Perched on the southern side of the park’s namesake, Lake Wilson, Wilson State Park is one of five state parks surrounding the lake. Located in central Kansas, the park is graced by views of beautiful smoky hills and scenic rock outcroppings. Known for being one of the cleanest and prettiest lakes in Kansas, RV campers will find a home in the cluster of campgrounds spread across the Otoe and Hell Creek areas of the park.
With a surface area of 9,000 acres, Lake Wilson is famous for its great boating, fishing, and swimming. There is a full-service Marina in the Hell Creek area, which offers many aquatic activities. Depending on the season, hunting is permitted in the open areas of the surrounding wildlife area, which is a habitat for game such as wild turkey, pheasants, and quails. The park is open all year round, with the peak season being from April to October. Overnight guests can stay in the many RV-friendly sites. If you want the convenience of sewer hookups, you may want to reserve the few full hookup sites in advance. However, there are many partial hookup sites and primitive sites where you can park your motorhome. In addition, there are three conveniently located dump stations.
Just 10 miles north of Wilson Town and eight miles from I-70, you shouldn’t experience any difficulty trying to locate Wilson State Park. The road leading to the park is in good condition and can be accessed by cars and RVs. Inside the park, roads will lead you to the campgrounds, the park office, trailheads, and the many parking lots available. Some loop roads in some campgrounds can pose navigation challenges for larger rigs.
Wilson State Park has pet-friendly campsites spread across the eastern side (Hell Creek area) and the western side (Otoe area). With over 200 campsites suitable for RVs, trailers, and tents, campers can choose what is most appropriate for them. There are four highly competitive electric, water, and sewer hookup sites in the Foxtail Campground in the Hell Creek Area. The rest of the campsites are a mix of electric only, electric and water, and primitive sites. Campers interested in these full hookup sites should reserve them in advance.
There are 18 campgrounds in Wilson State Park including the Big Bluestream area, Buffalo Grass, Dropseed, Otoe Yucca, Otoe Sagewort, Otoe Sunflower, Love Grass, Sideouts Hell Creek, Little Bluestem, Foxtail and Indian Grass campgrounds.
Two RV dump stations are in the Hell Creek area, while one is in Otoe area. The maximum camping stay is 14 days. Campsites can be reserved up to 13 months in advance. Dogs are welcome, but should be on a leash no longer than 10 feet.
In addition, Wilson State Park has eight modern cabins with lake views. The cabins are equally distributed among the two areas. All cabins are equipped with basic kitchen amenities.
Some designated campsites are available on first-come, first-served basis.
There is no better place to enjoy mountain biking than along the Switch Grass Bike Trail that passes through the park. This trail often hosts mountain biking races. Riders can get the best views of the lake as the trail runs along the cliffs before cutting through the prairies. Approved by International Mountain Bicycle Association, this 25 single track is one of the most scenic and well-maintained biking trails in Kansas. Designated as one of the World’s Epic biking trails, it has sections perfect for both amateur and advanced riders.
If you love hiking, you will have an adventure of a lifetime on the park’s scenic trails. If your hiking ability is limited or you are running short of time, the one-mile asphalt Cedar Trail in the Otoe area is a perfect choice. For nature watching, the epic Switchgrass Bike Trail is open for hiking, presenting visitors with amazing views of the Kansas prairie and Wilson reservoir.
Lake Wilson crappie has been known to grow up to 14 inches, which makes this lake a great spot for dinner catches. The lake is also popular for bass fishing during the summer including black bass, striped bass, white bass, and smallmouth bass. Don’t forget to pack your line in the campervan, since anglers can also catch bluegill, catfish, and walleye. Fishing in the swimming beaches is not allowed.
Wilson State Park has a flourishing population of animals such as raccoons, coyotes, bobcats. Bird watchers can see plenty of common birds such as songbirds, waterfowl, and ducks. If you happen to visit during the migratory season, you can encounter numerous other bird species as well.
There are many ways to have fun at Wilson State Park and swimming is one of the most favorite for visitors. Whether you are camping in the Otoe or Hell Creek region, you will have access to buoyed swimming beaches. With the ultra-clear waters, Wilson State Park is a haven for swimmers.
After a long day engaging in the park’s activities, the park has many areas for relaxing available on a first-come, first-served basis. Day use visitors can set their picnic lunch on the many picnic tables overlooking the lake. Picnickers can enjoy their meals as the watch the beautiful lake and get entertained by the melodious hymns of birds. For group reunions, there are three picnic shelters available.