Campground Review: Wilson Lake Corps of Engineers Minooka Park

By:  Lisa & Dan Brown

Minooka Park Campground is located on the south side of Wilson Lake in the wide open spaces of central Kansas. Named for the Otoe Indian word meaning "Good Earth," this park offers many campsites with scenic lake views and excellent shoreline access. We walked throughout the whole spacious campground and were treated to a fabulous sunset over the water on the west side.

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 fence posts 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.

Minooka Park Campground offers 159 reservable modern campsites, along with 12-site group camp area and a large group picnic shelter that can accommodate up to 50 guests.

Campsites offer sweeping views of the lake and access to hiking trails and a boat ramp. A sand volleyball court, playground and swimming beach make the area perfect for families. Boating is the most popular pastime on the lake, with plenty of room for water skiing, wake-boarding, sailing, and more.

Several trails are also available to visitors, including the Prairie Fire Trail and Rocktown Trail and Natural Area; both self-guided interpretive trails. We hiked the almost 3 mile the truly amazing Rocktown Trail which led us to a cool surprise that we weren't quite expecting in Kansas!

Visitors may want to explore other nearby recreation areas including Lucas Park and Sylvan Park, as well as Wilson State Park, located on the south side of the lake.

Our Review

Oh my goodness! This Corps of Engineers campground really spoke to our water-loving hearts! The view of Wilson Lake was absolutely amazing. We were parked across the road from the sites that overlooked it. We arrived when it was 95 percent empty and it was total bliss! Had there been other RVs camped there, our views would have been different, however, with what we were given, we were pretty okay with it.

Since we arrived on a Sunday when staff was not manning the check-in, we pulled up the Reserve America reservation site to see which sites were going to be open for the next ten days. We actually dropped our fifth wheel at a parking lot to go scout out some sites to check for size, views and Wi-Fi signal. We found a pull-through that was acceptable in all measures and made our reservation via their Reserve America online reservation system as there was no Camp Host on duty at the time of our check-in.

Just an FYI, it's very busy on weekends with local campers. Lots of partying and may be loud but we found if we get to know our neighbors, we learn about the area, where the good eats are and notable places to visit.

While we were there, we spent an afternoon touring the town of Lucas which is known for its eclectic local art and it's famous S.P. Dinsmoor's 'Garden of Eden'.

We also learned about the Post Rock Scenic Byway (you can click on the link and read our blog!) and got to see the World's Largest Souvenir Plate!

Activities & Amenities

  • ​Beach Access
  • Birding
  • Boat Ramp
  • Boating
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Electric Hookups
  • Entrance Station
  • Fish Cleaning Station
  • Fishing
  • Flush Toilets
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Playground
  • Showers
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Trails
  • Vault Toilets
  • Visitor Center
  • Volleyball Courts
  • Wildlife Viewing

Getting There

From Interstate 70, north of Wilson, Kansas, take exit 199 and turn north on Dorrance Road. Continue for 7 miles and follow signs to the campground.

Campground 411



GPS: 38°55'58"N, 98°34'30"W

Phone: (785) 658-2551

Webpage: Minooka Park

Fee: $9 with Access Pass (Disabled Vet) - $18 for non-pass campers

Length of stay: 10 days

Date(s) of stay: September 2017

Site: #B08 Pull-Through

Utilities: Standard Electric 50 amp and Water.

Dump Station

AOL Rating: 4 stars

*Lisa Brown (Always On Liberty) is a paid contributor to the Heartland Blog. All opinions expressed are her own.*