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Hillsdale State Lake - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Destination Report
Nearest City: Kansas City, KS
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: Oz (Osawatomie) Paddler


Hillsdale State Lake is a great place to paddle. It has 51 miles of shoreline and combines flat water lake paddling with paddling the several creeks that flow into the lake.

I have paddled all 51 miles of shoreline and on into the streams. I call the difficulty of the lake moderate due to the many trees and hazards just under the surface. Keep in mind that the state park side of the lake requires a daily fee (3.50) or a season pass (about 20.00).

One can put in at the personal watercraft ramp on the state park side, or put in at one of many primitive boat ramps around the lake.

The north side of the main channel of the lake is a wildlife refuge and has a couple of nesting bald eagles.


There are great accommodation's on the state park side of the lake. The rest of the lake is primitive.


A daily fee of $3.50 or a season fee of $20.00 is required for the state park.


Hillsdale Lake is accessible from the Kansas City area by taking I-35 south to Olathe and going south from Olathe on Hwy. 169 to the Hillsdale exit. Turn right on 255th St. and go west to the lake. From the south take Hwy. 169 to the Hillsdale exit and turn left onto 255th St.


More information is available at the Hillsdale State Lake office.
phone: 913-783-4507 website:


There is a detailed map of the lake and surrounding area on sale at the state park office.

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