Kanopolis State Park
200 Horsethief Rd.
Marquette, KS 67464
GPS: N38 38.709 W097 59.244
Kanopolis State Park started it all. The first Kansas state park has drawn visitors to eastern Ellsworth County since 1955. Situated in the rolling hills, bluffs and woods of the scenic Smoky Hills region of Kansas, Kanopolis is located 33 miles southwest of Salina.
Located on the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway northwest of Marquette along K-141, about 5 miles north of the K-4/K-141 junction (or) about 7 miles south of the K-140/K-141 junction east of Ellsworth
The first state park in Kansas, Kanopolis State Park is situated in the rolling hills, bluffs and woods of the scenic Smoky Hills region of the state. From the towering Dakota sandstone bluffs to the caves and crevices of Horsethief Canyon, the park and surrounding area offer rugged beauty and stunning vistas. The park is split into two areas north and south of the dam and there are two federal parks, as well.
Kanopolis offers more than 30 miles of trails open to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders, 15 of which are on the Smoky Hill Wildlife Area. The 3,500-acre lake and 12,500-acre wildlife area provide anglers and hunters abundant fish and game. Nestled near the Smoky Hill River toward the northwest portion of the wildlife area is Faris Caves, which were carved by early pioneers and served as milk house, school house, and living quarters.
Wildlife viewing and photography opportunities are plentiful. In the winter, bald eagles and ospreys fish the river. Songbirds and wildflowers brighten the landscape throughout the area.
Kanopolis State Park also manages nearby Mushroom Rock State Park, a picnic area with unusual geologic formations that amaze first-time and return visitors alike.