• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    4 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    291 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Easy trail minutes outside of Lawrence, KS with primitive, lakeside campsites and perfect views for catching a beautiful sunrise over Clinton Lake. 

This four mile trail is located in the Woodridge Public Use Area, southwest of Lawrence and along the western edge of Clinton Lake.  Campsites are available without charge and without reservation, open to campers on a first-come, first-served basis. 

When you arrive at the trail head, you'll park in a circle lot.  There are several primitive campsites sprinkled around the lot leading up to the trail head, perfect for those looking to setup immediately without a hike.  The trail entrance is on the south end of the lot, looping you around the peninsula (counter-clockwise if you're looking at a map) before dumping you out into the north end of the lot.

The first mile and a half of the trail is well-maintained and heavily traveled. There are about 15 campsites in total, a majority of which branch off of this first segment of trail.  The middle of the trail is clearly less traveled, overgrown - definitely wear pants - and doesn't have any campsites.  The tail end of the trail opens back up and hosts the final few campsites available to settle in to.

This trail is mostly wooded with a couple stints along a prairie and a few openings to the lake. Overall it's an easy trail to hike. There are several areas with loose rock and slopes that could trip you up if you get a little complacent.  There are also a handful of small, shallow creek crossings, but even with a little recent rain, these were all dried up on my trip in late September.  There's also a couple benches stationed along the trail, great for bird watching and taking in views of the lake. 

All the camps are clearly marked. My favorite was campsite #5, a large flat site about a half mile from the trail head with two fire rings, log benches, direct access to the lake's shore - with a perfect view of the sunrise - and trees perfectly spaced for hammocks. 

Overall, this is a great trail with a selection of well-maintained campsites and views of Clinton Lake.

Pack List

  • Backpacking/Camping Gear
  • Food & Water
  • Comfy Shoes
  • Camera
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Mat Owens

Software Engineer // Explorer // Jayhawk // Kansas City • Instagram @matowens

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