Cross Timbers State Park is located in southeast Kansas approximately 80 miles east of Wichita. The lake is a few miles south of US 54 highway on K-105. The state park at Toronto Lake was renamed the Cross Timbers State Park in 2002 in reference to the ecoregion in which it lies, an area made up of prairie, savanna and woodland that starts in Toronto and extends to the middle of Texas.
Traveling to Cross Timbers State Park and are more interested in a glamping experience than roughing it at the parked, consider a stay at a short-term rental properties located in the city of Toronto. Enjoy all the amenities of the lake but all the comforts of home.
The lake is in the scenic Verdigris River valley, this area/region is known locally as the Chautauqua Hills, and offers a diverse habitat of woodlands, prairie, creeks and streams with a variety of flora and fauna. The lake is commonly categorized in the following areas.
- Toronto Point
- Mann’s Cove
- Woodson Cove
- Dam Site
- Holiday Hill
Manns Cove at Cross Timbers State Park
Manns Cove can be clearly seen traveling the length of K-105 towards the dam. The word Toronto is derived from the Mohawk word tkaronto, meaning “place where trees stand in water”. This part of the lake truly represents this designation as the cove is filled with trees standing in water. Due to this natural phenomenon, every year thousands of anglers flock to the lake and this cove in particular to fish for crappie. One of the boat ramps for the lake is located here but make sure to watch for high waters as large amounts of rain will make this boat ramp inaccessible.
At the far eastern side of the lake, near the end of highway 105, is Woodson Cove. This cove is a popular spot for recreational boating at Toronto Lake. The Overlook Trail winds it way around this cove and offers scenic vistas of the lake. But this cove isn’t just for water skiing, tanning and enjoying libations, it’s great for fishing and when the conditions are right there’s no better place on the lake to be.
Dam Site – Cross Timbers State Park
Construction of the dam began in 1954 and was completed in 1960 as part of the Flood Control Act of 1941. Whether fishing with a rod-and-reel or bow-and-arrow you will find this location a delight. Large, very large catfish can be caught here (channel, flathead, blue cat, even the rare white). Additionally, large carp, buffalo and even wipers (stripper/white bass hybrid) can be harvested here as well. Into bow fishing, very large gar can be taken right off the rip rap and when the flood gates are open…hold on!
Here’s an image of the lake but rotated in a more logical manner than provided by the Corps. Sure the words are side-ways but it just seems to make more sense.