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Flooding at other parks increases attendance at Farlington’s Crawford State Park

FARLINGTON, Kan. – While flooding has wreaked havoc at several state parks throughout the region, Crawford Lake, locally known as Farlington Lake, does not have these issues.

“We don’t flood – we’re not a water control lake – our dam, when water runs in, it runs out – plus the hatchery takes quite a bit of water, so that basically keeps us at conservation pool (water storage) all summer long – so, we don’t flood,” Crawford State Park Manager Dave Goble said on Thursday.

Goble said one area that does occasionally flood visitors need to be aware of is along the emergency spillway at the north end of the lake.

“Even when water is running out the emergency spillway, you can go around the lake and still access all of the campgrounds, even at the highest water periods. It never gets too deep, but it gets slick. We have a sign that says ‘don’t cross by foot, bicycle, motorcycle’ and that’s usually the main concern. If the water is real deep there we try to get it closed.”

Last summer, visitors to the lake noticed that the lake was lower, and it was for a reason.

“We had drawn it down six feet to put our new boat ramp in, and it was a little bit dryer last summer,” Goble said. “I guess we’re getting that rain now.”

Campsites at Crawford State Park are typically full during summer weekends, but limitations at those other parks means they campsites are filling up even earlier than normal.

“Elk City, the recent rains just hit them again, and they’re 27 foot under water (as of Thursday). Toronto Fall River, also in our demographic area, they were just coming down and starting to get campsites open – boom – another big rain, and they’re back up and their very limited on what’s going on over there. Our neighbors to the north, Hillsdale, Pomona, Perry, are all in different stages of flooding, and all have some limits on their campgrounds or access. The parks are still open up north, but the waters are high.”

Goble explained that these parks are still open, they still have campers, but they don’t have as many sites available as they normally do. So campers who normally go to those locations are instead seeking other sites, like Crawford State Park.

“When I talk about us being full, the best time to camp ever is during the week. Everybody has jobs, everybody works, I get it. But, I’ll tell you what, because we’re close to everybody around here, if you can manage to get out here during the week, we have plenty of campsites available.”

Crawford State Park has no boating limitations, but one area they have seen an increase, is in paddle sports.

“If you can back the Queen Mary down our boat ramp, you can put it in there. Long story short, there’s no horsepower limits. The lake is 150 surface acre lake and that pretty well limits what can be out here. And what we’ve really seen lately is a big increase in paddle sports. We’ve noticed this trend for several years. But this summer, there are lots of kayakers, lots of people in canoes, in addition to our regular, normal power boats and recreational boats.”

Goble suggested those interested in paddle sports should be on the lake in the mornings, or use the south end of the lake on weekends. That helps keep them away from the water skiing and jet skiing on the main body of the lake.

“We have a new kayak launch over by the main boat ramp. I also recommend using our south boat ramp. The south end of the lake is entirely ‘no wake’ and it’s great for kayaking down there.”

The normal gate fee to get into Crawford State Park is $5 per vehicle, or no fee if you already have your annual vehicle permit/park passport.

Fees vary depending on the campsite. Primitive sites with no utilities for tents are $13 the first night, and $10 after that. 28 primitive sites are available. There are 73 utility sites with electric and water. Utility sites are, at the most, $24 per night.

Campsites can be reserved via ReserveAmerica.com or the Reserve America Camping mobile app – “RA Camping”. Photos of each campsite are available to help those with RV’s determine ideal locations. A dump station is also available.

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