Perry Lake Trail In Kansas

Here is everything you need to know about the Perry Lake Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Kansas
  • Length: 30 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Perry Lake Trail, located in northeast Kansas, holds a significant historical background that dates back centuries. The area surrounding Perry Lake was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Kansa, Osage, and Shawnee. These tribes relied on the land for hunting, fishing, and gathering resources, leaving behind traces of their presence in the form of artifacts and archaeological sites.

During the 19th century, European settlers began to arrive in the region, leading to conflicts with the Native American tribes. The area witnessed several battles and skirmishes, including the Battle of Hickory Point in 1856, which was part of the larger Bleeding Kansas conflict. This battle, fought between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces, played a significant role in the lead-up to the American Civil War.

In the early 20th century, the construction of Perry Lake began as part of a flood control project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The lake was completed in 1969, and the surrounding land was designated as Perry State Park. The Perry Lake Trail was established to provide visitors with an opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the area while also showcasing its historical significance. Today, hikers can traverse the trail and discover remnants of the past, such as old homesteads, stone fences, and even remnants of the original Santa Fe Trail, which once served as a vital trade route connecting the eastern United States with the western frontier.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Perry State Park Trailhead: This is the main access point for the Perry Lake Trail. It is located within Perry State Park, near the Perry Lake Dam.

2. Slough Creek Park Trailhead: Located in Slough Creek Park, this trailhead provides access to the Perry Lake Trail. It is situated on the eastern side of the lake.

3. Longview Park Trailhead: Situated in Longview Park, this access point allows hikers to join the Perry Lake Trail. It is located on the southern shore of the lake.

4. Rock Creek Park Trailhead: Located in Rock Creek Park, this trailhead provides access to the Perry Lake Trail. It is situated on the western side of the lake.

5. Old Military Trailhead: This access point is located near the Old Military Trail, which intersects with the Perry Lake Trail. It is situated on the northern side of the lake.

6. Slough Creek Wildlife Area Trailhead: Situated in the Slough Creek Wildlife Area, this trailhead allows hikers to access the Perry Lake Trail. It is located on the eastern side of the lake.

7. Perry State Park Marina Trailhead: This access point is located near the marina within Perry State Park. It provides hikers with access to the Perry Lake Trail.

8. Perry Lake Dam Trailhead: Situated near the Perry Lake Dam, this trailhead allows hikers to join the Perry Lake Trail. It is located on the western side of the lake.

9. Perry Lake Overlook Trailhead: This access point is located near the Perry Lake Overlook, which offers scenic views of the lake. It provides hikers with access to the Perry Lake Trail.

10. Slough Creek Public Use Area Trailhead: Situated in the Slough Creek Public Use Area, this trailhead allows hikers to access the Perry Lake Trail. It is located on the eastern side of the lake.

Transportation Available

1. Perry Lake Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation to and from Perry Lake Trail.
2. Perry Lake Taxi – Taxi service available for convenient transportation around Perry Lake Trail.
3. Perry Lake Bike Rentals – Bike rental service offering bicycles for exploring Perry Lake Trail.
4. Perry Lake Trail Bus – Bus service with routes covering Perry Lake Trail and nearby areas.
5. Perry Lake Trail Car Rentals – Car rental service providing vehicles for independent transportation along Perry Lake Trail.


The amenities available at the Perry Lake Trail may vary, but here are some common amenities that you may find:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at designated areas along the trail. These could include flush toilets or pit toilets.

2. Parking: Parking areas or lots may be provided near the trailhead or at various access points along the trail. These parking areas may be free or require a fee.

3. Camping Sites: Perry Lake Trail may have designated camping areas or campgrounds nearby where you can set up tents or park RVs. These camping sites may offer amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There may be designated picnic areas along the trail where you can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas may have picnic tables, grills, and trash bins.

5. Water Access: Depending on the trail’s location, there may be opportunities for swimming, fishing, or boating in Perry Lake or other nearby bodies of water.

6. Trailhead Facilities: The trailhead may have additional amenities such as information boards, maps, and interpretive signs to provide visitors with information about the trail and its surroundings.

7. Trail Markers: The trail may be marked with signs or markers to help hikers and bikers navigate the route.

8. Wildlife Viewing Areas: Some trails may have designated areas where you can observe wildlife in their natural habitat. These areas may have viewing platforms or overlooks.

It is recommended to check with local authorities or trail management organizations for specific information about the amenities available at the Perry Lake Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Perry State Park Campground – Campground located near Perry Lake Trail offering lodging options.
2. Lake Perry Yacht & Marina – Marina and lodging facility near Perry Lake Trail.
3. The Crooked Post Winery – Winery with lodging options near Perry Lake Trail.
4. Perry Inn – Lodging facility near Perry Lake Trail.
5. Perry Cafe – Restaurant offering food services near Perry Lake Trail.
6. Perry Pizza Hut – Pizza restaurant near Perry Lake Trail.
7. Casey’s General Store – Convenience store offering food services near Perry Lake Trail.
8. Perry-Lecompton High School – Nearby emergency services available at the high school near Perry Lake Trail.
9. Perry Police Department – Local police department providing emergency services near Perry Lake Trail.
10. Perry-Lecompton Fire Department – Fire department offering emergency services near Perry Lake Trail.

Perry Lake Trail Difficulty Notes

The Perry Lake Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers. Spanning approximately 29 miles, the trail presents a variety of terrains and elevations, making it suitable for those with a moderate level of fitness and hiking experience. The trail features some steep inclines and descents, rocky sections, and occasional obstacles such as fallen trees. However, it also offers beautiful views of Perry Lake, lush forests, and diverse wildlife, making the effort well worth it. With proper preparation and caution, hikers can enjoy a challenging yet rewarding experience on the Perry Lake Trail.

Features And Attractions

The Perry Lake Trail is a scenic hiking trail located in Kansas, USA. While there are no specific landmarks or historical sites directly along the trail, there are several attractions and points of interest in the surrounding area. Here are some notable places to visit near the Perry Lake Trail:

1. Perry Lake: The trail itself offers beautiful views of Perry Lake, a reservoir known for its recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming.

2. Perry State Park: Located adjacent to Perry Lake, Perry State Park offers camping facilities, picnic areas, and hiking trails. It’s a great place to explore before or after hiking the Perry Lake Trail.

3. Old Military Trail: This historic trail was used during the 1800s to transport military supplies between Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley. While not directly part of the Perry Lake Trail, it runs nearby and offers a glimpse into the region’s history.

4. Slough Creek Natural Area: Situated near the trail, Slough Creek Natural Area is a wetland habitat that provides opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife observation.

5. Rock Creek Bridge: Located just south of the Perry Lake Trail, the Rock Creek Bridge is a historic stone arch bridge built in the 1930s. It’s a picturesque spot for photography and a reminder of the area’s past.

6. Clinton Lake: While not directly on the Perry Lake Trail, Clinton Lake is another nearby reservoir offering recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and hiking.

7. Clinton State Park: Adjacent to Clinton Lake, Clinton State Park features camping areas, picnic spots, and trails for hiking and biking.

8. Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum: Located in Clinton, Kansas, this museum showcases the history and heritage of the Wakarusa River Valley, which includes the Perry Lake area.

These are just a few examples of the attractions and landmarks near the Perry Lake Trail. Exploring the surrounding area will provide you with a variety of scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks to enjoy.

Usage Guidelines

– Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
– Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed them.
– Camping is allowed only in designated areas.
– Campfires are permitted only in designated fire rings or grills.
– Do not damage or remove any natural or cultural resources.
– Hunting is allowed in designated areas during the appropriate season.
– Fishing is allowed in accordance with state regulations.
– Bicycles are allowed on designated trails only.
– Motorized vehicles are prohibited on the trail.
– Stay on designated trails and do not create new paths.
– Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during hunting seasons.
– Observe quiet hours and be considerate of other trail users.
– Carry out all trash and leave no trace of your visit.

Seasonal Information

The Perry Lake Trail, located in northeastern Kansas, offers a picturesque and serene hiking experience for outdoor enthusiasts. The best times of the year to visit the trail are during the spring and fall seasons. In the spring, the trail comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and lush greenery, creating a stunning backdrop for hikers. The temperatures during this time are generally mild, making it comfortable for long walks and exploration. Fall is equally beautiful, with the trail adorned in a tapestry of warm colors as the leaves change, providing a breathtaking sight for visitors.

It is important to note that the Perry Lake Trail has seasonal closures during the winter months. Due to the harsh weather conditions and potential hazards, the trail is closed from December through February. This closure ensures the safety of hikers and helps preserve the trail’s integrity. However, during the closure, visitors can still enjoy other recreational activities in the area, such as fishing, boating, and camping, as Perry Lake offers a wide range of amenities.

During the open seasons, hikers can enjoy the 29-mile loop trail that winds through diverse landscapes, including woodlands, prairies, and along the scenic shores of Perry Lake. The trail is well-maintained and offers various difficulty levels, catering to both novice and experienced hikers. Along the way, hikers can spot an array of wildlife, including deer, birds, and occasionally even bald eagles. The trail also features several camping areas and picnic spots, allowing visitors to extend their stay and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Perry Lake Trail are during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the trail is at its most picturesque. However, it is important to be aware of the seasonal closures during the winter months. Whether you are a nature lover, an avid hiker, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, the Perry Lake Trail offers a memorable experience with its diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trailhead with sufficient space for wheelchair users to enter and exit their vehicles.
2. Accessible Trailhead: A trailhead with a smooth and level surface, allowing easy access for wheelchair users.
3. Paved Pathways: Wide and smooth paved pathways throughout the trail, providing a comfortable surface for wheelchair users.
4. Accessible Restrooms: Restrooms equipped with accessible features such as grab bars, wider doorways, and sufficient space for wheelchair maneuverability.
5. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas with accessible tables and benches, allowing wheelchair users to comfortably enjoy outdoor meals.
6. Wheelchair Accessible Viewing Areas: Designated areas along the trail that provide unobstructed views and are easily accessible for wheelchair users.
7. Accessible Informational Signage: Signage along the trail with large fonts, clear symbols, and accessible heights for wheelchair users to easily read and understand.
8. Accessible Water Fountains: Water fountains with accessible heights and features, allowing wheelchair users to easily access and drink water.
9. Accessible Trail Markers: Clear and visible trail markers with accessible heights and formats, aiding wheelchair users in navigation.
10. Accessible Emergency Assistance: A system in place to provide accessible emergency assistance to wheelchair users in case of any incidents or emergencies along the trail.

Safety Information

When visiting the Perry Lake Trail, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked trails and avoid venturing off into unmarked areas. Straying from the trail can lead to getting lost or encountering hazardous terrain.

2. Carry a map and compass: Always have a map of the trail and a compass with you. Familiarize yourself with the trail route before starting your hike and use these tools to navigate if needed.

3. Inform someone of your plans: Before heading out, let someone know about your plans, including the trail you will be hiking, estimated time of return, and any emergency contact numbers. This ensures that someone is aware of your whereabouts and can alert authorities if necessary.

4. Check the weather forecast: Before starting your hike, check the weather forecast for the area. Avoid hiking during severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms, heavy rain, or extreme heat, as these can pose significant risks.

5. Dress appropriately: Wear suitable clothing and footwear for the trail conditions. Dress in layers to accommodate changing weather and wear sturdy, comfortable shoes or boots that provide good traction.

6. Carry essential supplies: Bring enough water to stay hydrated throughout your hike, as well as snacks or meals depending on the duration of your trip. Carry a first aid kit, a whistle, a flashlight, and a fully charged cell phone for emergencies.

7. Be aware of wildlife: Perry Lake Trail is home to various wildlife species. Respect their habitat and keep a safe distance. Do not approach or feed any animals you encounter, as this can be dangerous for both you and the animals.

8. Stay hydrated and take breaks: Drink water regularly to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather. Take breaks when needed to rest and regain energy. Pace yourself and listen to your body’s signals to avoid exhaustion or dehydration.

9. Be cautious of ticks and insects: Apply insect repellent to protect yourself from ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects. Wear long sleeves and pants to minimize exposure to ticks, especially in grassy or wooded areas.

10. Leave no trace: Respect the environment and leave no trace of your visit. Pack out all trash and dispose of it properly. Preserve the natural beauty of the trail for others to enjoy.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when visiting any trail. By following these guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience on the Perry Lake Trail.

Conservation Notes

The conservation status of the Perry Lake Trail is considered to be well-maintained and protected. The trail is located within the Perry Lake Wildlife Area, which is managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism. This agency is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the natural resources of the state, including the trail and its surrounding environment.

Efforts have been made to ensure the conservation of the Perry Lake Trail by implementing various measures. These include regular monitoring and maintenance of the trail to prevent erosion and degradation. Additionally, the trail is marked with signs and designated boundaries to prevent any encroachment into sensitive habitats or protected areas.

The Perry Lake Trail is also subject to regulations and guidelines that aim to protect the local flora and fauna. These regulations may include restrictions on hunting, fishing, or camping in certain areas to minimize disturbance to wildlife populations. The trail is designed to provide visitors with a recreational experience while minimizing the impact on the natural environment.

Overall, the conservation status of the Perry Lake Trail is considered to be in good condition. The efforts put forth by the managing agency and the implementation of regulations help to ensure the preservation of the trail and its surrounding ecosystem for future generations to enjoy.

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