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If you are a fan of the Pioneer Woman aka Ree Drummond and love to travel Osage Hills State Park is your camping base. Park is about 45 minutes from the town of Pawhuska where the Mercantile & Pioneer Woman are based.
This state park is not far from where we live so we took a drive to see the foliage and scout out the camping area. There were some nice size sites for our RV, beautiful views, paved roads to push wheelchair around, even the primitive area, although not paved was good for pushing a wheelchair. . There is a large day area for picnics, a nice play ground, pool, trails, even tennis courts and a baseball field. Place to fish and just relax. . Definitely a nice place to get away and relax. My niece and nephews fave campground. . Tall Grass Prairie Preserve is close by as well. The Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve at 39,650 acres is the largest protected piece of tallgrass prairie left on earth. Urban sprawl and conversion to cropland have left this once expansive landscape, originally spanning across 14 states from Texas to Minnesota, at less than 4% of its original size . Take a drive through Tall Grass Prairie and you’ll probably see bison roaming.
Clean campsite. Fire pit had recently been cleaned out. Nice little path down to the water from this spot. Water and electricity available but didn't use this trip. If you hammock camp, the poles on the canopy are perfectly spaced for a great hang. No firewood to buy on premises so pick it up in the near town of Ponca City if you want to light a fire. There is dead wood around as well if you want to source it that way.
The lake is owned and operated by Oklahoma State University. The grounds were well mowed, some of the structures are dated but well cared for. Super-friendly and helpful people at the permit office. The store was closed when we arrived.
The quirky bit is the number of camping spaces that are by annual permit. That means a lot of of the shore line is taken up by permanent campers, weekend campers that leave their rigs, student living and even residents (in campers). The lake being close to Stillwater, it looks like a number of students and such commute from the lake.
None of this was problematic for us, but the level of care each annual permit holder takes on their lot range from pristine to near dilapidated.
We stayed in Beaver Cove and found it to be clean, well-maintained, friendly and quiet. No real privacy buffer between sites, but the spacing was comfortable.
The park ranger made several passes through, even though the campground was only about 1/4 occupied.
Lots of birds, including a resident blue heron the locals named Charlie. Wonderful views of the cove. We stayed in lot 31 and a few large elm trees gave our campsite evening shade.
Nice fire rings and sturdy picnic tables.
All in all, a good stay.
My review is on the review complaining about there not being Mountains because of the photos posted by the lake…..bwhahahaha Ummmmmmm no shit really? no crazy mountains or lil hills in Kansas. I woulda thought wicked witch woulda left some mountains lol but all seriousness you gotta keep going to like colorado to get what your looking for. I actually feel kinda bad if you fell for the image.
As much as I’d LOVE the pictures posted here to be Wellington Lake in Kansas is is not. There are no mountains not even any hills really. I’ve lived in Wellington all my life and have visited, swam, and camped there.
The beach area for swimming is nice and has a playground. It’s roped off so swimmers are safe from boaters. Camping options for tents or camper trailers.
This is a great location, right on the lake with lots of trees. But with our one encounter the camp host was very rude and would not let us park until they cleaned up our area. We were there at our scheduled time and they hadn’t even started. They have a brand new shower house, but it is very nasty and ill maintained.￼ no place to put your clean clothes without getting them wet. This was approximately May 2018. It may have improved by now.￼