Sunday, October 2, 2011

Activity: Camping at Clinton Lake

Location: 798 N 1415 Rd, Lawrence KS. Park Office Phone: 785-842-8562

Cost: Varies depending on what type of site you want. But in general: Under 10 for a basic site, Under 20 for site with hookups. There is also a park registration vehicle fee upon entering the park, $4.

Age Appropriate: Depends upon the child, Dad's call on this one.

KCDADS do like to camp and hopefully I'll be able to put up all the sites we go to on the blog here for future KCDADS so that they will know what to expect. I won't be able to include all that there is to offer but will do my best to tell you about our experiences there.

We have been camping at Clinton Lake several times and have had an enjoyable experience each time. Let's start with the campsites themselves. There are many to choose from and I believe that Clinton Lake has 3 separate campgrounds to choose from. Some may be closed at times so make sure you call if you have your heart set on any specific campground to check availability.

The sites that we have been to I have found to be pretty decent. They are spacious and offer heavy tree areas if that is what you are looking for, which we were. But there are also camp sites that are more open and spacious so feel free to use those. We wanted areas that provided good shade and space and we were easily accommodated. You will also want to check the website for the rules of the campground and hours of operation. But in general, the park closes down at 10pm and quiet time is from 11pm to 6 am. The campsites we stayed at were well drained and offered nice flat levels. I believe that the rule is 2 tents per site max but again, please check the campground and sites.

As for activities, there is plenty to do around Clinton Lake and you wont' be disappointed if you are eager to get your outdoors on. We'll start with the beach because this is one area that I was a bit disappointed about. The beach itself is a bit rocky and access is not easy. It's a pretty good hike to reach it and you have to climb down long stairs to get to it. This makes it difficult when you are trying to lug a cooler out that way. It's not bad but it could be better. There won't be much in the way of building sand castles here though and your feet will get a bit sore after a while.

Clinton lake does offer some great hiking trails that I found pretty decent, maybe around average from what I've seen around her. But there are plenty of them so if you like to hike this is a good place. They offer a little challenge but do give you some great scenic views of the lake. The upkeep is ok, not great, but I don't think that's a bad thing at all considering the number of miles that there are to hike.

If you have a boat, this is a great lake for that. Easy access to the lake which is a must when boating. The lake itself offers some great places to roam around on and the kids will have a great time out on the water. The other boaters are courteous and it makes for a very good time.

Now back to the campsite. Sitting out by the campfire enjoying the stars is what makes this a great place to go. Clear skies and easy going park staff make a night here worth it. If you are looking for an easy experience, this is a good place to start. There are some playground equipment at some of the campgrounds but they are older and not much to write about. The second time we went camping here we didn't even bother with going to them.

As for the bathroom and facilities, I would again say it's about average. Showers are neither hot nor cold but spacious which makes it easy when trying to get a kid to wash off mud. The toilet area can be bug covered so if you have a kiddo, go in there first and kill some bugs and spiders first so that they don't freak out.

Clinton Lake is a good campground for us to go to. It's decently close and offers what we like best: peace and quiet.


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