Considered one of the most beautiful state parks in Kansas, Crawford State Park lies along the edge of the Ozarks about 120 miles south of Kansas City. This serene area – wildflowers, grasslands and oak-hickory woodlands surrounding historic Lake Crawford – is located only 9 miles North of Girard.
Lake Crawford was formed during the 1930s when a dam was erected on the West Fork of Drywood Creek by Civilian Conservation Corps workers. Today Crawford State Park features historic structures and markers from that time as well as a memorial that honors the men of the CCC.
Swimming, boating, water skiing, fishing, camping, hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, and bird watching are popular activities here, especially during the summer. And in addition to lake activities, guests also enjoy exploring the trails, dining at the Marina, spending a few nights in one of the deluxe cabins, and stargazing.
Pack your overnight bags and come spend a few relaxing days (and nights) inside Crawford State Park. The park’s day use area features pavilions, shelters, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, a playground, and a restaurant.
This restaurant, located at the Marina, offers delicious meals and convenience items Fridays through Sundays.
The park also features special programming such as nature talks, stargazing, and campground entertainment.
Here are some more activities that you can do during your visit to Crawford State Park:
Boating at Crawford State Park
Picturesque Lake Crawford, formed by a dam built on the West Fork of Drywood Creek, offers guests plenty of summer time enjoyment. Guests may canoe, kayak, sail, jet ski, water ski, and more along this beautiful lake. The park provides a boat dock and ramp for easy access to the lake.
Swimming at Crawford State Park
Swim, float, snorkel, and scuba dive in the beautiful waters inside Crawford State Park. Lake Crawford’s beach area and refreshing water temps are inviting during the summer. Picnic areas, a playground, restaurant, and restrooms help round out your perfect summer vacation.
Hiking at Crawford State Park
Serene Crawford State Park’s trails wind through grasslands and an oak-hickory forest near the edge of the Ozarks.
Visitors to this peaceful area will be greeted by redbud trees in the spring and colorful leaves during the fall.
Here are a couple of the trails at Crawford State Park:
- Spider Leg Trail – Easy 0.5 mile trail that winds through the woodlands along the northern end of the lake. This trail, named for an historic railroad bridge, guides visitors along with signs and information related to the military outpost that once existed here.
- Deer Run Nature Trail – A moderate 0.75 mile trail that leads through the woodlands on the east side of the dam. This trail is ADA accessible and features interpretive signs plus opportunities for viewing a variety of wildlife.
Biking at Crawford State Park
Love to ride? You’ll enjoy exploring the 7 mile Drywood Creek Mountain Bike Trail inside Crawford State Park. This trail, open year round, offers a challenging ride with many hills, twists and turns as it follows a pathway around the lake.
Fishing at Crawford State Park
Peaceful Crawford State Park is a great place to spend the day fishing. Here guests have a chance to catch striped bass, channel catfish, and crappie from a boat, shore, or fishing pier. If you plan to fish during your visit be sure to pick up a Kansas Fishing License ahead of time.
Birding at Crawford State Park
Grab your binoculars and take a leisurely walk through the grass, fields, thickets, and along the lake. Here you will discover ducks, geese, Indigo Buntings, Northern Cardinals, Yellow-breasted Chats, Bell’s Vireos, Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, Field Sparrows, and many more.
Nature and Wildlife at Crawford State Park
Beautiful Crawford State Park lies along the edge of the Ozarks where redbud trees bloom in the spring and the leaves change color in the fall. The oak-hickory forest and surrounding grasslands attract many butterflies, birds, white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits, and squirrels.
If you’re lucky you may also observe a broadhead skink or prairie lizard as you walk along the trails leading through the woodlands. Other types of wildlife sometimes seen throughout the park are foxes, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, and opossums.
Pets at Crawford State Park
Pets are allowed at Crawford State Park but must be supervised and restrained (hand held leash, camper, or cage) at all times during your visit. Pets are not allowed on the beach or inside park buildings. Service animals are not considered pets.
Camping at Crawford State Park
Crawford State Park features 6 campgrounds with a variety of campsites and 5 deluxe cabins, all with amazing views of the lake. The park offers 28 primitive sites, 38 electric only sites, and 45 campsites with both electric and water hookups spread among its 6 campgrounds. The Lakeview Group Use area also has 10 campsites with electric hookups.
The 5 deluxe lakefront cabins offer guests many of the comforts of home with fully equipped kitchens, bathroom with shower, and heat/air conditioning. Each cabin also has a stove, refrigerator, microwave, pots and pans, dishes, utensils, coffee maker, and a toaster. Guests do need to bring their own linens, towels, and toiletries. These cabins are available to reserve year round.
All campsites and cabins have a picnic table, grill, and fire ring. Restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, a restaurant, and a dump station are also available for guests within the park.
Crawford State Park
1 W Lake Road
Farlington, KS 66734
Here is a short YouTube video with some drone footage of Crawford State Park:
Leave A Comment