Kanopolis Lake real estate is a rare and desirable commodity in the Midwest. Smoky Hills vistas, unique sandstone rock formations, productive grassland prairies and abundant recreational opportunities drive the popularity of the area and keep real estate opportunities in short supply.
Completed in 1948, Kanopolis Lake Reservoir is part of vast system of flood control lakes in the Kansas River Basin. Each year more than 250,000 people visit the lake and surrounding area to enjoy the numerous outdoor and recreational opportunities. Four developed park areas offer numerous camping and RV locations. Cabins for overnight and weekend rental are available through the State Park. In addition, a number of private residences, weekend retreats and second homes surround Kanopolis Lake.
Fishing: Channel cat, crappie, and wipers are plentiful but Kanopolis Lake is well known for its excellent saugeye, white bass and walleye fishing. Kanopolis Lake offers year-round angling action. Ice fisherman typically find good opportunities for crappie, walleye and white bass when the temperatures drop below freezing. With a special permit you can even fish for trout in Sand Creek, located below the dam. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks stock trout every month of the year between October and March.
Hunting: In addition to nearly 16,000 acres of public hunting land there are several thousands acres of Walk-In Hunting Areas around Kanopolis Lake. The Smoky Hills of Kansas, besides their scenic contribution to the area, offer incredible habit for strong numbers of upland game, whitetail deer and Rio Grande turkeys.
History & Exploration:
- Buffalo Track Canyon Nature Trail – Located in the Horsethief Area at Kanopolis State Park. The .95 mile (one way) trail follows Bison Creek, which once watered buffalo and the wild horses.
- Faris Caves – The hill of Dakota Sandstone was ideal for building a cave house that was easy to mine and offered comfortable climate and protection from the elements. The caves were excavated by Charles Griffee, a miner from Colorado. Griffee built the caves to live in, but after a few years he sold the property to the Faris family who constructed a wooden house nearby. The caves were used as a spring house and a generator room, and for a short period the caves were also used as a school.
- Fort Harker – After the fort closed in 1872, the town of Kanopolis grew around the site. Four of the original sandstone buildings survive as private residences and a museum, operated by the Ellsworth County Historical Society.
- Legacy Trail – Providing a peek at the rich history of the area before the construction of Kanopolis Dam, this self-guided auto tour starts at the Kanopolis Lake Information Center, and travels to 27 historical sites. The complete route is approximately 80 miles. Utilizing existing paved, gravel roads, and graded dirt roads, the time to complete tour will vary, but, it is recommended to allow at least three hours.
- Mushroom Rock State Park – A geologic wonder of Dakota sandstone concretions within a 5-acre park complex. The resulting combination of rocks have a mushroom shape. The unusual shapes caught the imaginations of the Native Americans and pioneers, some of whom have left graffiti in the limestone and sandstone.
- Prairie Dog Town – Within the Horsethief Area of Kanopolis State Park, there is an active prairie dog town. The best time to see the “dogs” is on warm, sunny days.
- Prairie Trail Scenic Byway – “…follow in the steps of Native Americans, explorers and pioneers as they sought food, shelter, adventure and a better life. Early traders followed the nearby Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico, 19th-century cowboys drove cattle along the Chisholm Trail, and huge herds of bison roamed…” CLICK HERE to read more
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