Hillsdale State Park

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Hillsdale Wildlife Area

Located between Spring Hill and Paola, about 3 miles east of US-169/K-7and 255th St interchange

Conveniently located south of the Kansas City Metro Area, one of Kansas’ newest reservoirs awaits visitors to its more than 12,000 acres of park and wildlife area. Completed in 1982, more than 70 percent of the standing timber was left in the reservoir basin to provide fish habitat. Walleye, catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill are abundant. Approximately 4,500 acres of water and 51 miles of shoreline are open to fishing. Roughly 7,000 acres are open to hunting at Hillsdale within the wildlife area and state park.

Common wildlife includes whitetail deer, bobwhite quail, squirrel, rabbit, beaver, muskrat, and a variety of waterfowl. Birdwatchers will see bald eagles, shorebirds, finches, warblers, sparrows, and hawks.

The Saddle Ridge equestrian area on the east side of the reservoir has about 32 miles of marked trails available to horseback riders.

Phone:
Address:
26001 W. 255th St.
Paola,KS    66071
County/Counties:
Park News - Updated: 06/12/2015

HILLSDALE STATE PARK OFFICE:

Open Monday through Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm. 

Swimming:

The shower house at the beach will open in mid-May for the season.  

The swimming beach area remains open for day use activities;however, all facilities at the beach are closed for the season.  There is no additional charge for using the beach but all vehicles are required to have either a daily or an annual Kansas State Park vehicle permit.   In order to provide public safety, the following items or activities are not allowed within the developed beach areas: glass containers, open fires, pets, fishing, boats, alcohol/beer.

The shelters at the beach are not available for advanced reservation.  They are available on a first-come first-served basis.  There is no charge for using the beach shelters.

Camping - We do not have cabins yet - but they are in the works!

All camp loops are open for the season!  We have water and electric sites available as well as primitive sites.  Check the Park Fees link for camping and park entrance prices.  Camp Hosts are available at each campground for fee payment and information. 

Go to www.reserveamerica.com to make your advanced reservations now!  About half of all of our sites are available for advanced reservations.  If they are marked as walk-up only then they are not available for reservations.  So, come on out and camp! 

Activities

Archery:

The archery range is open. Please review and follow the safety guidelines that are posted.

Shooting Range:

The Hillsdale Range & Training Facility is open to the public. The hours of operation will be posted at the Range and on the website www.hillsdalerange.org. Park vehicle permits are required. The range will have a 100yd rifle range, a 50yd pistol range, a trap/skeet range and at a later date a 200yd range. For more information contact Virgil Corbin at: contactus@hillsdalerange.org or 913-594-1954.

Fishing:

Fishing is allowed on all 51 miles of shoreline and approximately 4,500 acres of surface water, except for developed beach areas and boat ramps. Special length limits may apply to some species. Please follow posted length and creel limits. For more information please check the Hillsdale Reservoir Fishing Page.

General Information
Phone:
Address:
26001 W. 255th St.
 
Paola, KS    66071
County/Counties:

Hillsdale SP (PDF 288.83 kB)
Hillsdale SP Bluebird Trail (PDF 785.89 kB)

913-783-4507


History

Hillsdale lake was completed in 1982, and Hillsdale State Park officially opened in 1994.

Hillsdale Areas
Hillsdale State Park Office
  • Camping Available: No
  • ADA Camping Available: Yes
  • Reservable Sites: No

Scott Creek Campground
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: Yes
  • Reservable Sites: Yes
  • Water, Electric: 60
  • Click for more information

    Scott Creek Campground features 60 campsites all with water and electricity. Sites 21,33 and 60 are 50 amp sites. Reservations can be made 2 days in advance at reserveamerica.com. There are two shelters available for campers to use on a first come first serve basis. Scott Creek has a vault toilet but no shower house. Camp Hosts and self-pay stations are available at each campground.


Rabbit Ridge Campground
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: No
  • Reservable Sites: No
  • Primitive Camping: 38
  • Click for more information

    Rabbit Ridge is the largest primitive camping area in Hillsdale State Park. There are 30 campsites each with a fire ring and picnic table. This area is for tent camping as there are no utilities. There are no sites available to reserve in Rabbit Ridge.


Russel Crites
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: Yes
  • Reservable Sites: Yes
  • Primitive Camping: 18
  • Water, Electric: 98
  • Click for more information

    Russel Crites camping area - including Crappie Cove, Quail Run and Pintail Point - has about half of the sites available for reservation now at reserveamerica.com. Reservations can be made as little as 2 days in advance. Check in with your camp host upon arrival. Check in and check out is 2pm.


Saddle Ridge Campground
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: No
  • Reservable Sites: Yes
  • Primitive Camping: 12
  • Water, Electric: 22
  • Click for more information

    Saddle Ridge equestrian area has approximately 32 miles of marked trails available to horseback riders and trail users. Sites are reservable at reserveamerica.com 2 days in advance of arrival.


Youth & Scout Camp
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: No
  • Reservable Sites: Yes
  • Primitive Camping: 1
  • Click for more information

    The Youth and Scout area features a large fire ring with benches nearby as well as four picnic tables. There is a large area for tent camping, a flag pole, a portable toilet and a water spigot. This area may be reserved by contacting the Hillsdale State Park office at 913-783-4507.


Sunflower Day Use
  • Camping Available: No
  • ADA Camping Available: No
  • Reservable Sites: No

Hillsdale Point
  • Camping Available: No
  • ADA Camping Available: No
  • Reservable Sites: No

Jayhawk Day Use
  • Camping Available: No
  • ADA Camping Available: No
  • Reservable Sites: No

Marysville
  • Camping Available: No
  • ADA Camping Available: No
  • Reservable Sites: No

Wade Branch
  • Camping Available: No
  • ADA Camping Available: No
  • Reservable Sites: No

Hillsdale Trails
ADA Hike/Bike Trail
  • Trail Season: Year-around
  • Length of Trail: 5 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking, Mt. Biking
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • There is a permit required on the trail
  • This trail is ADA accessible
  • Location of Start: N38 39.277 W94 55.514
  • Click for more information

    This trail winds around throughout the Jayhawk and Russel crites areas. Vehicle permits are required for entry.


Saddle Ridge Trails
  • Trail Season: Year-around
  • Length of Trail: 49 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking, Horse Riding, Mt. Biking
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • There is a permit required on the trail
  • Location of Start: N38 40.145 W94 53.649
  • Click for more information

    You can hike, bike, or many enjoy riding their horses starting at the Saddle Ridge Horse Camp area. You can observe native plants, the view of the lake in some places, and may even see some native wildlife. There are four different loops of trail systems: NW blue trail, SE red trail, SW red trail, and the Outlet blut loop. Vehicle permits are required for entry.


Hillsdale Calendar

Email Hillsdale

This form allows you to email Hillsdale State Park with any questions you might have about the State Park and its facilities. This includes season openings and closings, campsite reservations, special events, etc.

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Wildlife Viewing

Travelers to Hillsdale Lake should stop at the visitor center at the northeast end of the dam. Many interpretive displays explain the lake's history, recreational opportunities, and natural resources. (If you are planning to visit the western parts of the lake, be sure to pick up a map because the roads can be confusing.) Behind the center, bird feeders attract resident sparrows, juncos, woodpeckers, and chickadees. The 1.5-mile Hidden Spring Nature Trail, which begins at the visitor center, takes hikers through an oak-hickory forest. Look for fox squirrels, white-tailed deer, woodland birds, and a couple of the most respected reptiles in eastern Kansas: the venomous timber rattlesnake and the copperhead. Flocks of ducks, geese, pelicans, and gulls are seen on the lake during migrations. Late November may bring large flocks of snow geese. At the bridge over Little Bull Creek, scan the flooded timber for wintering bald eagles. Throughout the year, look for cormorants, gulls, grebes, and ducks. A great blue heron nesting colony is visible to the west from the Rock Creek bridge. With binoculars and a spotting scope, approximately 50 large stick nests can be seen in the tallest sycamores growing from the creek bottom about 0.5 miles away. Both equestrians and hikers can enjoy the 24 mile horse trail east of the lake. (Caution: This is in a hunting area, so wear bright colors during hunting seasons).