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part ofWilson Lake, US Army Corps of Engineers
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates


Sylvan Park Campground is located below the dam at Wilson Lake in the wide open spaces of central Kansas.

A few campsites overlook the Saline River exiting the dam, while a handful of other sites overlook the Old Saline River channel.

Natural Features:

Wilson lake, known as the "clearest lake in Kansas," is located in the Smoky Hills of North Central Kansas--a rolling landscape of hills, buttes and hazy valleys.

Also known as Post Rock Country, the area contains thousands of miles of stone fenceposts and buildings that have been constructed out of the area's local limestone.

This and other unique geologic formations and mixed grass prairie lands provide an excellent scenic backdrop for recreation around the lake.


Boating is the most popular pastime on the lake, with plenty of room for water skiing, wake boarding, jet skiing, sailing and more.

The high salinity content of the Saline River makes drinking and irrigation difficult without special treatment, but it aids the stocking of ocean-native Striped Bass, which have been known to reach enormous sizes in Wilson Lake.

This and many other game fish species have been enhanced by a stocking program conducted by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Walleye, Large and Smallmouth bass can be found in abundance in the lake, as well as White bass, channel and flathead catfish.

Several trails are available to visitors, including the Bur Oak Nature Trail located in Sylvan Park. This 3/4 mile nature walk is a self guided interpretive trail, that has many interpretive stations along the path.

Wilson Lake also offers hunting opportunities for a variety of game animals, including pheasant, quail, prairie chicken, whitetail deer, turkey, waterfowl and rabbit.


Sylvan Park Campground offers 27 reservable modern campsites, along with an 8-site group camp area and large group picnic shelter that can accommodate up to 50 guests.

Most campsites offer sweeping views of the surrounding prairie, in addition to a handful of sites which offer a beautiful view of the Saline River.

Access to hiking trails and a boat ramp make exploring the area convenient for visitors, while others looking to stay closer to the campground can enjoy an on-site sand volleyball court and playground.

Nearby Attractions:

Wilson State Park, also located on the south side of the lake, offers additional recreation opportunities, as well as Lucas and Minooka Parks.

Visitors can check out the nearby town of Lucas, known for its unique artistic spirit and attractions, or experience the rich historical heritage of Wilson, Kansas and other surrounding communities.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Birding
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boating
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Electric Hookups
  • Entrance Station
  • Fishing
  • Flush Toilets
  • Gatehouse
  • Hiking
  • Horseshoe Pit
  • Hunting
  • Jet Skiing
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Playground
  • Showers
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Trails
  • Vault Toilets
  • Visitor Center
  • Volleyball
  • Wildlife Viewing
Know Before You Go
  • Off-road vehicles are not permitted
  • Sites may be available on a first come, first served basis outside of the reservation window
  • Limit of one RV and one tent or two tents per camp pad
  • Don't Move Firewood: Protect your forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it on-site. Visit Dontmovefirewood.org for further information.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
38.96833, -98.49167
38°58'6"N, 98°29'30"W

From Interstate 70, north of Wilson, Kansas, take exit 206 and turn north onto Highway 232. Continue for 8 miles, then turn right onto Highway 181 and follow signs to the campground.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:


Phone Number:

Project Office: (785)658-2551
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Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration