Rains, Flooding Affect Some State Parks

 

 

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) reported today that frequent heavy rains are impacting some state parks in eastern Kansas. High water levels at many reservoirs have flooded campgrounds, overtopped roads, closed boat ramps and beaches and dampened visitors’ enthusiasm for any outdoor activities. Most state parks in western Kansas have been largely unaffected.

 

In eastern Kansas, Elk City State Park is closed, all campgrounds and day-use areas at Fall River State Park are closed and Perry State Park remains open but with very limited services. Most other state parks in eastern Kansas are reporting various degrees of flooding issues.

 

Typically, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the busy season for Kansas state parks. The four months of the summer season – May through August – account for more than half of annual state park revenues.

 

“State park staffers are doing their best to accommodate visitors’ needs,” Secretary of KDWPT Brad Loveless said. “At affected parks, staff are happy to work with visitors to change their reservations to a dry campsite if available, arrange for another date in the future, provide a gift card good for a future stay or issue a refund. We remind visitors, for their own safety, to avoid flood waters and never move or drive around barricades”

 

Visitors can go to kshuntfishcamp.com to check on campsite and cabin availability and make reservations. For information about conditions at individual parks, go to https://ksoutdoors.com/State-Parks/State-Park-Alerts or visit KSOutdoors.com and click on State Parks for other information.

 

Kansas state parks do not receive any State General Fund monies and are almost entirely fee-funded. Revenues drop significantly when bad weather hits. Once the flood waters recede, the damage they leave behind can take months to repair, further limiting park hours and revenues during the summer months.

 

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Here  are the latest updates for each state park:

El Dorado: 5-23-19 – The park is open. In the Walnut River area, all campgrounds, cabins, shelter, trails and day use areas are open. Campsites and cabins are all reserved for the holiday weekend. The Shady Creek Area has non-utility sites available in several campgrounds. Shady Creek Area 1 boat ramp is the only usable ramp on the lake. Bluestem Point campgrounds 1, 2, 3 and 4 are closed. Utility Campgrounds 5, 6 and 7 have about 50% of their campsites open and usable. All usable sites are reserved for the weekend. Bemis Creek campground has 12 usable utility campsites but they are all reserved. The

archery and firearms ranges are both open.

Glen Elder: 5-22-19 – The park is open. Lake is 3.5 ft. above conservation level, inflow at 1900 cfs. and outflow at 50 cfs. Osage Road is closed, and a few primitive sites are affected. The courtesy dock has been pulled at Kanza boat ramp, and a portion of the parking lot is closed. No other facilities are affected at this time.

Webster: 5-22-19 – The park is open. Lake is 2 ft. above conservation level. Inflow 607 cfs., and outflow is being shut down. Three sites are closed in Rock Point Campground, and those reservations have been transferred to Hill Top. No primitive site or other facilities are affected at this time.

Lovewell: 5-22-19 – The park is open. Lake is 1 ft. above conservation. Inflow at 141 cfs. and outflow 0 cfs. No facilities are affected at this time.

Historic Lake Scott: 5-22-19 – The park is open. Lake is .05 ft. above conservation level. No facilities are affected at this time.

Cedar Bluff: 5-22-19 – The park is open. Lake is 16.33 ft. below conservation level. No facilities are affected at this time.

Prairie Dog (Keith Sebelius Reservior): 5-22-19 – The park is open. Lake is 7.3 ft. below conservation level. No facilities are affected at this time.

Meade: 5-22-19 – The park is open. Lake is at conservation level. No facilities are affected at this time.

Eisenhower (Melvern Reservoir): 5-22-19 – The park is open. The lake is 16.01 ft. above conservation level, and outflow is 20 cfs. minimum. The lake is projected to be 18.8 ft. above conservation level by 5-30-19. Park staff is shutting down all the electrical in Blackjack Campground and Abilene Campground. Almost all primitive sites are underwater, and the beach and beach restroom are closed.

   

Pomona: 5-22-19 – The park is open. Lake is 23.26 ft above conservation level, and outflow is 15 cfs. minimum. The lake is about 9 ft. from going over the spillway. The lake is projected to 26 ft. above conservation level by 5-31-19. The marina will be moving all the house boats off the water on 5-22-19, and they also shut down all electrical service to the marina area. Big Bear Campground is closed. The Kansas shower building is closed. Staff is closing six sites on the marina side of Kansa Campground as well as all the Kansa primitive sites. The park road to east side of the park is closed; the back gate is open on the county road.

Wilson: 5-23-19 – The park is open. The lake is 4.8 ft. above conservation level. All utility sites are full. Many walk-in primitive sites available, but some will be impacted by rising water. All cabins are full. Goldenrod Campground road is closed. Otto swim beach road is closed. There is plenty of day-use available park-wide. Boating access is available, but courtesy docks are being pulled from the water. All trails are open.

Hillsdale: 5-22-19 – The park is open. The lake is 9.78 ft above conservation level and outflow is 24 cfs. minimum. The beach, beach area and beach house are closed. Closed campgrounds – Scott Creek, Pintail Point, Crappie Cove, Quail Run. Rabbit Ridge Primitive Campground is partly closed. All boats ramps are closed except Jayhawk and Marysville, and Jayhawk ramp is nearing the point where it will have to be closed.

Clinton: 5-22-19 – The park is open – All campsites and cabins are OK. The lake is 13.72 ft above conservation level and outflow is 21 cfs. minimum. All boat ramps are closed. The marina is closed. The beach is closed. Blue Trail and Red Trail are closed.

 

Tuttle Creek: 5-23-19 – The park is open. The lake level is 52.06 ft. above conservation level. Forty-two sites now open in River Pond / Rocky Ford, and no flooding impacts are expected for Memorial Weekend. All primitive sites are open in River Pond. Cedar Ridge primitive sites are open. All cabins are full. Randolph has two utility sites open; there are no issues for flooding. Plenty of day-use opportunities available at River Pond. Boating access will be difficult.

Perry: 5-23-19 – The park is open but is mostly flooded and has very limited services. The office is closed. The lake is 25.21 ft. above conservation level. Several sites are available however, utility company may have to shut off all power. If this happens, there will be no bathhouse facilities or dump-stations available. If power is lost, utility sites may be used for primitive camping. Generators will be allowed park-wide. The cabins are shut-down. There are very limited day-use activities; patrons should use caution. There is no boat access.

Kanopolis: 5-23-19 – The park is open. The lake is 20 ft. above conservation level. Very limited utility sites are available. Sites that are open will be utilized for customers being moved from flooded areas. Many primitive walk-in sites are available. Generators will be allowed in areas impacted by the flooding. All cabins are full. Some park roads may be impacted over the weekend, if the water continues to rise. Trail access is closed to many areas, and there are limited day-use opportunities.

Boating access is available at Langley Point, but boaters should use caution. 

Milford: 5-23-19 – The park is open. The lake is 21.14 ft. above conservation level. There are very limited utility sites available park-wide. Two to three utility sites may be available in Woodland Hills. Many primitive walk-in sites are available at Woodland Hills and Cedar Point. Generators will be allowed at Woodland Hills and Cedar Point Primitive campgrounds. There are six-seven primitive walk-in sites at Sunset Ridge. All Cabins are full. There are limited day-use opportunities. The marina and Walnut Grove boat ramps are accessible, but boaters should use caution.  

Crawford: 5-23-19 – The entire park is open. Campgrounds, trails, day use areas and cabins are all open. All campsites are currently reserved for the Memorial weekend except a very few non-utility sites.

Sand Hills: 5-23-19 – The entire park is open and usable. There are still several utility sites available for this holiday weekend.

Elk City: 5-23-19 – The entire park is closed due to flooding. The park is unreachable through the county road system. Park is without power and phones. Staff will be stationed at Crawford State Park until they are able to enter Elk City again. If visitors have questions they can call Crawford State Park at 620-362-3671.

Fall River: 5-23-19 – All campgrounds and day use areas are closed. Cabins are usable but reserved for the weekend.

Cross Timbers: (On Toronto Lake): 5-23-19 – The park is open. Non-utility sites are available at Mann’s Cove and Sandstone campgrounds. Utility sites are available at Osage Plains Campground. Currently Black Jack utility campground is open until water rises again. Cabins can’t be reached. No boat ramps are available.

Cheney: 5-23-19 – The park is open. East Shore and Lakeview campgrounds and the marina are open. Lake View sites are filled. Remainder of that area is closed. In the West Shore Area, Harding Hill and Geifer Hill non–utility sites are open and available. Half of Smarsh Creek utility sites are open. Remainder of that area is closed.

El Dorado: 5-23-19 – The park is open. In the Walnut River area, all campgrounds, cabins, shelter, trails and day use areas are open. Campsites and cabins are all reserved for the holiday weekend.

The Shady Creek Area has non-utility sites available in several campgrounds. In the Shady Creek Area, one boat ramp is the only usable ramp on the lake. Bluestem Point campgrounds 1, 2, 3 and 4 are closed. Utility Campgrounds 5, 6 and 7 have about 50% of their campsites open and usable. All usable sites are reserved for the weekend. Bemis Creek campground has 12 usable utility campsites but they are all reserved. The archery and firearms ranges are open.

Prairie Spirit Trail: 5-23-19 – The Prairie Spirit Trail is open and usable from Ottawa to Iola. There are some rough spots caused by recent heavy rains and erosion, and continued rain could leave the trail surface soft to the point that narrow bike tires may cause ruts, but the surface is currently solid. Visitors should always be aware to changing trail conditions as some locations may receive more rainfall than others.

Flint Hills Trail: 5-23-19 – The Flint Hills Trail is open, and the surface is firm in most locations, however, due to the varied development and surface construction some locations are in better shape than others, and there are some known points that are difficult to pass through or impassable. There are several locations between Ottawa and Osawatomie that have water at the edge of the trail, as well as over the trail making through travel between those points impossible. We also have several trees reported down on the trail in that section. There is a section of the trail by Quenemo that has trail surface damage from flooding and water backing up onto the trail, however, it is passable now by walking a bike over the dry rough surface which is about 100 yards in length. The trail between Vassar and Osage city is very muddy and travel is discouraged in this area. There may be other isolated wet spots and with more wind or rain conditions can change. Visitors should always be aware to changing trail conditions as some locations may receive more rainfall than others.  

  

Ron Kaufman

Director of Information Services

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism

1020 S. Kansas Ave., 2nd Fl

Topeka, KS 66612

785-296-2870

KSOutdoors.com & TravelKS.com

Note my new email address – ron.kaufman@ks.gov

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