Kanopolis State Park is a haven for those that are looking for trails, nature viewing, hunting, and fishing. With over 30 miles of trails, a 3,500-acre lake, and 12,500 acres of wildlife area, Kanopolis State Park has lots to offer.
Kanopolis State Park is the oldest state park in Kansas and is home to the Faris Caves, which served as a schoolhouse, milk house, and living quarters in the early pioneer days. You can still visit these caves to this day, located in the Northwest portion of the wildlife area.
Hiking opportunities are abundant in the park, as the 30 miles of trail are open for horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking. Although there are very long trails in the park, plan to camp in one of the designated campsites, as primitive off-trail camping is not allowed.
Kanopolis State Park is well-known among locals and the outdoor community for its endless opportunities for hunting and fishing. While you must follow local laws and permits, there are fishing opportunities for catfish, crappie, bass, and trout in both the lake and river within the park. There are also hunting opportunities for whitetail deer, turkey, and upland bird.
Accessing Kanopolis State Park is a breeze, as it is located on Highway 141. While there is adequate parking within the campground for your RV or trailer, many of the roads within the park are narrow and don't have places to park or turn around. Most of the roads within the park are paved, but several remain gravel.
If you're camping in the park, a small vehicle (pickup truck or smaller) would be ideal for navigating throughout the park, especially if you plan to visit the wildlife area of the park. For those with the means, walking or biking through the park would also be a breeze if you're not venturing far from the campground.
Both of the campgrounds within the park are located on the West portion of the park, with the main entrance being on the East. While navigating through the park is very simple, it is a long walk if you plan to navigate the park on foot.
Rockin' K Horse Campground is a campground within Kanopolis State Park that is specifically for those with horses. While primarily for equestrian purposes, sites 1-10 can be used for non-equestrian campers upon reservation and request!
Within the Rockin' K Horse Campground, there are designated corrals, horse washing stations, and manure bunkers. These areas total three wash stations, three large corrals with eighteen pens, and the manure bunker has pitchforks and wheel barrels available for use.
In addition to equestrian amenities, there are many other luxuries at the Rockin' K Horse Campground. Thirteen campsites within the park offer both water and electric hookup, while seventeen others have electric only hook-ups. ADA accessible shower facilities, an information center, and a picnic shelter are also available for camper's use!
Langley Point Campground, located within Kanopolis State Park, is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. While the Rockin' K Horse Campground only offers water and electric hook-ups, Langley Point Campground offers sixteen campsites with full hook-ups (water, sewer, electric.) There are also 31 sites with water and electric, and 41 with electric hook-up only.
If you plan to take the whole family, there is a playground and ballfields within the campground, as well as a kid's fishing pond! Langley Point is located conveniently to the beach on the shore of Kanopolis Lake, as well as the boat ramp, making it a perfect summer destination! If you don't have an RV with a shower, there are restrooms and showers located in the Cottonwood Shower Building for camper's to use.
If you're looking for primitive camping, there are ten primitive campgrounds within Langley Point, but they are first come, first serve, and do not accept reservations.
While both of these activities use the same trails as the hiking trails, they are limited as to which trail you can use. horseback riding and mountain biking are not allowed on the Buffalo Track Canyon Nature Trail and the Wildife Viewing Area, and horseback riding alone is not allowed on the Split Boulder Trail, whereas mountain biking is.
Although the trails are slightly more limited, this still make over 23 miles of trail available for horseback riding and mountain biking.
Fishing is very common in Kanopolis State Park, and what better way to fish than get out on the water? Horsethief Canyon Boat Ramp is located in the park on the bank of the Kanopolis Lake, just Northwest of the park entrance.
Whether you're jet skiing or fishing out of your johnboat, this 3,500-acre lake is sure to keep you cool during the hot Kansas Summers!
While fishing, hiking, and exploring are excellent activities in Kanopolis State Park, sometimes it's nice to relax by the lake for the day. Within the park, there is a sandy beach that offers a day-use only swimming area! This is the only part of the lake in which swimming is permitted. At the beach there is a parking area, changing house, and restrooms.
The beach area is buoyed off to prevent boats from entering the swimming area, as well as keep the swimming area in an area that is free of underwater obstructions. There is no lifeguard on duty, so always be careful when swimming at the beach!
There are many opportunities for nature viewing within Kanopolis State Park. Whether you're looking for birds, wild game, or fish, there are ample amounts of wildlife within the park.
You can view much of the wildlife within the nature trails in the park, but the wildlife is not limited to those areas. 12,500 acres of the park are considered to be a wildlife area, and there are countless species that inhabit the land.
No matter where your experience lies, there is a trail for you in Kanopolis State Park. With over 30 miles of trails within the park, the opportunities are endless.
While all trails within the park require a permit, there are many opportunities for hiking all year long. Some of the seasonal trails are Alum Creek Trails (8.3 miles) and Prairie Trails (8 miles). Both of these trails are open from February 1st - October 31st.
Some of the year-round trails are the Horsethief Canyon Trails (5.5 miles), the Rockin' K Trails (4 miles), and the Buffalo Track Canyon Nature Trail (.95 miles).
Located within the park on the Northwest portion of the wildlife area you'll find the Faris Caves and the Kanopolis Lake Waterfall. The Faris Caves are artificially excavated caves that were used by the early settlers as a milk house, schoolhouse, and living quarters. You can still visit the caves to this day to see how the pioneers lived.
The caves were carved originally by a Colorado miner in the 1880s who lived in them before other settlers repurposed them. It is noted on the website of the caves to be sure and take insect repellant when you visit the caves!