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.

I've done this trail several times. I think it is the best in Kansas. It is moderately difficult for the first few miles. The last 5 miles don't really have water access so conserve water. Can have a lot of traffic on holidays but not too much on regular days.

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

backpacking
20 days ago

Had a great day on the trail. Saw several harmless green snakes and awesome views of the area. Trail is well marked and it a great outing. Made five miles in from the east trail head.

Hiked a portion of this trail and camped at about mile 6 from the east trailhead. I was planning to cache some water at mile 9.5 but the trail was flooded on that part.
The first 5 miles is rugged and pretty. it is better to have hiking boots. The temperature was around 82 F which made hiking less pleasant. I think it is better to hike this trail in March and April since it would be cooler and you can find some flowing water for use after filtration (Lake water is not clean enough). Most of the flowing waters were dry. We found just one between mile 4 and 5 that I assume it will be dry in one week.
We saw different animals such as black snakes, armadillos, raccoons, and owls. Only be careful not to step on the snakes. Wearing pants and long sleeve shirt prevents ticks and mosquitos bites.
Road 5200 is a gravel road so it is better to drive on other paths to access trailheads.
Overall, this trail is different from what you expect to see in Kansas and can be a nice experience if you hike in a cool weather.

hiking
1 month ago

Great 9 mile hike today. 4 flooded areas had to go up and around. Do not attempt trail in crappy boots or shoes. About 2 miles of easy hiking the rest was a little more challenging but absolutely beautiful you really forget your in Kansas.

backpacking
1 month ago

great trail for conditioning for longer treks

best trail in Kansad

went with a couple of friends and had a great time! the trail is very well marked and kept with some awesome views. It's reasonably challenging but still very enjoyable. We did 16 miles in a day, approx 8 hours. definitely will be going back!

We tried our hardest to hike the full 15-mile trail but too many portions were flooded. We still got in 10 miles with some off-trail hiking . Beautiful trail. Can't wait to go back and hike the full trail.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was a great place to have river shoes, we crossed over a lot of water on the trails. Overall a great hike.

It's easy to forget you're in Kansas when you're on this trail. The rock outcroppings and the forest-floor smell can convince you you're in the Ozarks or the Rockies. I highly recommend this hike.

backpacking
2 months ago

Stari

We hiked the whole 15 in about 7 hours, including our hour of stops. The trail is beautiful and is very well marked. The mile markers were great, and we loved the stream crossings. If you don't want to do the whole 15, I would suggest parking off of US 160 and hiking to the lot at 9.6. Or, if you only have one vehicle, hiking in 5 miles that way and then turning back. That was my favorite part of the trail. Happy hiking!