Crawford State Fishing Lake

Rocky pools and bluffs along Drywood Creek
Drywood Creek, at the upper end of the lake.
-All photos on this page by Jim Mason

Formed by a dam built on the West Fork of Drywood Creek in 1934 as a Civilian Conservation Corps project, Lake Crawford has long been home to a variety of wildlife.

The oak-hickory and riparian woodlands, plus the surrounding grasslands and croplands, give the wildlife watcher opportunities to see dozens of animals, ranging from butterflies to birds.

Commonly seen mammals include white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits, squirrels, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, and opossums. Ducks, geese, wading birds, and shorebirds can be seen on the lake during spring and fall. Scan the thickets for warblers during migrations. Nesting here are indigo buntings, northern cardinals, yellow-breasted chats, and Bell's vireos. Around the fields and prairies red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, dickcissels, grasshopper sparrows, and field sparrows can be viewed. Look for the broadhead skink, a threatened species in Kansas, in dead trees with woodpecker holes. Prairie lizards are found in the woodlands too. They will climb trees to escape as you approach.  Be sure to visit Farlington Fish Hatchery just north of the dam.


User fee, Shelter house, Showers, Swimming Beach, Playground, Boat ramps.

Camping icon 72 utility camping sites, 42 primitive camping sites, 4 cabins (make a reservation online).

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Trail icon Two short loop nature trails through riparian woodland habitat are at the north end of the lake.  The Spider Leg Trail (named for a historic railroad bridge) begins along the road leading to the Farlington Fish Hatchery.  The Deer Run Nature Trail begins at the east end of the dam.  This is also the beginning point for the 7 mile Drywood Creek Trail.  Designated for both mountain bikes and hikers, it circles the lake.  You may also access the Drywood trail from any of the numerous turn-outs on the lake drive.  It is well-marked with the signage shown at right.

Drywood Creek trail signage

Click here to get county birding lists for Kansas. Click the icon to find a birding list for Crawford County.

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Frontier Military Scenic Byway logo



Crawford State Fishing Lake is near
the Frontier Military Scenic Byway.



Crawford State Lake map

Directions: From Girard (10 miles NW of Pittsburg) drive 9 miles north on K-7, then 1 mile east to the entry kiosk.

Location in Kansas

For a Google map of this site, click here.

Ownership: The entity responsible for management of Crawford Lake is the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism.  If you have specific questions about use or management of the site, contact them at (620) 431-0380 or Email the Park Manager..  440 acres
Click here to visit the KDWPT web page for Crawford State Park.  You may download the KDWP brochure on Crawford State Park from the link on that page.
Click here to download a map for the Deer Run Nature Trail.

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The Natural Kansas web site © 2011 by
the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism.

Re-publication of site content in any form other than for personal use requires written permission.  If you are a Kansas resident, please assist with this and other wildlife viewing and conservation programs by contributing to the Chickadee Checkoff on your state tax form.

Questions or comments about Natural Kansas may be directed to
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism