Winding its way along the shores of the Welbern Reservoir in Kansas, Eisenhower State Park features acre after acre of rolling hills and beautiful colorful prairies for you to explore. As you might have guessed, this state park is named after former president Dwight D. Eisenhower who grew up in the great state of Kansas.
Visit anytime from spring to fall to see the park adorned with dozens of different species of flowers and grass. Wildlife is abundant, with white-tailed deer, fox, quail, and turkey all roaming throughout the park.
There are hundreds of acres that you can hike through or explore on bike or by horseback. And if you want to hunt, the varied terrain and wildlife will make every hunt interesting. Or head out onto the 6,930-acre of Melvern Lake to fish, swim, or boat. There are dozens of different ways to enjoy all of nature on display at Eisenhower State Park.
You’ll get the best of nature with plenty of modern amenities. The campsites feature electricity, water, and accessible facilities. The Jones Family Activity Area has dozens of different recreational opportunities for you and your family.
With over 200 campsites, you’ll have plenty of options to find the right site for your RV. Whether you want a more modern camping experience, or want secluded, private camping, you’ll find it at Eisenhower State Park.
Eisenhower State Park is located near Osage City in eastern Kansas. It can easily be reached on major highways from the state’s major cities, including Kansas City and Wichita, and is a quick drive from Topeka.
The park is around 100 miles from Kansas City, meaning you can reach it in around an hour and a half. Head west out of Kansas City on I-35. If you are coming from Topeka, take KS-75 south out of the city for 40 miles and you’ll arrive at the park in around 45 minutes.
The park is a similar distance from Wichita, at around a two-hour drive. Take the I-35 east out of Wichita. In fact, it's only about two hours from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum in Abilene for those history buffs looking to turn their trip into a presidential tour.
The roads into the park pose no problems for RVs of any size since Kansas is well known for its flat terrain. Once you reach the park, local roads will take you anywhere you want to go from the campground to Ike's General Store. Just drive slower in the campground loops since some roads are a bit snug. While there are other parking options within the park if you are staying overnight, it's best to leave your rig parked at the campsite. Luckily, it's easy to get around the park on foot, by bike, on horseback, or even by boat.
There are nearly 200 different pet-friendly campsites available at Eisenhower State Park, so you’ll have plenty to choose from to find the right site for you and your family.
There are six main campgrounds spread throughout the park, all of which are easily accessible by road. Most of the campsites have water and electrical hookups, although availability may vary depending on the season. 37 sites even feature full hookups, while 31 are considered primitive. Always check what utilities are available at your specific campground before you book. There are well-maintained restrooms and showers in every campground. Each campsite features a picnic table and grill.
The campgrounds are all different, with some featuring a more communal atmosphere and others giving you more privacy. Some sites feature lakefront views and almost all of the sites are within walking distance to all the aquatic fun available at the park. While some sites can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 100 feet long, make sure you check the max RV length for each site before booking. Reservations are limited to a max of 14 days at all of the campsites. You can book a site from two days to one year in advance.
You’ll find excellent fishing whenever you visit Eisenhower State Park in your RV. Take a boat out onto the reservoir and cast a line to try to reel in one of the many different varieties of fish that populate the lake.
There are large boat ramps that make getting out onto the lake easy. The lake is well stocked with fish species including bass, sauger, catfish, walleye, and crappie, so you’ll get plenty of variety whenever you head out onto the lake.
You’ll find excellent hunting opportunities during your RV trip to Eisenhower State Park. The hills and prairies are packed with all different kinds of wildlife, ranging from white-tailed deer to quail and turkey. You’ll get excellent, long sight lines, but with tall grass that makes every hunt a challenge. And the large size of the park means that there’s plenty of room for every hunter.
Although hunting is allowed throughout most of the park, it is not allowed on any part of the waterfowl refuge. This 1,000-acre area is designated exclusively to wildlife viewing. The park is very active, and as a state park, all hunting laws are strictly enforced.
In addition to fishing, you can also head out onto the lake in a boat. You can rent kayaks and canoes from the Ike’s General Store, so you should have no issues finding a way onto the water. The Welbern Reservoir has a long, winding shoreline that offers scenic boating. Whether you want to go on a long kayaking trip, or take it easy with your family in a canoe, you’ll find plenty to do out on the water.
If you don’t want to take a boat, dive into the water and enjoy a relaxing swim.
This recreational area is open year round, so you’ll always find something to do, no matter when you visit the park.
You’ll find a basketball court, playground, and horseshoe pits at the recreation center. There is also sand volleyball, a beach, a disc golf course, and archery trails, and multiple picnic areas.
And if you want to take the kids fishing but don’t want to commit to a day out on the reservoir, head to the kids fishing pond or the fly fishing pond.
Many of these activities will be best during summer, but others are still great even during off-season months.
No matter the time of year, you can head out onto one of the many trails available in Eisenhower State Park to see the best of Kansas’s open prairies and rolling hills.
Head down through the prairies to see dozens of species of wildflower, Even during the off-season, there’s plenty of wildlife throughout the park, so there will be something for you to see.
Most of the hiking trails can also be explored by bike, and many by horseback. There are also multiple archery trails.
Biking is a popular activity at Eisenhower State Park year-round, meaning no matter time of year you find you and your rig at the park you'll still be free to coast along those beautiful trails. Those looking for an easy side should cycle on the less than two-mile Scooter Trail. For those avid mountain bikers, you'll love a challenging ride on the five-mile Five Star Bike Trail. If you just want to coast without a care in the world you can do just that on the 20-mile Horse Trail, which is open for horseback riding too.