Description - *This information provided by The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks*
Comprising 1,075 acres in the northern reaches of the physiographic region known to early pioneers as the Cross Timbers, this park provides numerous access points to the 2,800-acre Toronto Reservoir.
The park is located 12 miles west of Yates Center in Woodson County. This region was a favored hunting and camping ground of Native Americans of the Osage Nation. The forested flood plains, surrounded by terraces of prairie and hills of oak savannah, provide visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in some of the most diverse flora and fauna in Kansas.
- Shaded campsites within easy access of the lake are available for both full RV hookup and primitive camping. All park campgrounds are served by modern bathroom and shower facilities. All park trails are open to hiking and backpacking. All but the Ancient Trees Trail are open to other non-motorized uses such as jogging and mountain biking. Back country camping is allowed by special permit on segments of the Chautauqua Hills Trail.
Recreation - Fishing in the river and on the reservoir can be excellent. Both are noted for excellent white crappie, white bass, channel catfish, and flathead catfish angling. Black bass, bluegill, and sunfish round out the diverse fishing opportunities available here. The adjacent 4,600-acre Toronto Wildlife Area is a diverse collection of habitats, including forests, grasslands, farmlands, and marshes. Species common to the area included white-tailed deer, wild turkey, quail, squirrel, rabbit, dove, and raccoon. A rich variety of songbirds appeals to wildlife observers and photographers.
Climate - Kansas has an annual mean temperature almost as high as that of Virginia, more sunshine than that of any state to the east, and generous summer rains.
The State lies across the path of alternate masses of warm moist air moving north from the Gulf of Mexico and currents of cold, comparatively dry, air moving from the polar regions. Consequently, its weather is subject to frequent and often sharp changes, usually of short duration.
Summers are inclined to be warm--often the word "hot" describes them best--but are healthful, with low relative humidity during periods of high temperatures, and usually a good wind movement. Heat prostrations are almost unknown. Summer nights are usually cool, especially in the western counties.
Winters are drier, with more sunshine than those of eastern states. The average snowfall is less than that of other states, except those located farther south. Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and the New England States normally have from two to three times as much snowfall as Kansas.
Cross Timbers State Park is located in the gently rolling hills of the Verdigris River Valley in southeast Kansas.