Elk City Lake is located about 5 miles northwest of Independence, Kansas, and is well known among fishermen and hunters. Elk City Lake is also a great place for boaters, swimmers, skiers, and sightseers to come and enjoy nature.
Elk City Lake offers three attractive park areas with picnicking and camping sites, both with and without electricity. The parks also include swimming areas, boat launching ramps, water hydrants, sanitary facilities, showers, fireplaces, playgrounds, and group shelters.
Elk City Lake offers excellent opportunities for fishing. Principal species of sport fish found in the lake include white crappie, wipers, white bass, largemouth bass, saugeye, channel catfish, flathead, and various sunfish. Fishing tournaments are welcome on the lake; for more information or to schedule a fishing tournament call the Project Office. An application should be filled out for each tournament. State regulations also apply at the lake; a complete list of regulations is available at the project office.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks has a license to approximately 12,240 acres of project area for wildlife management and public hunting. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees 1,600 acres for wildlife purposes. Almost all areas are open for public hunting except around the dams, parks, and control structures. For a map of the public hunting areas, contact the project office or the Wildlife and Parks office. Primary species hunted are whitetail deer, turkey, quail, and squirrel.
The lake is also well known for its six scenic trails. These trails meander through the colorful oak and hickory forest surrounding the lake and lead the hiker through some of the most interesting rock formations in Kansas. The trails range from a 15-mile scenic trek to a one-mile, all-weather/handicap accessible trail. The trails offer spectacular opportunities for nature enthusiasts to view various wildlife species and enjoy wonderful views. The Elk River Hiking Trail was rated as the best hiking trail in Kansas by "Backpacker" magazine in 2006 and was also a nominee in the Kansas Sampler Foundation's 2010 "8 Wonders of Kansas" geography contest.
The staff at Elk City Lake wants you to have a safe and enjoyable visit. Your safety is important to us, and we hope to see you soon.