Webster Reservoir, west of Stockton on the South Fork of the Solomon River, complements the picturesque Chalk Hills. The area's mixed grass prairie, river, lake, marshes, and riparian trees and shrubs teem with wildlife.
At the Webster State Park Office obtain a guide for the nature trail that leads through the grasslands and river woodlands west of the camping area. Spring through fall, inspect the grasslands along the trail for wildflowers, mourning doves, American kestrels, red-tailed hawks, and western meadowlarks. The riverside woodlands contain downy, red-bellied, and red-headed woodpeckers, blue jays, robins, orchard orioles, common yellowthroats, and black-billed magpies. Inspect spaces between the rocks for nests of eastern wood rats. At the bridge, green-backed and great blue herons and painted turtles are frequently seen. Tracks of raccoon and mink and gnawings of beaver should be evident along the bank. In summer, big brown bats live in colonies in the limestone cliffs along the trail. You'll probably see bank swallows here.
Webster Wildlife Area extends west along both sides of the river for several miles. The grasslands and food plots here are ideal for mule deer, coyotes, ring-necked pheasants, bullsnakes, and western hognose snakes. The woodlands are inhabited by white-tailed deer, fox squirrels, wild turkeys, and northern bobwhite quail. During early summer nights, especially after heavy rains, the bleating trill of the Great Plains toad will command your attention. Spring and fall bring migrating white pelicans, waterfowl, and shorebirds to the lake. From late fall to early spring watch for Canada geese, snow geese, and bald eagles. In winter you can fish for rainbow trout in the stilling basin below the dam and in the river above the reservoir.
72 campsites with utility hookups. Primitive camping. 1 Cabin (make a reservation online).
A short nature trail is in the Oldtown Area on the north shore of the lake.
The entities responsible for management of Webster are
Bureau of Reclamation (785) 839-4326; 10,380 acres
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks
& Tourism (785)
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