Rockhaven Park is located on the south side of Clinton Lake, west of the Dam on the Rock Creek Arm of the lake. Rockhaven Park is the trailhead for the South Shore Trails (equestrian and hiking trails on the south side of the lake) and is the only place where equestrians can camp overnight with their horses and mules.
Rockhaven Park, first of all, is an equestrian friendly campground. This is Clinton Lake's only campground that allows overnight camping with horses and mules. Approximately one-third of the campsites are open to non-equestrian campers, but two-thirds of the campsites are strictly for equestrian campers. There is a "day use only" parking lot for those who come to ride or hike for the day, but not stay overnight. Access to the South Shore Trails is located in Rockhaven Park. The main trailhead is on the north side of the campground, which is a short walk or ride from a campsite or the day use parking lot.
Rockhaven Park offers overnight camping for equestrian and non-equestrian campers. There are 48 campsites, 18 which have electrical service. Sixteen campsites (#6-#21) are open to any campers. A total of 32 campsites (#1-#5) and (#22-#48) are for equestrian campers only. The electric sites, #31 - # 48, can be reserved through the Reservation Service. Campsites #1 - #30 are available on a first come, first served basis, and need to be paid at the self-pay station at the entrance to the campground. Rockhaven Park amenities include a waterborne four stall shower/restroom building, a two stall vault toilet, horsehoe pits, picnic shelter, manure bunkers, several corrals, hitching posts and trail access. There are several water hydrants located throughout the campground.
Congress authorized Clinton Lake in 1962, and the finished reservoir was filled in 1980. While the Dam and Reservoir were originally built for flood control, the area has now become a recreational oasis for millions of visitors to enjoy the beautiful green Kansas backdrop. Clinton Lake's beautiful setting of steep bluffs, wooded shoreline and clean water is unequaled among Kansas lakes. Shoreline development has been limited in an effort to preserve as much of the natural setting as possible.
The Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Center, located on the northwest side of the dam, has several informative displays covering topics such as the history of the area, reasons for the dam and the wildlife in the area. The Clinton Lake Museum, located within the Bloomington East Park, has information on the history of the region and the Underground Railroad. The cities of Lawrence and Topeka are within a 30 minute drive.
ADA Access: N
This has been a favorite spot of mine since I was in college. From hauling a 30pk down to the water in my 20's to hiking and exploring this beautiful expansive area in my 30's, I have to admit that Rockhaven is a special place that never disappoints. Now I have yet to camp out here mainly because most of the official campsites are non-primitive, but also we haven't taken the time to clear out our own space off the trail. The trails are fantastic and winding and give you a relaxing hike with a sweat. Until I go find that perfect campsite, I'll rate this a 4 due to my lack of full experience. But don't miss out on these trails and on this hidden gem.