Eisenhower State Park is a 1785 acre tract of land located at 29810 South Fairlawn Road in Osage City, Kansas. It is situated on the Eastern half of the Flint Hills which are contained in Southern Osage County. Boasting 18 miles of hiking/biking trails, horse shoe pits, a sand volleyball court and boat rentals, this area has something to do for everybody in the family. It is also named after the only President who hails from this great state: Dwight D. Eisenhower.
For campers, there are 187 campsites available for use along with 5 shower houses as well. These are all of the utility style, meaning that there are water and power supplies at each location. For people who prefer the more rustic lifestyle, there are also non-utility spots that can be used for “primitive” camping. Horse lovers can also reserve one of 15 campsites designed especially for equestrian purposes, containing water/electricity hookups along with single corrals. Finally, there are also group sites which must include at least 5 units when reserving these areas. Campers are eligible to stay at this site for two weeks at a time. There is more information on their website, by email or by phone. Interested parties can call 785-528-4102 to reach the park office. Other amenities include a souvenir shop, kayak rental and laundry facilities as well.
A few other specialty items worth mentioning here are Ike’s Shelterhouse, Mamie’s Cabin and 4 new modern style cabins that are available for lease. These are designed for people who want to get away, but don’t like being without much of the modern conveniences. Ike’s General Store is the place to pay any campground fees that have accrued, purchase souvenirs and check out games. It can be found at the Doud campground in order to take care of these particular needs.
Eisenhower State Park is the end result of a man-made project designed to control the flooding that commonly occurred at the Marais des Cygnes River basin. Along with the large tract of land that was set aside for the park, the state also cares for a 10,400 acre area for wildlife. It is here at Melvern Lake that offers many excellent fishing spots from land or by boat. The vast 6930 surface area has enough room for vessels of any kind. Walleye, White Bass and Crappies are just some of the varieties of fish that anglers can expect to catch here. There are two large boat ramps to easily access the water, and enough parking to accommodate the towing vehicles. Boat rental as well as fishing licenses can be obtained at the park office.
This is one state park that does not rest on its laurels. Frequent visitors will be pleasantly surprised when returning from a prior vacation. There is always something new being planned that will make the campsite better. The opportunities afforded by tourists are varied and many. One of the latest projects that has been completed by the management and staff is the upgraded trail system. More projects are planned for the near future, designed to make the park more appealing to current visitors and attractive to potential guests too.
On the west half of the park, there are opportunities for hunting by shotgun or bow and arrow. This area has not seen the type of development as with the Eastern half of the area and remains open to exploration all year long. Of course wildlife have found a refuge here, as the delicate ecosystems which they need to survive have not been disturbed by the intrusion of the human element. The only testimonial to man’s involvement here is the Crooked Knee horse trails which runs for a length of twenty miles in many areas of the park.
Eisenhower State Park is one of the best values in the Kansas state system, and makes for a great getaway, family vacation or reunion spot. It is able to accommodate large groups, single persons and even horses at the many campsites that are offered here. With the many hiking/biking/horse trails on the premises, vacationers can choose from a great number of interesting activities to do and see. For more information, prospective visitors can contact the park office at 785-528-4102.