Melvern Lake has 6,930 surface acres of water and 17,244 acres of adjacent land that serve as the nucleus of recreational and natural resource activities for more than 500,000 visitors annually. The entire project lies on the eastern edge of the Flint Hills region of Kansas. This region is characterized by gently rolling hills covered with tall native grasses. Native woodlands occur in the bottomlands along the tributaries of the Marais des Cygnes River.
Visitors looking for outdoor recreation will have a full day at Melvern Lake. The lake boasts six parks (five managed by the Army Core of Engineers and one managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks) that offer a wide range of facilities. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are nature trails, an equestrian trail, local historic sites, hunting areas, a full-service marina, and an interpretive information center.