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Kansas State Parks

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USA Parks
Western Kansas Region
Kanopolis State Park
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Kanopolis State Park Scenic vista © Greg Wood
Kanopolis State Park Horsethief Sunset © Paul Douglas
Kanopolis State Park © Danita Mann
Kanopolis State Park © Danita Mann
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200 Horsethief Rd.
Marquette, Kansas   67464

Phone: 785-546-2565
Kanopolis State Park started it all. The first Kansas state park has drawn visitors to eastern Ellsworth County since 1955. Situated in the rolling hills, bluffs and woods of the scenic Smoky Hills region of Kansas, Kanopolis is located 33 miles southwest of Salina.

The park features a full-service marina, beaches, picnic areas, and trails for horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking. More than 200 primitive campsites and 119 utility sites are located through the 14 campgrounds in the Langley Point and Horsethief areas. Buffalo Track Nature Trail is an enthralling 1.5-mile route rich in native plants and wildlife, as well as Native American history.

Kanopolis offers 25 miles of trails, all of which start in the state park. The Rockin' K trails take visitors to and from the Rockin' K campgrounds. The Horsethief trails loop through canyons and trees. Farther north and west, the Prairie Trails traverse high prairie and Red Rock Canyon. The Alum Creek trails take visitors across vast prairie and through many water crossings. Be aware that it can take more than a day to complete some trails on foot.

The 3,500-acre Kanopolis Reservoir offers excellent fishing opportunities. White bass fishing can be good soon after ice-out and in April during the spawning run. The best crappie fishing occurs from March through May. In addition, anglers will find walleye, saugeye, wiper, largemouth bass, and channel catfish. More than 12,500 acres of public wildlife area add to Kanopolis' appeal.
1. Kanopolis State Park offers a designated swimming beach at the south shore of its large reservoir.
2. The park's lake is also suitable for open water swimming, with safety measures in place.
3. Swimming areas are marked and separated from boating zones to ensure swimmer safety.
4. Lifeguards aren't provided; swimmers should exercise caution when entering deeper waters or during rough weather conditions.
5. Children must be supervised by adults while swimming due to lack of lifeguard services on site.

The park offers a variety of boating options for visitors. It features two marinas, one at each end of the reservoir, providing boat rentals and docking facilities. There are also several designated areas where personal boats can be launched into the water. The lake is suitable for motorized as well as non-motorized vessels such as kayaks or paddleboards with no restrictions on horsepower but speed limits in certain zones to ensure safety.
Impoundment Type: Reservoir

Surface Acres: 3,550

Maximum Depth: 35

Normal Lake Level: 1463 msl This lake is generally held 4 feet above this conservation level during the summertime.

The lake has Motor Boat Access

Bluegill, Channel Catfish, White Crappie, Flathead Catfish,Largemouth Bass, Saugeye, Walleye, Wiper, Trout

Kanopolis State Park is located near Mcpherson, Salina

Kanopolis State Park offers numerous picnic areas with tables and grills. Shelters are available for rent, some featuring electricity.
Visitors can enjoy over 25 miles of trails suitable for mountain biking. Be aware, some paths are quite challenging.

The park's terrain varies from flat prairies to rugged sandstone bluffs, offering diverse cycling experiences.

For a less strenuous ride, opt for the Prairie Trail which is relatively level and smooth.

Advanced cyclists might prefer Rockin' K trail with its steep inclines and rocky surfaces; caution should be exercised here.

Remember that many routes intersect with horseback riding trails - always yield to equestrians when on your bike.

Biking after dark isn't recommended due to potential hazards like wildlife or unseen obstacles in low light conditions.

Always wear appropriate safety gear including helmets while exploring these scenic but potentially dangerous terrains by bicycle.
Buffalo Tracks Canyon Nature Trail follows Bison Creek. Listed on the National Historic Registry, this one mile trail offers native plants, wildlife, Native American history and canyons of geologic interest. Brochures about this historic trail are available at the park office and self pay stations. This is a hiking trail only.Kanopolis SP Buffalo Track Canyon 85.23 kB

Kanopolis Multi-Use Trail SystemKanopolis offers 24.9 miles of trails open to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. These trails loop through canyons, trees, high prairie and Red Rock Canyon, a sandstone canyon that is breathtaking. Northern loops encompass the Alum Creek trails which offer views of vast prairie and many water crossings. This an extensive system which may take more than a day to travel. However there is no camping along the trails. Please check with the park office for more information on trail rules and conditions.

Trail SeasonThe Prairie trails and Alum Creek trails are closed to horseback riding and mountain bikes from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31. This is a safety precaution during hunting season. Trails inside the park including Rockin' K trails, Horsethief trails and Buffalo Track Canyon Nature Trail are open year-round. Portions of the trails may be closed duing high water because low water crossings become hazardous or impassable at times. Always approach crossings with caution.

Trail AccessAll trails start in Kanopolis State Park, Camping equestrians use the Rockin' K Campground, (trailhead A). Equestrians visiting for the day use Horsethief Canyon, (trailhead B). Hikers and mountain bikers use Buffalo Track Canyon, (trailhead C). Stay on designated trails and do not trespass onto private land.
Birdwatchers can explore over 200 species of birds. The park offers guided birding tours and educational programs. Bird habitats include prairie, woodland, lakefront areas and cliffsides for diverse viewing opportunities.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
June 16 Why no Overnight Camping at Yankee Run
park review stars; one to five I just wanted to know why after years of coming to Kanopolis and camping overnight at Yankee Run Point with my family, that their is no more overnight camping just day camping. I was there on June 10, 2012 and my family and I were very disappointed when we spotted the signs and saw that the tables and grill were removed from Yankee Run. Not only that but just the back at the end of April begining of May there were no signs and the tables were still there, Can you explain why there is not Overnight camping?
October 19 Deer viewing
park review stars; one to five Great place to see deer just before dark. Last August counted 60+ in one evening ----everything from fawns to 14 pt buck. Also lots of turkeys.
July 18 Great hiking
park review stars; one to five Love hiking horsethief canyon. The terrain makes for a never boring hike. I would highly suggest going to the nearest restroom afterwards to shake the ticks off!! Seriously summer hiking you will average over 20 ticks, best to shake your clothing off before leaving. The hike is worth it
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Kanopolis State Park Office200 Horsethief Rd.Marquette, KS 67464(785) 546-2565 (Park Office)(316) 683-8069 (Regional Office)

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Kansas State Parks