Elk City State Park

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Located about 5 miles northwest of Independence, 1 mile north of US-160

Dense oak and hickory woodlands meet rolling meadows of big bluestem and Indian grass at this striking 857-acre park located on the east shore of 4,500-acre Elk City Reservoir with 12,000 acres of wildlife area nearby. Elk City State Park offers a quiet, family-oriented get-away. The compact park allows easy, quick access to features including boat ramps, a swim beach, camping, playgrounds, and hiking trails. The lake area offers picturesque views ranging from open prairie to wooded hills and limestone bluffs.

The area is well-known for its diverse trail systems, including the Eagle Rock Mountain Bike Trail, the Post-Oak and Green Thumb Nature Trails, the Table Mound Hiking Trail, and the Squaw Creek Hiking Trail. Also nearby is the Elk River Hiking Trail, a 15-mile trail from the west end of the dam to the US-160 bridge over the Elk River south of Elk City. Wildlife watchers can see a variety of Kansas wildlife, including the large pileated woodpecker which is common in the mature trees along the Elk River.

Phone:
Address:
4825 Squaw Creek Rd
Independence,KS    67301
County/Counties:
Office Hours:
8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday thru Friday

Park Office - (620) 331-6295

Park News - Updated: 03/04/2021

Welcome to Elk City State Park!

The Park is operating on a first come first serve basis until April 1st. 

Shower houses are winterized and will open once weather allows. 

Sunset Point and Prairie Medow are without water as well. 

The Friends of Elk City State Park are working on future events as the COVID-19 situation allows. 

Youth/Mentor Pond: Anglers 16 to 75 must have a fishing license and be accompanied by a fishing youth under 16.  Special Creel Limits and Regulations are in effect.

Please visit www.reserveamerica.com or call the office at 620-331-6295 for site availability.  

For fishing reports or information about the wildlife area, call the project office at 620-331-6820. 

For information regarding Card Creek, the Outlet Channel, the Elk River Hiking Trail, and Overlook call the Big Hill Lake Office (COE) at 620-336-2741.

Don't forget to visit the park's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ElkCityStatePark - Great resource for event information and park conditions.

General Information
Phone:
Address:
4825 Squaw Creek Rd
 
Independence, KS    67301
County/Counties:
Office Hours:
8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday thru Friday

Park Office - (620) 331-6295


Special Regulations

35" minimum and 5 max creel limit on blue catfish 

Here is a complete list of Public Land Regulations or you can download the regulation summary.

History

Elk City State Park is located in Montgomery County, approximately 5 miles northwest of Independence, Kansas. The State Park was leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1967 and the lease area involved 1,127 acres for the period of 25 years, for Public Park and recreational purposes.  The current 25-year lease has been amended and presently consists of 857 acres and approximately 5 miles of maintained roadway. The Elk City project maintains approximately 4,500 water acres at normal flood pool.  Elk City offers picnicking and camping with or without electricity; swimming boating, fishing, sanitary facilities, showers, playgrounds, group shelters, vault toilets, sightseeing and a variety of other fun activities.

The Elk City Lake area was once a part of the Osage Indian Diminished Reserve. Two Osage bands settled in the area after they agreed to the Canville Treaty of 1867. One band was led by Napawalla and was reportedly, located on the North side of the river near present day Chetopa. The second band, led by Chief Chetopa, reportedly established a village somewhere on the south side of the Elk River near the west end of Table Mound. In 1870, a treaty was signed on Drum Creek which moved the Osage Indians to present day Oklahoma. By this time, Union Army veterans from the Civil War had settled in the Elk River Valley.

The project was authorized by the Flood Control Act 1941 and designed and built under the supervision of the Tulsa District, Corps of Engineers, at a cost $19,000,000.00. Construction began in February 1962 and was completed for full flood control operation in March 1966. Elk City Lake is one unit in a multiple- lake system in the Verdigris River Basin in Kansas.

Elk City Areas
Timber Road

Day Use
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: Yes
  • Reservable Sites: Yes
  • Primitive Camping: 48
  • Water, Sewer, Electric: 68
  • Water, Electric: 20
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Comfort Cove
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: Yes
  • Reservable Sites: Yes
  • Primitive Camping: 9
  • Water, Sewer, Electric: 52
  • Water, Electric: 43
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Elk City Trails
Exercise Trail
  • Trail Season: Year-around
  • Length of Trail: 0.5 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • There is a permit required on the trail
  • Location of Start: N37 15.181 W095 46.614
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    This is an exercise trail in the Day Use area. It is 1/2 mile in length and has various exercise apparatus along the trail.


South Squaw Bike Trail
  • Trail Season: Year-around
  • Length of Trail: 2.5 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking, Mt. Biking
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • Location of Start: N37 15.072 W095 46.481
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    This is a paved trail through the South Squaw area of the State Park. It has views of the wildlife area, the south side of the lake and is available for walking or bike riding.


South Squaw Hiking Trail
  • Trail Season: Year-around
  • Length of Trail: 3.29999995231628 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking, Mt. Biking
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • Location of Start: N37 15.072 W095 46.481
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    This is a paved trail through the South Squaw area of the State Park. It has views of the wildlife area, the south side of the lake and is available for walking or bike riding.


Eagle Rock Mountain Bike Trail
  • Trail Season: Year-around
  • Length of Trail: 4 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Mt. Biking, Canoe/Kayaking
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • Location of Start: N37 16.688 W095 46.808
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    This trail was designed with the beginner mountain biker in mind but also for the experienced mountain biker to excel on. On its path, which passes by large sycamore and oak trees, the trail has roller coaster dips, straight and winding climbs, down hills and log jumps with ride-around provided in most places for the less skilled riders. The trail begins along the Elk River just north of the reservoir outlet. The wooded portion of the trail soon gives way to a trek through ice age boulders that cover the hillside. Another segment of the trail winds through tall native grasses. Like all the trails at Elk City Lake, the scenery seen along Eagle Rock trail is phenomenal.


Post Oak Self-Guiding Nature Trail
  • Trail Season: Year-around
  • Length of Trail: 1 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking, Canoe/Kayaking
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • Location of Start: N37 16.609 W095 46.704
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    This 2/3-mile trail located on the top of table mound is a relatively easy hike. The trailhead is located at the scenic overlook near the dam. The old-growth forest setting that this trail winds through is indicative of the Cross Timbers region. A wide variety of tree species can be found here with many specimens being well over 200 years in age. A self-guiding brochure has been developed to coincide with this trail to be used as an interpretive aide for the user. This trail has been designated as a National Recreation Trail under the U.S Department of the Interior?s National Trail System.


Green Thumb Nature Trail
  • Trail Season: Year-around
  • Length of Trail: 1 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking, Canoe/Kayaking
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • There is a permit required on the trail
  • Location of Start: N37 15.516 W095 46.736
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    This interpretive nature trail is a loop design with its trailhead located in the Timber Road Campground. Features of the trail include two wooden pedestrian footpaths, which are about 33-40 feet in length and interpretive signing informing hikers of the plants and animals native to this area. The trail is described as a moderately strenuous hike that is somewhat uphill. At the top of the hill, the surrounding trees frame a spectacular view of Elk City Lake.


Table Mound Hiking Trail
  • Trail Season: Year-around
  • Length of Trail: 2.75 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking, Canoe/Kayaking
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • There is a permit required on the trail
  • Location of Start: N37 15.509 W095 46.752
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    This linear trail has a trailhead at the Scenic Overlook near the dam and at Timber Road Campground, northwest of the State Park office. Due to this trails length, it is able to give witness to the hiker many different and picturesque scenes. If chosen to begin the trail at the Scenic Overlook, the trail runs north .2 mile atop edge of Table Mound along the edge of a 20-foot bluff. After dropping through a crack in a rock and going down to the foot of the bluff, it turns sharply south. For about the next .5 mile, the trail passes along vertical rock walls, boulder fields and cave-like formations. The trail then drops down through a ravine and crosses the county road. For the next 1.9 miles, the trail winds through forested hills and crosses three small creeks. The final segment is .15 mile and is along an old roadway. This particular trail is blazed with blue paint markings and is considered a moderately strenuous hike. This trail has been designated as a National Recreation trail under the U.S Department of the Interior?s National Trail System.


Elk City State Park Biking and Hiking Trails
  • Trail Season: Year-around
  • Length of Trail: 12 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking, Mt. Biking, Canoe/Kayaking
  • There is camping located near the trail
  • There is a permit required on the trail
  • Location of Start: N37 15.582 W095 46.079
  • Click for more information

    Located in the Cross Timbers region consisting mainly of ancient post and blackjack oaks, Elk City State Park boasts some of the best hiking trails in southeast Kansas. Currently, the state park operates Four foot trails totaling 8 miles and one mountain bike trail which is approximately 4 miles in length. Two other trails, the Elk River hiking trail and the Timber Ridge hiking trail are also located at Elk City Lake but are not located on state park property.


Elk City Cabins

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

Reserve Now
Cabin #1 - Prairie Meadow
  • Type of Cabin: Modern Cabin
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • This Facility is Reservable. Check availability and reserve Cabin #1 - Prairie Meadow
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    • One bedroom with a full sized bed
      Prairie Meadow Cabin

      Prairie Meadow Cabin

    • Bathroom with shower
    • Fully equipped kitchen with
      • Full size oven/range
      • Full size refrigerator
      • Dish washer
      • Microwave
      • Coffee maker
      • Dishes/glasses/flatware
      • Pots/pans/cooking utensils
      • Living area with two futons that fold into full sized beds
      • Grill and firepit
      • Patio table and chairs

Elk City Calendar

    Email Elk City

    This form allows you to email Elk City 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.