CEDAR BLUFF STATE PARK
Cedar Bluff State Park is divided into two, unique areas along the shorelines of Cedar Bluff Reservoir. The Bluffton Area, on the north shore, provides nearly 350 acres for visitors.
It is the most developed area and provides a variety of facilities to meet the outdoor enthusiasts needs. They include two boatramp facilities, 96 utility campsites, two community shelters, a reservable group utility campground, two large showerhouses and dumpstations five modern rental cabins and numerous undesignated primitive campsites and picnic areas. While visiting enjoy some of the opportunities including sand volleyball, horseshoes, shore side basketball, bicycling on our BMX track or swimming on our beach. Fishing can be fantastic in the Bluffton area also. Nearly all of the shoreline is accessible and there's a covered, handicap accessible fishing dock as well.
The Page Creek Area, on the south shore of the reservoir, is nearly 500 acres in size. It is not quite as developed but provides some of the finest primitive camping in the state with its large shade trees and sandy shorelines. The Page Creek Area contains 36 utility campsites, a community shelter, two dumpstations, two boatramp facilities, two showerhouses and two vault toilets one designated primitive campground and numerous undesignated campsites. This area is a favorite for boaters, jet skiers and for those who seek a little more solitude when relaxing outdoors.
In 1867, a wagon train transporting a threshing machine to Brigham Young in Salt Lake City camped for the night beneath a bluff overlooking the canyon floor. A group of Native Americans attacked the encampment, killed the travelers, and set the threshing machine on fire. Remains of the old burned threshing machine could be seen for years.
Travelers along the trail carved their names in the limestone bluffs. Threshing Machine Canyon was visited as early as 1849 quite possibly earlier and up to the present. In the historic canyon, you will find carvings dating back to the mid-1800s, and some are still visible today. Many of the inscriptions were carved by the Pike's Peakers in 1859 and U.S. cavalrymen 3rd Wisconsin and 13th Missouri traveling along the BOD in 1865.
Construction of Cedar Bluff Reservoir began in April of 1949 with the intention of providing flood control, irrigation and recreation. The reservoir was completed in 1951 and filled that same year. This Bureau of Reclamation owned reservoir, which is managed by the
Department of Wildlife and Parks, quickly became a popular recreational destination. The reservoir and surrounding public lands provided many opportunities that had previously been non-existant to this region. In 1962, Cedar Bluff State Park was developed to accommodate the public by providing outdoor recreational facilities and activities. Cedar Bluff State Park continues to thrive today. Annual visitation is consistently over the 250,000 mark.
Cedar Bluff State Park in central Kansas is the gateway to a canyon noted for its historic significance. Threshing Machine Canyon, accessible by a road west of the park, was the site of a station on Butterfields Overland Despatch BOD or the Smoky Hill Trail, called Bluffton Station.