Elk River

The Elk River is a tributary of the Verdigris River in southeastern Kansas. Via the Verdigris and Arkansas Rivers, it is part of the Mississippi River watershed. The Elk River flows through many of the towns in Elk County.


The Elk River is formed by a collection of intermittent streams in northwestern Elk County, and flows for about 80 mi, generally ESE through Elk and Montgomery Counties, past the towns of Elk Falls, Longton and Elk City. It joins the Verdigris River at the northern edge of the city of Independence.

Between Elk City and Independence, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dam causes the river to form Elk City Lake. A state park and federal lands along the lake offer recreation, including three National Recreation Trails.

There is an annual celebration of the Elk River, held in Howard, Kansas each year: the Elk River Festival. This year, it is on Sep. 29, 2007 and begins at 6:30am. Start your morning with a free breakfast sponsored by the FFA. A local parade starts at 10, cake walks and hamburgers all day, talent show at 2, BBQ dinner at 6. The festival location is:

Elk County Courthouse Square
Pine Street
Howard, KS

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