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Glen Elder State Park is located on the northern shore of Glen Elder Reservoir, which is also called Waconda Lake. As part of a flood control effort, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation began building the lake’s dam across the Solomon River in 1964, and it was completed in 1968.
The resulting lake covered what once was an active mineral spring called Waconda Springs. The spring’s pool was said to be 50 feet in diameter, 15 feet deep and rich in a variety of minerals. Waconda Springs was a sacred, ceremonial gathering place for many of the Native American tribes that lived in the central plains, including Pawnee, Wichita, Kaw, Kiowa, Sioux, Arapaho, Comanche, the Miami, Crow, Cheyenne, Arapaho and others. Kanza tribe members reportedly called the springs, “Wakonda,” meaning “Great Spirit.”
In addition to fishing, recreational opportunities and on site amenities include hunting, prairie dog area, electrical hook-ups, showers, picnic areas, fishing and hunting guide service, shelters, marina, swimming and beach area, boat ramps, boat rentals, nature trails, educational ranger programs, annual fishing tournaments and much more.
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