Cowley State Fishing Lake
Kaw Wildlife Area
Cowley State Fishing Lake - photo by Jim Mason
|Cowley State Fishing Lake attracts wildlife from the surrounding
tallgrass prairie. Upland sandpipers, common nighthawks, and eastern meadowlarks are
common throughout the summer. The trees surrounding the lake attract migrating songbirds
as well as a few nesters, including northern orioles, kingbirds, robins, and mourning
Collared lizards, slender glass lizards, and tarantulas are
frequently found around the exposed limestone boulders, and occasionally you may be
surprised by a venomous copperhead. For naturalists, the area is most attractive for its
spectacular wildflower blooms. In spring look for rose verbena, prairie spiderwort,
large-flowered penstemon, ground-plum, and Oklahoma phlox.
Kaw Wildlife Area,
located just a few miles west of Cowley Lake, often produces some unexpected finds. For an
interesting drive to several good wildlife spots, travel 6.4 miles west of Cowley State
Fishing Lake on U.S. 166 to Cowley County 1 (Red Arrow). Turn
south and head toward Silverdale. Along the road look for loggerhead shrikes,
scissor-tailed flycatchers, and dickcissels. This area also harbors one of the largest
populations of bobcats in the state, although they are rarely seen.
Just south of Silverdale, alfalfa fields flank both sides of the
In late April and early May, bobolinks are frequently found here.
Two bridges span
Grouse Creek and both sites are marked as parts of Kaw Wildlife Area.
In spring these
riparian woodlands are full of warblers, vireos, and flycatchers.
A rock road heads west 1.3 miles south of Silverdale; follow this
road through blackjack and post oak country for 3.3 miles. Watch for white-tailed deer and
wild turkeys. During spring, the night woods are alive with the calls of
Across the road from Horizon United Methodist Center (Blue Arrow) is a second-growth woodland that usually has singing
painted buntings, indigo buntings, and blue grosbeaks in late April and May. This is
private property, but the birds can usually be seen and heard from the road. Cowley County
6 is at the stop sign another mile north of Camp Horizon. Two miles west is another
entrance to Kaw Wildlife Area (Green Arrow). Here the
Arkansas River can be scanned for wintering bald eagles or springtime ducks and
Picnic tables, Grills, Pit toilets, Boat ramp.
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Click the icon to find a birding list for Cowley County.
Click the icon to locate nearby Geocaches
For more Wildlife Watching sites in the Flint
Hills, click here
From Arkansas City (50 miles south of Wichita) travel 13 miles east on U.S. 166.
For a Google Map of this area,
The entity responsible for management of Cowley State
Lake is the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks
If you have specific questions about use or management of the site,
contact them at (316) 683-8069.
You can download brochures on
Cowley State Fishing Lake
and Kaw Wildlife Area from the
KDWPT web site.
Funded by the
Chickadee Checkoff Program
Click here for a brochure!
Kansas web site
the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks
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