Cheney State Park consumes 1,900 acres of land, split into two area along the south side of the Cheney Reservoir. Cheney Reservoir has been rated as one of the top sailing lakes in the United States and draws thousands of visitors from all over the country each year. There are over 200 utility-style campsites and seven cabins. The cabins are popular and must be booked well in advance. Along the eastern shore of the reservoir, there is a convenient supply store for fishermen and boaters.
Campgrounds are semi-modern, with modern-style pit toilets in the restrooms. There are nine restrooms with hot showers also. The campground also includes four separate dumping stations, four swimming areas, a shelter house, several picnic areas and several reservation-only sites for day use. Campground sites may be reserved in advance, but there are usually a few utility spots available without one. When planning a trip to this area, it is important to see if there are any events in the area at that time. When major events happen nearby, the campground fills up quickly.
There are several types of fish that are common in the reservoir. Several channel catfish frequently are caught. White bass, striped bass, crappie, walleye and wiper fish are all commonly caught in the water also. Quite a few carp also exist, but are not suitable to keep. A fishing permit must be obtained at the park for out-of-state visitors. Those who have an in-state fishing license already may enjoy fishing there too. Access to the water is plentiful for fishing, with over 20 different boat launch areas. The entire area of the lake comprises 9,500 acres. Handicapped visitors are also encouraged to visit the park and fish, as a handicap-accessible fishing area is also available near the Toadstool Loop Jetty. Hiking and wildlife observation are also activities that visitors enjoy. The Giefer Nature Trail is a quarter-mile long interpretive trail and is a great place for viewing wildlife. One of the most developed hiking areas in the park is the Spring Creek Nature Trail, which is a half-mile stretch with 200 yards of elevated boardwalk above a beaver pond.
There are 5,200 acres of open landscape in the Cheney Wildlife Area next to the park. Nature photographers, hikers and hunters frequent the area. A special refuge is on the land for protected water fowl. During September 15 through March 15, the area is closed. Hunting seasons occur during this time; non-hunters are advised to only enter the area outside of that time frame. Wildlife in the area that are permissible to hunt are pheasant, quail, rabbit, water fowl, deer, turkey and doves. It is important for first-time hunters to check with the state park’s office about the time frames for each hunting season and obtain the proper permits. Hunting without a permit in Kansas is not an offense that is treated lightly. Those who arrive out of season for hunting can still enjoy shooting, but the shooting cannot be at animals. There is a gun range on the north end of the area.
Cheney State Park is easily accessible by well-marked roads. It is located 20 miles west of Wichita. Visitors who come to the area should be aware of the ticks, snakes and wildlife that are commonly encountered while camping. Tent campers should always place food in a cooler or car while it is unattended. Raccoons, badgers, opossums and even an occasional bobcat or fox will get into food supplies while campers are away. They do not attack humans unless provoked. Two threats are also found in this part of Kansas in areas such as this – ticks and snakes. While ticks in the area have a low incidence of causing serious diseases, they can still make a person or pet sick. Bring repellent with DEET and be sure pets have a good tick collar. Rattlesnakes are the only snakes in the area that can cause serious harm. Avoid hiking in rocky areas off the trails, as these are prime locations for rattlesnakes. For more detailed and up-to-date information about the park, contact the park office or visit their website, listed below.
16000 NE 50th St
Cheney, Kansas 67025