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.
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.