Big Hill Lake

Big Hill Lake is located in the Big Hill Creek valley area of Labette County, Kansas, about 10 miles West of Parsons on Highway 400. Located in an oak-bluestem forest, commonly called the cross-timbers, the area provides a wide variety of native vegetation and wildlife. Big Hill has developed into one of the most productive and popular fishing spots in the area. Principal species of sport fish include largemouth bass, crappie, channel and flathead catfish, bluegill, walleye and smallmouth bass.


Five beautiful park areas are offered by the Corps of Engineers for camping, picnicking, and other outdoor activities. Facilities available at these areas include designated campsites both with and without electricity, group picnic and camping areas, potable water, sanitary facilities, boat launching ramps, a playground, ballfield and a swimming beach with a change house.

The Ruth Nixon trail follows the western shore of the lake through woodlands of post, blackjack, red, and chinquapin oaks. Their acorns provide nutrition for wild turkey, gray squirrels, and fox squirrels. Look for deer trails and watch for cardinals, chickadees, bluejays, and woodpeckers. Armadillos, woodchucks, red and gray foxes, and bobcats can also be found here. In spring, listen in the evening and early morning for great horned owls, whip-poor-wills, and chuck-will's-widow. In early summer watch for eastern bluebirds, American redstarts, Carolina wrens, and Kentucky warblers.

Big Hill Wildlife Area, in the uplands, contains grasslands and hedgerows. Bluestem prairie grasses and wildflowers such as woolly verbena, green and butterfly milkweed, western yarrow, partridge pea, spreading aster, and dotted gayfeather provide habitat for mice, cottontails, and coyotes. Hedgerows of Osage orange, dogwood, and persimmon furnish nesting sites for Bell's vireo, orchard orioles, northern bobwhite quail, and scissor-tailed flycatchers. Reptile lovers may find ornate box turtles, six-lined racerunners, five-lined skinks, great plains rat, and ringneck snakes. In wooded areas be alert for copperheads. During migrations check the lake for snow and Canada geese, canvasbacks, redheads, pintails, and blue-winged teal. The Big Hill Lake Bridle Trail for equestrians loops around the northern part of the lake.

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