND, each person and all property of each person shall be absent from that campground for at least five days.

Hopewell Church basement is the Emergency Weather Shelter for the Glen Elder State Park area.  The park has a storm siren in the Kanza campground that is activated by Mitchell County law enforcement.

«Kanza Campground

Large heated showerhouse and vault toilet, picnic tables and fire rings

Camping in Kanza
  • 66 utility sites, 38 reservable with 50 amp, water concrete pads, and grills on prime sites
  • Near boat ramp

«Cheyenne Campground

  • Showerhouse, picnic tables, and fire rings
  • 36 utility sites, 19 reservable with 50 amp, water, concrete pads, and grills on prime sites

«Kaw Campground

  • Showerhouse, picnic tables, and fire rings
  • 18 utility sites, 13 reservable
  • Pull-through sites
Cheyenne Camping area

Plenty of Primitive Camping!

Our web maps are Google-generated; please contact our office for any questions or clarifications.

Contact the park office for current event information at (785)-545-3345 or just EMAIL us, gleneldersp@ksoutdoors.com

The best time to find someone in the office is Saturday - Tuesday 8:00am - 4:00pm, Friday 8:00am-6:00pm CLOSED Wednesday & Thursday *Be advised the park office may be closed at any time without prior notice.

**Please call ahead to insure park staff will be in the office when you arrive so we may meet your needs.

KDWP licenses and permits may be purchased at KOALS online, Mitchell County Vendors, or many other locations around the state.

General Information
Phone:
Address:
2131 180Rd
 
Glen Elder, KS    67446
County/Counties:

Glen Elder SP (PDF 433.29 kB)

Park Office – (785) 545-3345

Entrance Sign

History

The Waconda Springs Replica at Glen Elder State Park pays tribute to an ill-fated site of Kansas geology and Native American history. The park is located on the northern shore of Glen Elder Reservoir, which is also called Waconda Lake. As part of a flood control effort, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation began building the lake’s dam across the Solomon River in 1964, and it was completed in 1968.

The resulting lake covered what once was an active mineral spring called Waconda Springs. The spring’s pool was said to be 50 feet in diameter, 15 feet deep and rich in a variety of minerals. Waconda Springs was a sacred, ceremonial gathering place for many of the Native American tribes that lived in the central plains, including Pawnee, Wichita, Kaw, Kiowa, Sioux, Arapaho, Comanche, the Miami, Crow, Cheyenne, Arapaho and others. Kanza tribe members reportedly called the springs, “Wakonda,” meaning “Great Spirit.”

In 1767, the first non-native person is said to have visited the springs. However, the first recorded visit by a non-native occurred in 1806, when General Zebulon Pike (for whom Pike’s Peak is named) altered his route to Colorado to visit the springs. Gradually, more and more non-native people began to migrate to the area and beginning in 1884, the Waconda Springs Sanitarium was built over a ten-year period. Although it saw a variety of uses in its lifetime, the sanitarium stood until it was razed in the early 1960s to make way for the lake. Rubble from the demolition was piled into Waconda Springs before the lake filled.

Also at Glen Elder, travelers can visit the historic Hopewell Church. The church was originally located south of Beloit and was completed in 1878 at the cost of $1,200. It was built by a dedicated congregation that was established in March1876 and met in private homes. By July 1876, the group had grown too large to meet in homes, so in August 1876 they decided to build a 24’ x 40’ frame structure with a six-foot vestibule at one end.

Building the church was quite a challenge. Lumber had to be shipped in, but the nearest railroad terminal was 80 miles away in Greenleaf. It took as much as two weeks to receive a load of lumber. It took two years to build the church and the first congregation met in the new building on February 22, 1876. A number of changes occurred over the subsequent century. The church congregation eventually dwindled and it was forced to close its doors in 1989 after 113 years of service.

In 1994, the church was moved 15 miles to its present location as the first step toward the Waconda Heritage Village Association’s goal of creating a "living" museum dedicated to pioneer heritage and Native American lore.

Engaging stories about Waconda Springs and Hopewell Church can be found on the city of Glen Elder official website at glenelder.com and on the Kansas State Historical Society website at kshs.org.

Glen Elder Areas
Osage
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: No
  • Reservable Sites: No
  • Primitive Camping: 8
  • Click for more information

    8 Random Primitive Sites


Praire Dog

Arickaree

Cheyenne
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: Yes
  • Reservable Sites: Yes
  • Primitive Camping: 40
  • Water, Electric: 36

Kanza
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: Yes
  • Reservable Sites: Yes
  • Primitive Camping: 108
  • Water, Electric: 36
  • Electric: 5

Kaw
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: Yes
  • Reservable Sites: Yes
  • Water, Electric: 5

Sioux
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: No
  • Reservable Sites: No
  • Primitive Camping: 20
  • Electric: 5
  • Click for more information

    20 Random Primitive Sites


Pawnee
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: No
  • Reservable Sites: No
  • Primitive Camping: 20
  • Click for more information

    20 Random Primitive Sites


Marina Cove
  • Camping Available: No
  • ADA Camping Available: Yes
  • Reservable Sites: No

Glen Elder Trails
Waconda Springs Replica trail
  • Trail Season: All-Year
  • Length of Trail: 0.119999997317791 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking
  • There is a permit required on the trail
  • Location of Start: N39 30.676 W98 20.351
  • Click for more information

    A short journey to see the Great Waconda Springs replica. An important part of this regions history.


Woodlands Trail
  • Trail Season: All-Year
  • Length of Trail: 0.430000007152557 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking
  • There is a permit required on the trail
  • Location of Start: N39 30.775 W98 20.334
  • Click for more information

    Lined with native tree species, then turns to run parallel to the fishing pond


Sunflower Trail
  • Trail Season: All-Year
  • Length of Trail: 0.340000003576279 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking
  • There is a permit required on the trail
  • Location of Start: N39 30.584 W98 20.789
  • Click for more information

    A beautiful landscape of Hawthorn, cottonwood, Green Ash and Honey Locust trees


Native Trail
  • Trail Season: All-Year
  • Length of Trail: 0.25 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • There is a permit required on the trail
  • Location of Start: N39 30.537 W98 20.521
  • Click for more information

    .25 of winded Flat Cottonwood trees an ecosystem of prairie grass and wild flowers


Glen Elder Cabins

Important Cabin Information:  Reservation Terms and Conditions, Cabin Reservation Information

Reserve Now
Glen Elder State Park Cabins

Glen Elder State Park is providing rental cabins as an alternative camping opportunity. You can experience the beauty of the lake from the comfort of one of two modern cabins with most of the comforts of home. The cabins are one bedroom with a full-size bed. A futon bed and a murphy bed are provided in the living area. Kitchens have a small stove with oven, refrigerator/freezer, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, pots & pans, dishes and silverware. Kitchen table and four chairs and picnic table and grill are also provided. Cabins have modern bathrooms with showers as well as air conditioning and heating. Bedding is not provided. You will need to bring your own bedding, towels, & toiletry items. No pets are allowed in the cabins and smoking is prohibited in the cabins.  Fees are $75 per night ($450 for 7 days) plus a $14 reservation fee.

For more information on cabins or to make a reservation contact the park office at (785)545-3345 or go to https://www.reserveamerica.com

LEOTIE
  • Type of Cabin: Modern Cabin
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N39 30.470 W98 19.366
  • This Facility is Reservable.
  • Click for more information

    Modern Rustic 1 bedroom Cabin

    Prices:

    • $75 per night - year around
    • $450 per week - year around

TAHOE
  • Type of Cabin: Modern Cabin
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N39 30.470 W98 19.366
  • This Facility is Reservable.
  • Click for more information

    Modern Rustic 1 bedroom Cabin

    Prices:

    • $75 per night - year around
    • $450 per week - year around

LEOTIE
  • Type of Cabin: Modern Cabin
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N39 30.470 W98 19.366
  • This Facility is Reservable.
  • Click for more information

    Modern Rustic 1 bedroom Cabin

    Prices:

    • $75 per night - year around
    • $450 per week - year around

TAHOE
  • Type of Cabin: Modern Cabin
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N39 30.470 W98 19.366
  • This Facility is Reservable.
  • Click for more information

    Modern Rustic 1 bedroom Cabin

    Prices:

    • $75 per night - year around
    • $450 per week - year around

Glen Elder Calendar

    Email Glen Elder

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