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Established Camping

Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area

About

US Army Corps of Engineers

Big Hill Lake

Overview

Mound Valley is located on the crystal clear Big Hill Lake in southeast Kansas. The lake boasts three campgrounds, three equestrian trails and four day-use areas for the public to enjoy. Camping, picnicking, horseback riding, hiking, swimming, fishing and other outdoor activities abound.

Recreation

Campers can venture onto several hiking and equestrian trails including Big Hill Lake Horse Trail, a 17-mile trail with a variety of terrain for all ages to explore. The trail winds along a scenic hardwood ridge that offers gorgeous views all along the way. Big Hill Lake is known as a trophy lake for fishing. Principal species of sport fish include largemouth bass, crappie, channel and flathead catfish, bluegill, walleye and smallmouth bass. The lake is also popular for fishing tournaments. Almost all of the land around the lake is open to public hunting, except for parks and areas around the dam and control structures. Principal species hunted are whitetail deer, turkey and squirrel. Families with kids will enjoy visiting the sand-covered beach nearby for cooling off from the summer heat and enjoying a picnic.

Facilities

Campers can venture onto several hiking and equestrian trails including Big Hill Lake Horse Trail, a 17-mile trail with a variety of terrain for all ages to explore. The trail winds along a scenic hardwood ridge that offers gorgeous views all along the way. Big Hill Lake is known as a trophy lake for fishing. Principal species of sport fish include largemouth bass, crappie, channel and flathead catfish, bluegill, walleye and smallmouth bass. The lake is also popular for fishing tournaments. Almost all of the land around the lake is open to public hunting, except for parks and areas around the dam and control structures. Principal species hunted are whitetail deer, turkey and squirrel. Families with kids will enjoy visiting the sand-covered beach nearby for cooling off from the summer heat and enjoying a picnic.

Natural Features

The park is nestled in the rolling, wooded countryside that is referred to as the Little Ozarks. With thick oak-hickory forests surrounded by prairie and farmland, the lake shore supplies a variety of habitats for birds and mammals.

contact_info

This location has limited staffing. Please call (620) 336-2741 for general information.

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Location

Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area is located in Kansas

Detail location of campground

Directions

From Cherryvale, Kansas, take U.S. Highway 169 and turn east onto Main Street. Continue through the town and turn right onto Olive Street. Go 1/2 a block and turn left onto County Route 5000. Proceed 4.5 miles to Big Hill Lake and follow signs to Mound Valley.

Address

19065 CHERRYVALE PKWY
Cherryvale, KS 67335-0426

Coordinates

37.2694444 N
95.4583333 W

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Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Unknown
  • Verizon
    Unknown
  • AT&T
    Unknown
  • T-Mobile
    Unknown

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • RV Sites
  • Standard (Tent/RV)
  • Group

Features

For Campers

  • Trash
  • Firewood Available
  • Drinking Water
  • Electric Hookups
  • Toilets
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Fires

For Vehicles

  • Sanitary Dump
  • Sewer Hookups
  • Water Hookups
  • Big Rig Friendly

Reviews

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5 Stars

4 Stars

3 Stars

2 Stars

1 Star

58%
29%
15%
0%
0%

4.5

out of 5

7 Reviews

JThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Apr. 18, 2023

Corps Hideaway.

Park hidden away. Spots can be a bit narrow for bigger rigs but not too bad Some gorgeous spots.

Site24
Month of VisitMay
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by John R., April 18, 2023
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by John R., April 18, 2023
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by John R., April 18, 2023
  • (7) View All
Levi H.
Reviewed Mar. 21, 2023

Clean, Spacious & Weekenders Paradise

Stayed 22 days in Site 21 in the NLOO Loop, close to bathrooms, in July and August 2022. No Showers in this loop so beware. Bathrooms were clean. Showers in the other two loops were always clean and rarely used. 

I was working in the area, so I needed to stay an extra eight days beyond the COE 14-day limit. Ranger was easy going and granted me an extra 10 days no problem. 

This place is pretty busy with locals on the weekends between June and August. Completely clears out Sunday evening and it is mostly dead empty until around Thursday. Clearly a popular camping spot for people in the region, but really didn't see a lot of out-of-county or even out-of-state tags camped. 

Cherryvale is about 6 miles west of the lake and has a Dollar General and Casey's Convenience Store as well as a Redbox, and Parsons is about 20 minutes northeast of here if you need something more substantial than DG or Casey's offers. 

My AT&T signal didn't work here at all until I set up my WeBoost.

Site21
Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by Levi H., March 21, 2023
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by Levi H., March 21, 2023
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by Levi H., March 21, 2023
FThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed May. 12, 2022

Clean campground

Clean campground but it was way too well maintained as far as it being very out in the open, there were no woods around us for our campsite so the wind almost knocked our tent over. But it was a very pleasant one night stay! Loved being so close to a little pond and lake. My toddler loved watching the fish

Sitesite S-1
Month of VisitJune
  • Play button icon
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by Falon B., May 12, 2022
Kristen
Reviewed Sep. 30, 2021

Awesome

My family camps here throughout the year. Love getting together and enjoying nature and the scenery at big hill.

Site52
Month of VisitOctober
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by Kristen , September 30, 2021
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by Kristen , September 30, 2021
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by Kristen , September 30, 2021
  • (6) View All
NThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2021

Take a Walk on the Quiet Side

.• 74 Sites Electric(50 amp service avail) 

• 8 Non electric

• Full hookups

•$14-$76

• Pull thrus

• Reservations accepted 877-444-6777

• Beach

• Boat ramp

• Drinking water

• Dump station

• Restrooms/showers

• Pit toilets

• Swimming Beach

• Water sites 

Peak Season March 26, 2021- November 01, 2021 

Out of Season(No Booking Available) November 01, 2021- March 26, 2022

FEES$14-$74

Located on Bill Hill Lake outside of Cherryvale, Kansas and set in the gently rolling prairie with a large scattering of trees. The area considers itself as Kansas “Little Ozarks.” It is a beautifully serene setting dotted with campgrounds and day use areas. The Big Hill Lake is a reservoir and holds 1,240 acres of water with 367 acres available for use by the public. The park is nestled in the rolling, wooded countryside with thick oak-hickory forests surrounded by prairie and farmland, the lake shore supplies a variety of habitats for birds and mammals. Mound Valley offers a relaxing atmosphere with plenty of trees for shade, and the lake is only a short walk away from the campsites. Campers can venture onto several hiking and equestrian trails including Big Hill Lake Horse Trail, a 17-mile trail with a variety of terrain for all ages to explore. The trail winds along a scenic hardwood ridge that offers gorgeous views all along the way. Big Hill Lake is known as a trophy lake for fishing. Principal species of sport fish include largemouth bass, crappie, channel and flathead catfish, bluegill, walleye and smallmouth bass. The lake is also popular for fishing tournaments. Almost all of the land around the lake is open to public hunting, except for parks and areas around the dam and control structures. Principal species hunted are whitetail deer, turkey and squirrel. Families with kids will enjoy visiting the sand-covered beach nearby for cooling off from the summer heat and enjoying a picnic.  Campers can venture onto several hiking and equestrian trails including Big Hill Lake Horse Trail, a 17-mile trail with a variety of terrain for all ages to explore. The trail winds along a scenic hardwood ridge that offers gorgeous views all along the way. Big Hill Lake is known as a trophy lake for fishing. Principal species of sport fish include largemouth bass, crappie, channel and flathead catfish, bluegill, walleye and smallmouth bass. The lake is also popular for fishing tournaments. Almost all of the land around the lake is open to public hunting, except for parks and areas around the dam and control structures. Principal species hunted are whitetail deer, turkey and squirrel. Families with kids will enjoy visiting the sand-covered beach nearby for cooling off from the summer heat and enjoying a picnic. 

Getting Here Latitude 37° 16' 9.9998" N Longitude 95° 27' 29.9999" W From Cherryvale, Kansas, take U.S. Highway 169 and turn east onto Main Street. Continue through the town and turn right onto Olive Street. Go 1/2 a block and turn left onto County Route 5000. Proceed 4.5 miles to Big Hill Lake and follow signs to Mound Valley. 

Contact Information Mailing Address 19065 CHERRYVALE PKWY CHERRYVALE, KS 67335-0426 Phone Number For campground inquiries, please call: 620-328-2050 

Need to Know• Alcoholic beverages are prohibited within the Mound Valley Swimming Beach Area• Flush toilets and showers are closed outside of the reservation season, however vault toilets are available in the north loop• Don't Move Firewood: 

Protect your forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it on-site. Visit Dontmovefirewood.org for further information. Upon arrival at Big Hill Lake a visitor may choose from a plethora of fun activities. Camping with and without electricity, boat launches, ball field, swimming beach and so much more. For trails you will find the Big Hill Lake Horse Trail which surrounds¾ of the lake and is 17 miles long. It provides a variety of terrain for all ages. The trail provides amazing views and riders will enjoy tethering areas and three parking areas along the trail. The parking areas are equipped with limited facilities that can be used for overnight camping by the trail riders. Riders will have the opportunity for wildlife viewing. For those that wish to hike you will find the Ruth Nixon Memorial Trail. The trail enjoys blue bird houses that were set in honor or Ruth Nixon. It is about one mile and offers the hikers the chance to observe local wildlife. The scenery along the way is spectacular. This trail links the Overlook Day Use Area and Cherryvale Recreation Area. There are rest areas along the way so take advantage of those inviting stops to enjoy the lake views and just take in the scenery. 

Big Hill Lake is one of the clearest lakes in Kansas and considered a trophy fishing lake. Sport fish include largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, channel and flathead catfish, bluegill, walleye and sunfish. Hunters will find about 800 acres of project land that is managed for wildlife. Game species are large and varied around Big Hill Lake. Hunters will find bob white quail, rabbit, grey and fox squirrels, mourning dove, migratory waterfowl, wild turkey and white tailed deer. Hunters may also utilize another 1350 acres of land located about½ mile from the project. Wildflowers are in abundance in the spring and fall along with the beautiful trees such as persimmon, osage orange, redbud and dogwood. 

Swimming on the sandy beaches along the lake is a joy. Alcohol is not allowed on the beach area. Glass containers are also not allowed on the beach or in the water. Boats that are propelled by a motor of any kind or a sailboat must be numbered and registered with the state of Kansas or legally registered with another state. The Cherryvale area present day is a farming/ranching rural area with Friday night football the big excitement. 

In the 19th century Kansas was a bloody place. Before the “Civil War” you would have different groups battling for control. After the civil war the pioneers began their westward journey through the many trails that crossed the plains. In 1870 a group of five families settled in western Labette County. Cherryvale had not been established. This group stands out because of one particular family. The Bender family, a normal– mother– father– son– daughter from Germany. John Bender, Sr., his wife Ma Bender, son John, Jr. and daughter Kate. Now I am not going to get involved in their story but I will touch on some of the highlights and let you know the story includes an inn, a store, a hammer, a trap door, lonely single male travelers, haunted property and the only place where a mass murder is celebrated by a state historical marker. Google the Bender family in Kansas and enjoy a bit of the old west.

LNT

Better than when you found it

Stay safe– Happy Travels

Month of VisitSeptember
Kimberly P.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Apr. 23, 2021

A nice quite stop worth the drive

We stopped here on our way to Kentucky from Colorado. It was easy to find with well paved roads into the camp. Water and power hook ups all worked well. The mornings we're very peaceful here and a walk around the lake was a great way to wake up. The dump station was easy to access, clean and well maintained. Camp hosts were friendly and kept the sites clean. Dogs were welcomed and the fishing was great.

Site11
Month of VisitApril
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by Kimberly P., April 23, 2021
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by Kimberly P., April 23, 2021
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by Kimberly P., April 23, 2021
  • (4) View All
Larry M.
Reviewed Jul. 6, 2020

A treasure in Kansas!

We are new to RV’ing, so my experience is somewhat limited, but this was a very nice campground and I couldn’t imagine how it could get much better. Compared to the few other lakes we’ve stayed at, this campground it very nicely developed with electric and water hook ups in just the right spots, and a really nice area with a picnic table, bbq grill and nice ring with an additional cooking grate in each spot. The whole camp was very cleaned and maintained and the park ranger was very accessible. We had a great time. The only reason I don’t give it 5 stars is because there was fairly limited shore access in the campground we stayed in, which was Mound Valley North Loop. Otherwise it was perfect.

Edit 10.11.20:

I wanted to edit my prior review and add a star. We ended up going to Big Hill 3 times this year, and several other state parks and campgrounds, and Big Hill is our favorite. My original title was correct, a treasure in Kansas.

  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by Larry M., July 6, 2020
  • Review photo of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area by Larry M., July 6, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area have RV hookups?

According to TheDyrt.com, Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area has water hookups and sewer hookups.

What is the elevation of Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area?

Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area is located at 885 feet.

What is the max vehicle length at Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area?

Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area allows vehicles up to 90 feet.

Are fires allowed at Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area?

Yes, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, fires are allowed at Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area, although make sure to check current fire restrictions in the area.

Does Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area have wifi?

No, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area does not have wifi.

How hard is it to get a campsite at Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area?

Some campers book as far as 6 months in advance, so on high-demand weekends it can be very difficult to get a campsite at Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area. If you want to get a last-minute campsite at Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area, try setting up a text message Alert at TheDyrt.com/alerts

Why is it so hard to get a campsite at Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area?

There are 84 campsites at Big Hill Lake Mound Valley Recreation Area and over 80 million Americans who camp! Try snagging a cancellation by setting up a text message Alert at TheDyrt.com/alerts