Camping El Dorado State Park in Kansas
Camp Kansas: I’m talking with Tyler today. He is the Park Ranger at Eldorado State Park, down in Kansas. How is it going today, Tyler?
Tyler: Going great, man.
Camp Kansas: So, how long has the park been there, and how did it get its start?
Tyler: In 1984, the park was built from two separate lakes. They built the Eldorado Bank Reservoir Dam, and broke the dam on the other lakes, and they created Eldorado Reservoir. So, in 1984 is when the actual State Park came into existence.
Camp Kansas: Yes, I’m looking here, at Google Maps, and it’s a really unique shape for a park. It looks like it’s a lot of fun. It looks like on the water there’d be a lot of little nooks and crannies to explore.
Tyler: Absolutely. There’s over eight thousand surface acres of water, so there’s a whole lot of water sport-based activities that go on here.
Camp Kansas: And which ones of those are the most popular?
Tyler: Skiing. Jet skiing. Scubaing. That sort of thing. There is a sailboat marina here, so there’s a lot of sailboats on the water as well.
Camp Kansas: Oh, cool.
Camp Kansas: How many campsites do you guys have in the park, and what types of sites are they?
Tyler: Eldorado State Park is one of the largest of the State of Kansas. We have 1100 campsites.
Camp Kansas: Whoa!
Tyler: Yeah, and State Park-wise, it’s actually one of the biggest nationwide.
Camp Kansas: Wow.
Tyler: It’s in the top five, I think, nationwide for State Parks.
Camp Kansas: Oh, okay. So, I suppose you have everything from group sites to more secluded sites.
Tyler: Right, we have permitted sites. We have water electric and sewer sites. Just water electric sites. We have a lot to offer in the land of camping and getting outdoors.
Camp Kansas: Sure. What are some other attractions in the area that would be worth checking out as well?
Tyler: In the area. Well, there’s a lot more in the park as well. We have twenty miles of horse, hike, and bike trails.
Camp Kansas: Okay.
Tyler: Some of that’s safe; some of it’s not. We also just finished an archer range, which is a huge hit for this area. A lot of people have been using it.
Camp Kansas: Cool.
Tyler: Area-wise, we’re right at the beginning of the Flint Hills, so there’s a lot of the Flint Hills Nature Center. There’s grassland walks that you can do in the Flint Hills. It’s just a really beautiful area.
Camp Kansas: Okay. Just two more questions for you.
Camp Kansas: If you could spend just one hour in Eldorado State Park, how would you spend your time?
Tyler: I would spend my time – I’m a big avid hunter/fisher, so I’d be out hunting or fishing somewhere. We’ve got a lot of opportunities for that here. Fishing has been great.
Camp Kansas: Cool, what kind of fish are there in the reservoir?
Tyler: Anything. Walleye, crappie, white bass, wipers.
Camp Kansas: Okay.
Tyler: Catfish is good too.
Camp Kansas: And if you could spend just one night in Eldorado State Park, which particular campsite would you choose and why?
Tyler: I would choose Bluestem. It’s right close to the water, and beautiful scenery there as well.
Camp Kansas: Okay, it sounds like a great place with a ton to do. And I’m amazed at how large it is.
Tyler: Absolutely. Yeah, we’ve got a big park. It’s almost five thousand acres of actual park and five thousand acres of wildlife area.
Camp Kansas: Wow. Well, thanks for taking some time out of your day this morning to chat with us, Tyler. We really appreciate it.
Tyler: No problem.
Camp Kansas: All right, you have a good weekend.
Tyler: Thank you, you too.