Wilson Lake, Kansas, USA
Also known as: Wilson Reservoir
Nicknamed the “Clearest Lake in Kansas”, Wilson Lake is located in the heart of the Smoky Hills of central Kansas. This reservoir is an unexpected jewel in the wide, flat expanse of the Kansas prairie. Wilson Lake is conveniently located just five miles north of Interstate 70 in the Saline River Valley. Wilson Reservoir, State Park and Wildlife Area offer diverse recreational activities to please all visitors….
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Welcome to the ultimate guide to Wilson Lake! Article topics include:
- All About Wilson Lake
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Things to Do
- Known Fish Species
- Wilson Lake Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Wilson Lake Gifts
Looking for Wilson Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.
All About Wilson Lake, KS
Nicknamed the “Clearest Lake in Kansas”, Wilson Lake is located in the heart of the Smoky Hills of central Kansas. This reservoir is an unexpected jewel in the wide, flat expanse of the Kansas prairie. Wilson Lake is conveniently located just five miles north of Interstate 70 in the Saline River Valley.
Wilson Reservoir, State Park and Wildlife Area offer diverse recreational activities to please all visitors. Hunting is permitted on 8,120 acres, in season. Game animals include pheasant, quail, prairie chicken, whitetail and muledeer, turkey, waterfowl and rabbit. If you hunt for fur, there’s opossum, raccoon, muskrat, coyote, bobcat, beaver and even mink.
If fishing is more your sport, you’ve come to the right lake. Wilson Lake proudly holds state records for smallmouth bass, striped bass, and walleye. The channel and flathead catfish grow quite large here, but it’s the striped bass that are the biggest fish, weighing in at over forty pounds.
Five campgrounds around Wilson Lake offer plenty of camping. The Corps of Engineers manages Lucas, Miinooka and Sylvan Parks. The other two campgrounds, Wilson State Park and Otoe State Park, are handled by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. User fees are collected for camping in parks that the Corps of Engineers operate. These are all level campsites; many feature electrical hookups, lantern hanging posts, picnic tables and fire rings. Showers, dump stations, playgrounds and fish cleaning stations are located in most parks.
Peak boating season runs from April 1st to November 1st. Wilson Lake marinas offer pontoon boat rentals, gas, groceries, and bait.
For hikers, there’s a trail that leads to an adventure unique to Wilson Lake. The Rocktown Hiking Trail is in the western section of Lucas Park. Rocktown is a 305 acre area that is registered as a Natural and Scientific Area and you’ve got to see it to believe it. After hiking a couple of miles along the trail, visitors are confronted with massive red sandstone rock outcroppings that tower 15 to 30 feet into the air. This gives a distinct impression of a city skyline, thus the name – Rocktown.
Things to Do at Wilson Lake
These are some activities in the Wilson Lake, KS area visitors can enjoy:
- Vacation Rentals
- Wildlife Viewing
- State Park
What Kind of Fish Are in Wilson Lake?
Wilson Lake has been known to have the following fish species:
- Black Bass
- Flathead Catfish
- Smallmouth Bass
- Striped Bass
Find Places to Stay at Wilson Lake
If you’re considering a Wilson Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
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More Sites to Book a Wilson Lake Vacation
Our interactive Wilson Lake lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with Booking.com, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:
Wilson Lake Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
Surface Area: 9,020 acres
Shoreline Length: 100 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,515 feet
Average Depth: 24 feet
Maximum Depth: 65 feet
Water Volume: 235,000 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1964
Drainage Area: 1,917 sq. miles
Trophic State: Mesotrophic-eutrophic
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