Prairie Dog State Park

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10-30-19:  Water has been turned off to the park. Campsites, primitive cabins, and shower houses do not have water. All utility campsites have electricity and are open throughout the fall, winter and spring. Modern cabins are on their own well and have water all year. All cabins are available all year long. Vault toilets are still open for use.

As of November 1, all campsites are walk-in only for the remainder of 2019. This is the case every year. You will be able to reserve campsites for 2020 in mid-December, when the computer system gets updated for the upcoming new year. 

Welcome!

We get many compliments from people that stay in the park and use the facilities. Customers continue to let us know how great the park looks, with the mowed areas, excellent camping availability, gorgeous views of the lake, and recreational items.

The Park, Lake, and Wildlife Area

Going from north to south, there is the Prairie Dog State Park, the Sebelius Reservoir that is the lake, and the Norton Wildlife Area. (Technically the Sebelius Reservior is considered part of the Norton Wildlife Area.) These three entities are located next to each other, about 3 miles west and 1 mile south of Norton, Kansas.

To get to the Prairie Dog State Park, from the east: take highway 36 west out of Norton, then turn south on highway 261. From the west: take highway 36 east, turn south on highway 261.

There are a variety of ways to get to the Norton Wildlife Area. One way is to take highway 36 west out of Norton, then turn south at the "Norton Dam" sign that you will see on the left side. Another way is to continue on highway 36 west of Norton and turn left on highway 383. Go south at least 2 miles, and any of the next several roads going left or right will give you access to the Wildlife Area.

Blue-Green Algae Info

Did you know... blue green algae is not really algae? It's a bacteria, called cyanobacteria. It releases toxins sometimes, and these toxins can affect warm-blooded animals in the area of the brain, liver, or other organs. To learn more, visit: https://ksoutdoors.com/Outdoor-Activities/Outdoor-Health-and-Safety/Blue-Green-Algae-Information

Campfires Are Allowed

There is no burn ban in effect. Campfires are allowed in designated fire rings. Note: the Prairie Dog campground does not have fire rings for its campsites. If you have a fire pit, you are welcome to bring it for a campfire.

General Information:

Camping at Prairie Dog State Park includes 4 reservable cabins, all of which are nice on the inside and have air conditioning, heat, refrigerator & freezer, and microwave (2 modern cabins with nice bathrooms, and 2 primitive cabins very close to a shower house with bathrooms), 10 electric/water/sewer sites, 77 electric/water sites, 12 electric-only sites, and more than 130 primitive sites. Reservable sites are available, as well as walk-in sites. Shower and restroom facilities are conveniently located, as are two RV dump stations. A 1.4-mile nature trail complete with Story Walk signage for kids is a great way to explore the park and observe wildlife.

Historical interpretation is a hallmark of this park. Two vintage 19th century buildings are preserved here, including a one room school and renovated adobe house.

Keith Sebelius Reservoir is well known for its excellent fishing opportunities. In recent years, anglers have found productive fishing for black bass, walleye, wiper, crappie, catfish and saugeye.

The 6,400-acre Norton Wildlife Area offers good prospects for pheasant, waterfowl and rabbits. Both whitetailed and mule deer can be found here, as well as a variety of furbearers.

Phone:
Address:
13037 State Highway 261
Norton,KS    67654
County/Counties:
Park News - Updated: 10/30/2019
Water has been turned off for the park, due to the mid-20s overnight temperatures around October 10, 2019.
This month's "Did You Know"....

When you buy an Annual Vehicle Permit, sold from ksoutdoors.com or from a state park office or regional office, the permit expires on December 31 of the current year.

More Information

Good news: all cabins, campsites, and vault toilets are available year-round with electricity. Our newest campground, Cedar Ridge, has full hookups including sewer.

Water was turned off for the park in early October, as mother nature dropped the temperature below freezing.

Office hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

   ** A vehicle permit is required for all vehicles to enter the park. The daily permit is good until 2 pm the next day.**

   ** If you buy a Park Passport when you register your vehicle, and you need a replacement, it is $12.50 and can be purchased at any State Park office.  **

There is NO HUNTING ALLOWED in the State Park. Please feel free to contact the office with any questions.

Please click the Make a Reservation button above, or visit www.kshuntfishcamp.com to make your campsite and cabin reservations online, where nearly all Licenses and Permits can also be purchased.

Prairie Dog State Park has four cabins available. Reservations can be made for at least 2 days in advance, call the office or reserve a cabin online. All cabins have heating and air conditioning, a refrigerator and a microwave.

Cedar Crest and Cottonwood are primitive cabins, and starting in late April, water is available from an outside faucet for these two cabins.

Prairie Dog and Eagle View are modern cabins with running water year-round, fully stocked kitchen areas, and a big bathroom with a shower.

Cabin Renters: Please make sure to contact the park office at (785) 877-2953 within 48 hours of your arrival to obtain your key code. Reminder that you need to bring bed items, such as pillows, blankets, sheets, sleeping bags, etc.

Please remember to always wear your life jacket when you're on the water, it could save your life. 

Questions?

Questions pertaining to the Norton Wildlife Area or hunting should be directed to Luke Winge, NORR Manager at (785) 877-2953.

Questions pertaining to fishing should be directed to Mark Shaw, Fisheries Biologist at (785) 425-6775.

Questions for a Conservation Officer should be directed to the Hays Regional Office at (785) 628-8614.

If you have questions pertaining to Prairie Dog State Park, call the Park office at (785) 877-2953.

General Information
Phone:
Address:
13037 State Highway 261
 
Norton, KS    67654
County/Counties:
Office Hours:
NOW OPEN: Monday to Thursday, Saturday: 8:00am to 4:00pm; Friday 8:00am to 8:00pm; Sunday noon to 4:00pm

Park Office: (785) 877-2953

Questions pertaining to the Norton Wildlife Area or hunting should be directed to Luke Winge, Public Lands Manager at (785) 877-2953.

Questions pertaining to fishing should be directed to Mark Shaw, Fisheries Biologist at (785) 425-6775.

Questions for a Conservation Officer should be directed to the Hays Regional Office at (785) 628-8614.

Cabin Renters--Please make sure to contact the park office at (785) 877-2953 within 48 hours of your arrival to obtain your key code. Also, you will need to bring your own bed items: pillows, sheets, blankets, sleeping bags, etc.

There is NO HUNTING ALLOWED in the State Park. Please contact the office with any questions.

Please visit kshuntfishcamp.com or Reserve America to make your reservations online, or click the "Make a Reservation!" button at the right side of this page. Most Licenses and Permits can be purchased online through KDWPT.


History

Prairie Dog State Park at Keith Sebelius Reservoir west of Norton, in Norton County, hosts two vintage 19th century buildings – a renovated adobe house and Hillmon Schoolhouse, a one-room school.

The Adobe House

The Adobe House was built on Prairie Dog State Park in the 1890s and it still stands today.

The adobe house is the only one in Kansas on its original location and preserved as a museum. The house was probably constructed in 1892 by the John Spencer family. It was built with bricks formed from a mix of mud and straw, called adobe. A horse walking in a circular trench to which dirt, water, and straw were added was used to create the proper consistency. Once the adobe bricks were laid in place, they were covered with a smooth finish coat of adobe. The adobe is still visible on the interior walls.

The house remains in its original location. As the state park was being built, a volunteer group worked to preserve the building. They fixed the roof, walls, and windows, cleaned the interior, and furnished it with donated antique furniture. The Adobe House has recently been extensively renovated. The grounds around the adobe house feature a wooden-wheel windmill, and a two-horse, dirt-moving wagon unearthed during the dam’s construction. 

Hillmon Schoolhouse is the second iteration of the school. The original was a combination dugout and log structure overlooking the Sappa Valley in northwestern Norton County about 1 ½ miles south of the Kansas-Nebraska line. It had two windows, a door in the rear and desks fashioned of wood slabs with pegs for support. The current building was built in 1886 about ½ mile south of the original. It hosted community, church, and school events for many years. It was moved to Prairie Dog State Park in the late 1960s and was dedicated at its current location in September 1969.

Prairie Dog Areas
Cedar Ridge Campground

Prairie Dog Campground
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: Yes
  • Reservable Sites: Yes
  • Water, Electric: 40
  • Click for more information
  • Electric: 12

Mushroom Shelters
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: No
  • Reservable Sites: Yes
  • Primitive Camping: 30
  • Click for more information
  • Electric: 1

Branded Cedar Campground
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: Yes
  • Reservable Sites: Yes
  • Primitive Camping: 40
  • Water, Electric: 6
  • Click for more information

Cottonwood primitive
Cottonwood Campground

Shady Rest Campground
  • Camping Available: Yes
  • ADA Camping Available: Yes
  • Reservable Sites: No
  • Primitive Camping: 14
  • Water, Electric: 21
  • Click for more information

Meadowlark Campground
Meadowlark Campground

Leota Cove
Leota Cove

Prairie Dog Trails
Steve Mathes Nature Trail
  • Trail Season: All-Year
  • Length of Trail: 1.5 mile(s)
  • Trail Activities: Walking
  • There is a permit required on the trail
  • Location of Start: N39 48.504 W99 57.690
  • Click for more information

    1.5 mile trail that gives you a great view of the lake and the prairie dogs can be seen at the trail head. There is a vault toilet located at the trail head at the south end of the trail in Meadowlark campground. The first 1000 feet of the nature trail starting at the Prairie Dog trail head is concrete.

    Nature Trail

    Another view from the Nature Trail at Prairie Dog State Park

    Nature Trail

    A view of the reservoir is one of the many things you can see from the Prairie Dog Nature Trail

    Nature Trail

    Another view from the Prairie Dog Nature Trail


Prairie Dog Cabins

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

Reserve Now
Cottonwood Cabin

Cottonwood cabin

If you have a cabin reservation, call us at 785-877-2953 within 48 hours of your arrival date, to get check-in information.

Prairie Dog State Park has rental cabins as an alternative camping opportunity. For your convenience, we offer two primitive and two modern cabins. Cedar Crest and Cottonwood cabins are primitive cabins located adjacent to Prairie Dog campground. Prairie Dog and Eagle View are modern cabins with a fantastic view of the lake and located in close proximity to the public fishing dock. All cabins are available for year-round rental, 364 days in advance.

Cedar Crest Cabin

Cedar Crest Cabin

The two primitive cabins include heating, air-conditioning, refrigerator/freezer, and a microwave. Each primitive cabin sleeps at least eight. Mattresses are provided, but you will need to bring your own bedding. One mattress in each primitive cabin is full size, all other mattresses are twins. During the peak season of mid April through mid October, shower and restroom facilities are close by, and a water hydrant is available at each cabin. During the off season, a vault toilet facility is within walking distance, but no water is available. No pets are allowed in the cabins and smoking is prohibited. Tents are allowed around the cabin with permission of the cabin renter, and each tent must be paid the same as primitive camping.

You can also 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 two full-size beds in the bedroom. A couch and a twin-size murphy bed are provided in the living area. The modern cabins sleep five to six people. Kitchens have a small stove with oven, refrigerator/freezer, microwave, 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. 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. No camping units (tents or campers) are allowed.

Cottonwood Cabin
  • Type of Facility: Primitive Cabin
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N39 48.245 W99 56.691
  • This Facility is Reservable. Check availability and reserve Cottonwood Cabin
  • Click for more information

    The Cottonwood Cabin is a primitive cabin that include heating, air-conditioning, refrigerator/freezer, and a microwave. The cabin sleeps at least eight. Mattresses are provided, but you will need to bring your own bedding. During the peak season of mid April through mid October, shower and restroom facilities are close by, and a water hydrant is available at each cabin. During the off season, a vault toilet facility is within walking distance, but no water is available. No pets are allowed in the cabin and smoking is prohibited.  Rental fee is $45 per night with a $14 reservation fee per stay.

    Cottonwood Cabin

    Cottonwood cabin

    Special Cabin Rules

    1. Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic liquor are prohibited. Cereal malt beverages with not more than 3.2% alcohol by weight are allowed, but no kegs.
    2. No smoking inside the cabin.
    3. The cleaning/field dressing of fish or game is not permitted in the cabin.
    4. Quiet hours are from 11p.m. to 6 a.m.
    5. Other camping units (campers and/or tents) are allowed in the area surrounding the cabin with the permission of the cabin renter. However, hooking up to the cabin’s electrical outlets is prohibited, and camping permits are required.
    6. The cabin, refrigerator, and microwave must be cleaned prior to departure and the trash removed from the cabin.
    7. Renter is responsible for cleanliness, and/or damages to the cabin upon check-out. Cleaning costs and/or damages will be charged to the credit card or PayPal account used to pay for the rental.
    8. Check Out time: 12:00 PM
    9. Pets are not allowed inside the cabins, and must be kept outside on a chain, leash not longer than 10’ or kennel.
    10. All State, as well as, Park and Public Lands regulations apply during the use of the cabin.
    11. Fires in provided fire rings only.

Cedar Crest Cabin
  • Type of Facility: Primitive Cabin
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N39 48.280 W99 56.694
  • This Facility is Reservable. Check availability and reserve Cedar Crest Cabin
  • Click for more information

    The Cedar Crest Cabin is a primitive cabin that include heating, air-conditioning, refrigerator/freezer, and a microwave. The cabin sleeps at least eight. Mattresses are provided, but you will need to bring your own bedding. During the peak season of mid April through mid October, shower and restroom facilities are close by, and a water hydrant is available at each cabin. During the off season, a vault toilet facility is within walking distance, but no water is available. No pets are allowed in the cabin and smoking is prohibited.  Rental fee is $45 per night with a $14 reservation fee per stay.

    Cedar Crest Cabin

    Cedar Crest Cabin

    Special Cabin Rules

    1. Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic liquor are prohibited. Cereal malt beverages with not more than 3.2% alcohol by weight are allowed, but no kegs.
    2. No smoking inside the cabin.
    3. The cleaning/field dressing of fish or game is not permitted in the cabin.
    4. Quiet hours are from 11p.m. to 6 a.m.
    5. Other camping units (campers and/or tents) are allowed in the area surrounding the cabin with the permission of the cabin renter. However, hooking up to the cabin’s electrical outlets is prohibited, and camping permits are required.
    6. The cabin, refrigerator, and microwave must be cleaned prior to departure and the trash removed from the cabin.
    7. Renter is responsible for cleanliness, and/or damages to the cabin upon check-out. Cleaning costs and/or damages will be charged to the credit card or PayPal account used to pay for the rental.
    8. Check Out time: 12:00 PM
    9. Pets are not allowed inside the cabins, and must be kept outside on a chain, leash not longer than 10’ or kennel.
    10. All State, as well as, Park and Public Lands regulations apply during the use of the cabin.
    11. Fires in provided fire rings only.

Prairie Dog Cabin
  • Type of Cabin: Modern Cabin
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N39 48.402 W99 56.661
  • This Facility is Reservable. Check availability and reserve Prairie Dog Cabin
  • Click for more information

    Prairie Dog cabin sleeps six (one double bed, a futon and a pull-down--“Murphy-type" bed), comes with a full kitchen (refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishes, pots and pans and coffee pot), as well as table and chairs. Beds are fitted with mattresses only; you will need to bring your own bedding (full size sheets), pillows, soap, shampoo and towels. There are no television, internet or telephone hookups. Check in time is after 2 p.m. and check out time is noon every day, year-round. Exterior amenities include a picnic table, fire ring, water hydrant and an excellent view of the lake. The public fishing dock is located within an easy walk from the cabin. Please clean the cabins before you check-out and leave them as you found them for the next visitors. Other camping units (tents and/or campers) are not allowed in the area surrounding the cabin.  Rental fee is $75 per night with a reservation fee of $14 per stay.

    Specific Cabin Rules

    1. No smoking allowed inside.
    2. Pets are not allowed inside the cabins, and must be kept outside on a chain, leash not longer than 10' or kennel.
    3. DO NOT clean fish or game inside.
    4. Items not provided: linens, bedding or personal toiletry items.
    5. Cabin permits are valid from the date purchased to noon the following day, check in is at 2:00 p.m. and check out is at noon.
    6. Quiet hours are from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
    7. Other camping units (tents and/or campers) are not allowed in the area surrounding the cabin.
    8. Consumption of alcoholic liquor is prohibited. Cereal malt beverages with not more than 3.2% alcohol by weight are allowed, but no kegs.
    9. Trash must be removed from the cabin and discarded in dumpsters.
    10. All vehicles must have a vehicle permit and park in the provided parking areas; no vehicles are allowed off the road or paved parking areas.
    11. Fires in provided fire rings only.
    12. No cooking on the porch.
    13. All State, as well as, Park and Public Lands regulations apply during the use of the cabin.
    14. Renter is responsible for cleanliness, and/or damages to the cabin upon check-out. Cleaning costs and/or damages will be charged to the credit card or PayPal account used to pay for the rental.

Eagle View Cabin
  • Type of Cabin: Modern Cabin
  • This facility is ADA accessible
  • Location of Facility: N39 48.383 W99 56.665
  • This Facility is Reservable. Check availability and reserve Eagle View Cabin
  • Click for more information

    Eagle View cabin sleeps six (one double bed, a futon and a pull-down--“Murphy-type" bed), comes with a full kitchen (refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishes, pots and pans and coffee pot), as well as table and chairs. Beds are fitted with mattresses only; you will need to bring your own bedding (full size sheets), pillows, soap, shampoo and towels. There are no television, internet or telephone hookups. Check in time is after 2 p.m. and check out time is noon every day, year-round. Exterior amenities include a picnic table, fire ring, water hydrant and an excellent view of the lake. The public fishing dock is located within an easy walk from the cabin. Please clean the cabins before you check-out and leave them as you found them for the next visitors. Other camping units (tents and/or campers) are not allowed in the area surrounding the cabin.  Rental fee is $75 per night with a $14 reservation fee per stay.

    Special Cabin Rules

    1. No smoking allowed inside.
    2. Pets are not allowed inside the cabins, and must be kept outside on a chain, leash not longer than 10' or kennel.
    3. DO NOT clean fish or game inside.
    4. Items not provided: linens, bedding or personal toiletry items.
    5. Cabin permits are valid from the date purchased to noon the following day, check in is at 2:00 p.m. and check out is at noon.
    6. Quiet hours are from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
    7. Other camping units (tents and/or campers) are not allowed in the area surrounding the cabin.
    8. Consumption of alcoholic liquor is prohibited. Cereal malt beverages with not more than 3.2% alcohol by weight are allowed, but no kegs.
    9. Trash must be removed from the cabin and discarded in dumpsters.
    10. All vehicles must have a vehicle permit and park in the provided parking areas; no vehicles are allowed off the road or paved parking areas.
    11. Fires in provided fire rings only.
    12. No cooking on the porch.
    13. All State, as well as, Park and Public Lands regulations apply during the use of the cabin.
    14. Renter is responsible for cleanliness, and/or damages to the cabin upon check-out. Cleaning costs and/or damages will be charged to the credit card or PayPal account used to pay for the rental.

Prairie Dog Calendar

    Email Prairie Dog

    This form allows you to email Prairie Dog 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.