Elk City State Park is located in Montgomery County, approximately 5 miles northwest of Independence, Kansas. The State Park was leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1967 and the lease area involved 1,127 acres for the period of 25 years, for Public Park and recreational purposes. The Elk City project maintains approximately 4,500 water acres at normal flood pool. The lease has since been amended and presently the lease agreement is for 857 acres.

hiking
27 days ago

Great day of hiking, my girlfriend and I just through hiked this trail 11-05-16. We park a vehicle at both ends and started at the end ( mile 15 ) and made our way to the beginning near the dame. We packed light and managed to make it all the way through in right at 7 hour. The entire trail is very well-marked and great for a long one day or 2 day hike.
Miles 1-3 are definitely the hardest. There's a fare amount of steep hill with loose rock ( easy to twist aankle when the rocks are covered with leaves). Miles 4-15 stay pretty close to the river and are flat and easy hiking for the most part.

sweeeeeeeeet

backpacking
1 month ago

Backpacked this trail with a girlfriend recently. Parked one car at the west end and drove to other car to the east end to begin our hike. Hiked 10 miles the first day and had the primitive campground next to a lovely creek all to ourselves. Then hiked the remaining 5 miles the next day. There were plenty of water crossings for filtering water. Trail was VERY well marked. Almost overly marked, but I'm not complaining. The scenery and rock formations were beautiful. We had to constantly remind ourselves we were in Kansas. Walking through some of the big rock formation corridors reminded us of the movie Labyrinth. Very cool.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked through last weekend with my son and a good friend.I have hiked parts of it other times too it is a great trail well marked good hammock camping spots!

Fell in love with this trail. One of the best marked trails I have ever been on and very well maintained. Will be returning to this one. Beautiful trail.

You would never think you are in Kansas. This is a awesome trail. We started at the state park side this is the most aggressive part I would say miles 1-4 are the toughest but also very scenic. Day 1 we made it to the 12 mile marker we then back tracked a couple miles to a water source to filter some bottles. Day 2 we hiked out from the about 10 1/2 to the parking lot. We averaged about 1 1/2 to 2 miles a hour. If you are planning to filter water it is very limited from about 1 to 7 keep plenty on you and filter any time you came. It is a very cool trail but can be taxing. We saw deer, coyote, snakes pheasant many birds. I highly recommend pants not shorts.

backpacking
2 months ago

Started at the east trailhead and hiked in about 4 miles and then back to around the 2.5 mile mark where there is a nice camping spot with a bench overlooking the lake. Camped one night and then hiked out the next morning. Great trail with very unique terrain for Kansas. Excellent trail markings. Poison ivy everywhere - would not recommend wearing shorts. Did not find any water (other than the lake) for filtering in the first 4 miles, however I had made a water drop down an access road around mile 3 - worked great, but the road was very rough (would recommend 4x4). Take bug spray! Mosquito swarms close to the lake.

Our hike got cut short due to high water on 6/6/15, however, the tall grass at the beginning of the trail had been recently cut so we had no problems with ticks (plus being prepared). Last time here in 2012 (no GPS then) the grass was tall and didn't realize the ticks until we got back to the car.

backpacking
2 months ago

I hiked /backpacked the whole 15 miles over labor day weekend 2016.There are several tent and hammock friendly camp sites along the way. Fresh water is only accessible at a few creek crossings..I would not suggest the lake water. The ledges and rocks are the highlight of the trail..would probably be best hiking in fall or spring...over all a good experience.

backpacking
2 months ago

Good time went over father's day weekend. Had plenty of places to get water.

hiking
2 months ago

My favorite trail in Kansas! It is beautiful. Photos can not capture the true essence. A must-see.

mountain biking
2 months ago

Had to go one more time. Had to take two other people with to enjoy it with me.

Good hike! Lots of things to see

mountain biking
3 months ago

This was my 1st time on a trail with my new mountain bike. Great trail, well marked, and the views were beautiful!!
Ready to do it again soon!

backpacking
3 months ago

Overgrown with grass. Is not maintained. Left covered in seed ticks after having to walk through all the overgrown grass. There was also poison ivy all over the trail and right in the path you had to walk on. I will not be going back. I am miserable from all the tick bites.

hiking
3 months ago

So......this is a beautiful place, but be forewarned that they are not maintained trails. You must walk through very tall grass, with lots of poison ivy and other things to get into the pretty part of the trail. I would definitely come prepared with long pants and shirts, lots of bug spray, and poison ivy soap. We will be back when we are more prepared, but could t even make it in 10 minutes before we turned around. Definitely learned a lesson!!!

backpacking
4 months ago

Just completed the full trail.

Thru hike with some incredible views for the first 4 miles. After that it is pretty heavily wooded until you reach the river, in which there isn't much to see.

I brought a water purifier and a 3l camelback. I'm glad I did because the lack of easily accessible fresh water sources was amazing. Throughout the entire 15 miles I came across 6 adequate water resupply creeks.

500ml of water every 2 miles in 100 degree heat was not enough and I was very dehydrated.

With that being said this is an excellent double digit trail that is easily marked. the 9.5 break where there is an entry point is sort of confusing. I'll be back. Next time with more water and probably in the winter!