Perry Lake

Perry Lake is a US Army Corps of Engineers operated reservoir in northeast Kansas. Its primary purposes are flood control, water reserve for nearby areas and regional recreation. The lake is approximately 11,000 acres and is home to 3 marinas, a nationally recognized trail system and a variety of camping, boating fishing and hunting activities.


Perry Lake is located about 40 miles west of Kansas City, just northwest of Lawrence, Kansas, in Jefferson County. Its close proximity to Kansas City, Lawrence, and the state capitol, Topeka, make it a very popular destination. It has been nicknamed "Paradise on the Plains."

Perry Lake is in the beautiful Delaware River valley of the Glaciated Region. The rolling bluestem prairie and hillsides of oak and hickory yield a large variety of wildlife. The reservoir, meadows, old fields, and riparian woodlands, as well as the marshes and mudflats, furnish living space for additional species. Hike on the Perry Lake National Recreation Trail (30 mile loop) through the shoreline and hillside communities. Visit Perry Wildlife Area to view the shallow-water habitats of the upper reservoir. In spring and early summer, search the mudflats for shorebirds.

Among the cattails and sedges of the marsh you may find nesting sedge wrens, ducks, herons, muskrats, beaver, and mink. Watch for wild turkeys, pileated woodpeckers, rose-breasted grosbeaks, and white-tailed deer in the riparian woodlands. American kestrels, eastern meadowlarks, horned larks, and coyotes can be observed in the old fields and meadows. The oak-hickory ridges attract buntings, vireos, tanagers, thrushes, and warblers. Gulls, pelicans, ducks, and flocks of snow geese are common on the open waters during the fall migration. In winter bald eagles perch in tall trees at the water's edge.

More information about Perry Lake.

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