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This was one of our favorite Kansas State Parks. At the end of May, it was almost empty. We had our pick of sites. We got a prime tree shaded spot on the water. In fairness, most sites are on the water or have a water view. Spectacular sunsets.
There was only 1 small bath house open while we were there, but it was clean and the shower was hot. It was one of those push button kind that only stayed on for a min. Not a problem to just keep pushing.
We road bikes, but the cold spring winds made kayaking impossible. In the summer, I can see why this place would be a fun destination. Swimming, boating, fishing, horses, archery, wide open spaces.
The roads within the park are not the best. Also, online reservations must be made 48 hrs in advance, otherwise, its day by day.
This was our first location as full time RVers and it was such a fun experience. There are kayaks and canoes to rent, there is a great marina, fishing, and tons of water access opportunities for private kayaks. The people are friendly and so fun! Truly a great place to come camp.
Cons: showers are either dirty or out of service, no bathroom in some campgrounds aside from a portapotty.
General: In addition to a campground, this county park has so much to offer including a seven-mile paved path around Lake Shawnee, disc golf, a heated fishing dock, softball complex, golf course, boat ramps, tennis courts, playground, picnic shelters, arboretum, and the Ted Ensley Gardens. The office was open until 7 pm so check-in was a breeze and the staff very friendly and welcoming.
Sites/Facilities: The campground itself has 119 sites, situated on a peninsula jutting into the lake. All have water and electric (some 30 amp and some 50 amp). Many have views of the lake but unfortunately, they are all back-in and stacked up very close to each other so there is no privacy between sites. Our site (96) was on the end, so we had privacy on one side but could easily hear people in neighboring sites. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. The fee is very reasonable ($20 or$18 for seniors).
Activities: I saw people fishing in the lake, there is a nice playground, and there is a paved path around the lake which made for a nice walk.
Restrooms: There are two restroom/shower/laundry facilities that were very clean (they had been cleaned by the time I went in at 7:30 am).
Conclusion: You are not far from downtown Topeka so you will hear road noise and the occasional siren, but this campground and all facilities are a nice oasis near an urban area. I definitely recommend visiting the Ted Ensley gardens while there (no additional admission, by donation only).
We stayed for a month in 2020 and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Owners and staff are very helpful and we’re always available to us. Gated campground was a great peace of mind feature for my husband, whom I’ve dubbed Captain Safety.
Staying 2 weeks and couldn't have been more pleased! Website is little to no help unless visiting in peak season, but the camp hosts and park rangers are the tops. Visiting in non peak is as easy as driving in, finding a spot and paying your fees. Full bath houses, disc golf, archery range, a d an abundance of hiking all around the camps.
The outlet area below Melvern Reservoir has been our favorite camp site for over 35 years. Full service campground, laundromat at each shower house, plenty of shade, and lots of fishing. My husband is known as Fred the Fisherman. The only problem is that it's very hard to get reservations, as they fill up fast. Good luck!
Northwest of Burlington, Kansas, you'll find a quiet campsite along the east side of the Neosho River, just below the John Redmond Reservoir Dam.