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B Y W AY S O F

Flint Hills National Scenic Byway | Frontier Military Historic Byway | Glacial Hills Scenic Byway | Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway Land and Sky Scenic Byway | Native Stone Scenic Byway | Post Rock Scenic Byway | Prairie Trail Scenic Byway | Route 66 Historic Byway Smoky Valley Scenic Byway | Western Vistas Historic Byway | Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway


GR E AT

IDEA

F ROM

THE

Have you, your family or friends ever faced the stubborn “Wall of Boredom?” It looms high when there seem to be no options left to experience quality time and memory-making moments. You’ve probably heard (or uttered) the familiar phrase, “There’s nothing to do!” It may be one of life’s most common laments – often announced with such conviction that it seems as if it must be true and everlasting. Television is boring, the movies are too expensive and the shazam! and pow! have drained from the video games. Even the dog is staring at you with pleading eyes as if to say that playing fetch has lost its thrill. Finally, inspiration prevails, and someone (or perhaps the dog) barks out, “Let’s go for a drive!” Suddenly, the Wall of Boredom begins to fall apart, revealing the possibility of seeing the countryside, smelling fresh air, eating good food or otherwise partaking in an experience that everyone can enjoy. Getting out for a drive is one of the great American pastimes, and Kansas is blessed with fine highways, beautiful countryside and plenty to see and do to make your excursion a memorable one. There are no better examples of great drives than those you’ll find on our Kansas Byways. Twelve byways await you – nine scenic byways (two of which are National Scenic Byways) and three historic byways. They are spread around the state to give travelers a chance to experience a variety of landscapes, local cultures, historic sites and, of course, delightful food, restful lodging and fun leisure activities. The byways beckon travelers away from the bustling interstate highways to enjoy more leisurely trips that connect them with many of the small towns that dot our state. The byways offer a fresh perspective of Kansas; promote the natural, cultural, and historic wonders of our state; boost economic prosperity through tourism and build a positive image of Kansas.

SECRE TA RI E S Our departments jointly manage the Kansas Byways Program, aided by a strong partnership with the Kansas Historical Society. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) plays a key role in the program. The FHWA established a byways program in 1991 as a grass-roots collaborative effort to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the nation. Byways are designated based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities. The FHWA no longer funds the byways program. However, through KDOT, they continue to be involved by offering alternative transportation grant opportunities for certain projects for which some byways, or the state program as a whole, might qualify. Each of our agencies provides staff and funding to support the byways program, market the byways and help guide the local byways committees to promote and enhance their travel opportunities. We invite you to use this guide to create a journey that breaks through that nagging Wall of Boredom so you can enjoy Kansas hospitality and relish in our culture, history, local events and natural beauty. Whether you make it a day trip or a whole vacation, “Let’s Go for a Drive!”

what’s inside

LET’S GO FOR A DRIVE! A

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WETLANDS AND WILDLIFE National Scenic Byway

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FLINT HILLS National Scenic Byway

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FRONTIER MILITARY Historic Byway

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GLACIAL HILLS Scenic Byway

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GYPSUM HILLS Scenic Byway

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LAND AND SKY Scenic Byway

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NATIVE STONE Scenic Byway

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POST ROCK Scenic Byway

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PRAIRIE TRAIL Scenic Byway

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ROUTE 66 Historic Byway

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SMOKY VALLEY Scenic Byway

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WESTERN VISTAS Historic Byway

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ROAD TRIP Your map of the Kansas Byways

B Y WAY S O F

ROBIN JENNISON Secretary, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

Flint Hills National Scenic Byway | Frontier Military Historic Byway | Glacial Hills Scenic Byway | Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway Land and Sky Scenic Byway | Native Stone Scenic Byway | Post Rock Scenic Byway | Prairie Trail Scenic Byway | Route 66 Historic Byway Smoky Valley Scenic Byway | Western Vistas Historic Byway | Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway

ON THE COVER: Arikaree

Breaks in Cheyenne County, off of the Land and Sky Byway; photograph by Doug Stremel

Kansas Department of Transportation

RICHARD CARLSON Secretary of Transportation Director of the Kansas Turnpike Authority

700 SW Harrison Street Topeka, KS 66603 | (785) 296-4149

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism ksbyways.com

@KSByways / #KSByways / #NoPlaceLikeKS

@KSByways

Kansas Byways

@KSByways

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@KSByways

1020 S Kansas Avenue, Ste 200 Topeka, KS 66612 | (800) 684-6966


WETLANDS AND WILDLIFE national scenic byway


Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway

about the

byway GETTING THERE Take U.S. Highway 281 south from Interstate 70 to begin at the northern part of the byway, just west of Hoisington. LENGTH 77 miles TIME TO TRAVEL 90 minutes

T

Photographs Deborah Walker

he Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway is a birder’s paradise. See all kinds of waterfowl, shorebirds, and even whooping cranes on this 77-mile stretch from Hoisington to Stafford on Kansas highways 4 and 156. This route includes two important wetlands—Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge— and boasts 60,000 acres of wetlands. Don’t forget your binoculars and your camera to capture the vibrant sights of marsh life. Flyway The wetlands are crucial stopovers for migratory birds, so plan your trip during the spring or fall to encounter as many species as possible. In addition to shorebirds and waterfowl, the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, one of the Midwest’s rare inland saltwater marshes, is home to badgers, beavers, white-tailed deer, prairie dogs, reptiles, and more. It features plenty of pull-outs and photo blinds to light up your Instagram feed, plus an observation tower rising eight feet above the land. Take Big Salt Marsh Wildlife Drive through the marshes and along cattail-bordered lakes. The serene marsh, sand dunes, timber and prairie are home to endangered species like the least tern and snowy plover. Visit the Kansas Wetlands Education Center to learn more about the enchanting ecosystem surrounding you. Exhibits include hands-on activities, historical and cultural artifacts, and art

ROADWAY Kansas Highway 156, Kansas Highway 4, U.S. Highway 281, and paved roads in Barton, Stafford and Reno counties. WHEN TO SEE All seasons, although the best seasons are spring, fall and summer. SERVICES All services available along the byway RESOURCES The Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau (620) 792-2750 visitgreatbend.com Barton County (620) 793-1800 kansaswetlandsandwildlife scenicbyway.com Stafford County Economic Development (620) 549-3527 staffordecodevo.com

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inspired by the beauty of the Kansas wetlands. Explore the nature trail through the nearby woods, listening for the sound of songbirds and watching for monarch butterflies and foxes. Touring Navigate Cheyenne Bottoms on a selfguided driving tour and abandon all your old ideas about Kansas being flat and dry. The marsh is a refuge for the endangered and majestic whooping crane and bald eagle. Don’t miss the Cheyenne Bottoms Scenic Overlook, with breathtaking views of the landscape. For a more human element, cross part of the historic Santa Fe trail, which brought the first white settlers to the area. The Barton County Historical Society Museum, located south of Great Bend, can tell you all about that. Discover the past through archaeological artifacts from Native American cultures of the region, dolls from the 1850s, and more. The museum boasts a village of 19th- and early 20th-century buildings, including a church, a railroad depot, and a school. Drive through the charming town of Claflin, the geographical center of Kansas, before stopping by the Stafford County Flour Mill in Hudson. Then check out the Stafford County Museum to round out a day of discovery. —By Sarah Kelly Shannon


Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway

about the

NATIONAL HISTORIC CHEVY BUILDING WITH 16’ BOWTIE NEON SIGN

CAMP ALDRICH

Claflin (620) 792-9340 bartonccc.edu

eat

see

amenities

Hosington (620) 653-2121

WHEATLAND CAFÉ

Hudson (620) 458-4761 hudsonkansas.org (Sundays Only)

UNDERGROUND TUNNELS

CHEYENNE BOTTOMS WILDLIFE AREA*

Great Bend (620) 793-3066 ksoutdoors.com

STAFFORD COUNTY FLOUR MILLS*

SQUEAKS CLUB INC. BAR & GRILL

Hudson (800) 530-5640 hudsoncream.com

St. John (620) 549-3390

stay

Ellinwood (620) 617-6915 ellinwoodchamber.com

GRAY PHOTO STUDIO

THE HISTORIC WOLF HOTEL

St. John (620) 549-3347 grayphotostudioinc.com

Ellinwood (620) 617-6915 historicwolfhotel.com

QUIVIRA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

STAFFORD MOTOR INN

SANTAS AROUND THE WORLD

Great Bend (620) 792-1614 visitgreatbend.com

Stafford (620) 234-2000 staffordmotorinnks.com

(Open seasonally)

STAFFORD COUNTY MUSEUM

Great Bend (620) 793-4226 greatbendzoo.com

Stafford (620) 234-5664 staffordcounty.org/museum

KANSAS QUILT WALK, BRONZE SCULPTURES, & GREAT BEND MURAL PROJECT

THE PAGE

Great Bend visitgreatbend.com KANSAS WETLANDS EDUCATION CENTER*

Great Bend (620) 566-1456 wetlandscenter.fhsu.edu

eat

GREAT BEND BRIT SPAUGH ZOO AND RAPTOR CENTER

shop

Stafford (620) 486-2393 fws.gov/refuge/quivira

ELLINWOOD EMPORIUM ANTIQUES

Ellinwood (620) 564-2498

Great Bend (620)792-8700 GREAT BEND COFFEE COMPANY

Great Bend (620) 603-6465 visitgreatbend.com HANDLEBAR & GRILL

HOISINGTON POST OFFICE SECTION ART MURAL

Great Bend (620) 603-6676

Hoisington (620) 653-4311 hoisingtonkansas.com *MENTIONED IN THIS GUIDE COMPLETE LISTINGS The above listings are only a portion of the attractions along this byway. For a complete and regularly updated listings of amenities, including destination sites, lodgings, places to eat, shops and events along the Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway, go online at: travelks.com/ksbyways/wetlands-wildlife/points-of-interest-amenities

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New Lancaster General Store

36688 New Lancaster Rd. | Paola, KS 66071 PO Box 372 | (913) 377-4689 newlancastergeneralstore.com

Taste the Wonderful Wines of Kansas

OPEN DAILY

20250 Hudson Ranch Road Paxico, KS 66526 (785) 246-6500 prairiefirewinery.com

Hours: Wed-Sat: 11-5pm, Sun: 12-5pm 417 Lincoln Ave | Wamego KS 66547 (785) 456-7417 ozwinerykansas.com

29725 Somerset Road Paola, KS 66071 (913) 491-0038 somersetridge.com

Enabling pour choices since 2014. 23622 Springhill Farm Drive Winfield, KS (620) 229-9463 Wheatstatewineco.com

Passport Stamps available at participating wineries

1636 SE 85th Wakarusa, KS 66546 (785) 862-5421 glaciersedgewine.com

Winery: 1171 SW 20 Rd, Pawnee Rock, KS Wine Cellar: 1901 Lakin, Great Bend, KS RosewoodCreations.com

Call or check our websites for hours and tasting times


FLINT HILLS national scenic byway


Flint Hills National Scenic Byway

about the

byway

Photographs Dave Leiker

L

iving and working along the 50 miles of roads that make up the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway, I continue to make new discoveries in this area that offers inspiring vistas, arts, culture, dining and—above all—space for quiet reflection. The Flint Hills are some of the most beautiful landscapes in the state and are a national treasure in that they preserve some of the last areas of native prairie grasslands that once dominated the Western plains. This is an area that offers history, but isn’t just that—the Flint Hills is a land of vibrant, thriving ranching communities and a magnificent ecology to witness and explore. For my latest trip on this byway, I began on the byway’s north section at Council Grove, an especially rich starting point with excellent restaurants, a beautiful downtown, an art gallery and schedule of festivals. The region also hosts the Council Grove Reservoir, which offers fishing, campgrounds and water sports. My favorite recreation here is to go canoeing or kayaking on Munker Creek. From Council Grove, you soon reach the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve with its forty miles of hiking trails, historic ranch house and daily guided bus tours deep into bison pastures and grasslands. The land is an equal highlight of this trip, and as you pass along the byway you will see cattle herds dotting the landscape and rustic structures testifying to the history of the region’s cattle trade. Soon you will pass into Strong City. This is a rustic town with a population under 500, but each year in early June it is energized with a parade and rodeo that is more than 80 years old. The town also features a beautifully restored railroad depot and the W.B. Strong Memorial Railroad Park (which the locals call “Caboose Park”). Strong City quickly blends into Cottonwood Falls, the largest city in Chase County and a lovely place for a stop. The centerpiece of the town is a 113-foot-tall French

GETTING THERE The Flint Hills National Scenic Byway runs on Kansas Highway 177, from Council Grove (intersection of Kansas Highway 177 and US Highway 56) in the north to Cassoday (the intersection of Kansas Highway 177 and Interstate 35) in the south. LENGTH 47.2 miles TIME TO TRAVEL Approximately 55 minutes without stops ROADWAY Kansas Highway 177 WHEN TO SEE Spring for the wildflowers and prairie burns, but all seasons, including winter, for historic site and shopping stops SERVICES Gas, food and lodging RESOURCES: Chase County Chamber of Commerce (620) 273-8469 chasecountychamber.org Council Grove/Morris County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism (620) 767-5413 councilgrove.com Kansas Byways Flint Hills National Scenic Byway official website travelks.com/ksbyways/flint-hills

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Renaissance-style courthouse, open for tours on weekdays. Stop in, if you can, to see its gorgeous black walnut staircase and the old jail cells on the second floor The Chase County Historical Museum and Library—also in Cottonwood Falls—includes an exhibit about Knute Rockne, the legendary football coach who died in a 1932 airplane crash a few miles southwest of Bazaar, a small community just to the south. If you have some time and don’t have any mobility restrictions, I’d suggest a small detour to visit what I think is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Kansas. Take Lake Road west out of Cottonwood Falls to Chase State Fishing Lake, keeping an eye out for a sign and access road on your left. To see the waterfall, park near the dam and walk to its eastern edge. In the spring, you should even be able to hear the waterfalls from here. But if you can’t hear it, head on the path to the north that will soon snake along several levels of the fall until it arrives at the waterfall base. Be careful; the path is not for everyone and can be slippery in spots after a rain. Back on the main byway, enjoy the views as you continue south, passing by or stopping in at the Pioneer Bluffs Historic Ranch, first established by an Austrian immigrant in 1859 and maintained for events and an annual festival. You might also want to stop in at the small town of Matfield Green, which offers some unique lodging as well as creative shows at The Bank Art Space. As you travel to the end of the byway to Cassoday, and all along the route, remember to keep an eye on the land. Depending on the season, there might be prairie grass burns, cattle grazing or—one of my favorites—a richness of prairie wildflowers such as the bright orange butterfly milkweed. They are all part of the Flint Hills, and now so are you. —By Dave Leiker


Flint Hills National Scenic Byway

about the

ALLEGAWAHO MEMORIAL HERITAGE PARK

Council Grove kawmission.org

stay

see

amenities COTTAGE HOUSE

Council Grove (620) 767-6828

FLINT HILLS TRAIL STATE PARK

STONEHORSE BED & BREAKFAST

Council Grove to Osawatomie TravelKS.com

Cottonwood Falls (785) 497-2904

(search for Flint Hills Trail State Park)

MATFIELD STATION

Matfield Green (316) 217-3319 matfieldstation.com

KAW MISSION STATE HISTORICAL SITE*

TALLGRASS PRAIRIE NATIONAL PRESERVE*

eat

Council Grove kawmission.org

Strong City (620) 273-8494 nps.gov/tapr

TRAIL DAYS CAFÉ AND MUSEUM

Council Grove traildayscafeandmuseum.com AD ASTRA

CHASE COUNTY COURTHOUSE*

Strong City (620) 273-8440

Cottonwood Falls (620) 273-6319

GRAND CENTRAL HOTEL

Cottonwood Falls (785) 273-6763 grandcentralhotel.com

Cottonwood Falls (620) 273-8500 ksgenweb.org/society/cottonwd

shop

THE CHASE COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM AND LIBRARY*

VALERIE’S GIFTS AND SUCH

CHASE STATE FISHING LAKE*

Council Grove (620) 767-6318 valeriesgifts.net

Cottonwood Falls (620) 767-5900 ksoutdoors.com

SYMPHONY IN THE FLINT HILLS STORE

(search for Chase State Fishing Lake)

PIONEER BLUFFS HISTORIC RANCH*

Matfield Green (620) 753-3484 pioneerbluffs.org

Cottonwood Falls (620) 273-8955 shop.symphonyintheflinthills.org THE BANK ART SPACE*

Matfield Green (620) 753-3451 matfieldgreen.org/thebank

*MENTIONED IN THIS GUIDE COMPLETE LISTINGS The above listings are only a portion of the attractions along this byway. For a complete and regularly updated listings of amenities, including destination sites, lodgings, places to eat, shops and events along the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway, go online at: travelks.com/ksbyways/flint-hills/points-of-interest-amenities

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FRONTIER MILITARY

Photographs Aaron Leimkuehler

historic byway


Frontier Military Historic Byway

about the

byway

F

ollowing the Frontier Military Historic Byway, which loosely trails former military supply lines from Fort Leavenworth to Baxter Springs to points south. It’s easy to imagine what the frontier looked like when the supply road was built between 1838 and 1844. The eastern wood hills region border this stretch of highway, and while the distance between forts is merely an hour and change by modern transportation, for troops traveling by horse-drawn wagons, it was a dangerous journey along Indian Territory lines. The byway was more than just ease of transport for supplies. It also acted as the dividing line between Missouri and Kansas and their pro- and anti-slavery factions. A walk through the Fort Leavenworth Frontier Army Museum gives insight to the level of military technology available at the time, coming shortly after the exploration of the territory by Lewis and Clark. The byway was also the permanent eastern boundary of the Indian Frontier. Now, the Frontier Military Historic Byway offers a blend of history, nature, and industry. Explore one of the first National Cemeteries, which was ordered by President Lincoln at Fort Leavenworth. Stop for apple cider and donuts at the Louisburg Cider Mill or enjoy a glass of red at Somerset Ridge Winery. Stroll among the barracks of Fort Scott State Historic Site restored to its former glory. A plate of crispy fried chicken at one of Pittsburg’s warring chicken houses (Chicken Mary’s or Chicken Annie’s—you decide!) gives a taste of farm-bred goodness. Depending on the season, you may find land management techniques that hark back to frontier days—

GETTING THERE Located along the eastern edge of Kansas, the Frontier Military Byway runs north to south from Leavenworth to Baxter Springs mostly along Highway 69. Access communities include Merriam, Louisburg, Pleasanton, Fort Scott, Pittsburg and Baxter Springs. LENGTH 168 miles TIME TO TRAVEL 3 hours without stops ROADWAY U.S. Highway 69, north and south, and Kansas Highway 5 WHEN TO SEE All seasons RESOURCES Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (785) 856-5300 freedomsfrontier.org Leavenworth Convention & Visitors Bureau (913) 758-2948 visitleavenworthks.com Visit Atchison (800) 234-1854 visitatchison.com

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burning undergrowth to introduce higher carbon levels to the soil. No matter what, the byway will take you back in time as you head south or north to the next stop on the road. Curiosities While the name implies a focus on military history, there’s a bit more quirk to the byway than one might think. Stop at the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum in Leavenworth for a ride on one of the many carousels, some dating back to 1913. Go a bit further south to the Johnson County Museum where you’ll find not only state of the art exhibits about the development of Johnson County but also a full-scale replica of an all-electric home from the 1950s. For those with kiddos, the museum also offers a scaled-down version of Johnson County for kids, which can be a welcome relief on a long car ride. The Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area and the adjacent Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge are an excellent place for a walk. Bring binoculars and see if you can spot some of the area’s 321 bird species. For history lovers, the Marais des Cygnes Massacre State Historic Site is close by as well. The drive-through tour includes signage that explains the tensions leading up to one of the Bleeding Kansas conflicts, a precursor to the Civil War. Beyond military history, this byway offers a glimpse into Kansas’ rich mining industry. A visit to Big Brutus, the world’s largest existing electric shovel in West Mineral gives travelers a sense of the scale of mining investment. The shovel is 16 stories tall and now hosts a museum explaining the mining history of the area. Big Brutus was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2018. —By Rachel Murphy Leimkuehler


Frontier Military Historic Byway

about the

see

amenities FORT LEAVENWORTH NATIONAL CEMETERY*

Fort Leavenworth (913) 727-1376 Cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/ ftleavenworth.asp

BIG BRUTUS*

NU-GRILLE

West Mineral (620) 827-6177 BigBrutus.org

Fort Scott (620) 223-9949 CHICKEN ANNIE’S ORIGINAL*

MINERS HALL MUSEUM FOUNDATION

Pittsburg (620) 231-9460 ChickenAnniesOriginal.com

Franklin (620) 347-4220 MinersHallMuseum.com

FRONTIER ARMY MUSEUM*

Fort Leavenworth (913) 684-3191

CHICKEN MARY’S* C.W. PARKER CAROUSEL MUSEUM*

Leavenworth (913) 682-1331 FirstCityMuseums.org/carousel/

BAXTER SPRINGS HERITAGE CENTER AND MUSEUM

Pittsburg (620) 231-9510

Baxter Springs (620) 856-2385 baxterspringsmuseum.org

VAN’S STEAKHOUSE

UNION PARK GUEST HOUSE

PICKET FENCES AND PETALS

Baxter Springs (620) 856-5506

shop

Overland Park (913) 715-2550 JoCoGov.org/dept/museum/home

stay

JOHNSON COUNTY MUSEUM*

MARAIS DES CYGNES WILDLIFE AREA

Leavenworth (913) 651-3991 UnionParkGH.com

Pleasanton 913-352-8941 ksoutdoors.com

TIMBER HILLS LAKE RANCH

Merriam (913) 972-1341

MARAIS DES CYGNES NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Mapleton (620) 743-4114 TimberHillsLake.com

NEW LANCASTER GENERAL STORE & WINERY

LYONS TWIN MANSIONS

Paola (913) 377-4689

SHUT UP & FLY

Pleasanton (913) 352-8956 FWS.gov/refuge/marais_des_cygnes

Fort Scott (620) 223-3644 LyonsTwinMansions.com

MINE CREEK BATTLEFIELD STATE HISTORIC SITE

Pleasanton (913) 352-8890 kshs.org/p/mine-creek-civil-warbattlefield/19567

Fort Scott (620) 223-0310 NPS.gov/fosc/index.htm

THE LAVENDER PATCH AGRITOURISM LAVENDER FARM AND GIFT SHOP

Fort Scott (620) 223-1364 TheLavenderPatchFarm.com

ROSE COTTAGE

Baxter Springs (620) 856-2524 RoseCottageKansas.com

STRAWBERRY MOON BOUTIQUE

eat

FORT SCOTT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

Leavenworth (913) 651-4142

Pittsburg (620) 232-1155

MAMA MIA’S

Leavenworth (913) 682-2131

*MENTIONED IN THIS GUIDE COMPLETE LISTINGS The above listings are only a portion of the attractions along this byway. For a complete and regularly updated listings of amenities, including destination sites, lodgings, places to eat, shops and events along the Frontier Military Historic Byway, go online at: travelks.com/ksbyways/frontier-military/points-of-interest-amenities

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GLACIAL HILLS scenic byway


Glacial Hills Scenic Byway

about the

Photographs Nathan Pettengill

T

he Glacial Hills Scenic Byway is a short run of some 63 miles, extending from Leavenworth to White Cloud, that could take just over an hour to complete. But think of the journey less as a straight line plotted by your GPS and more as a chance to explore the course of the Missouri River, some of the state’s earliest settlements that grew up alongside it and the natural beauty of this region. If you have a day for exploration, you will be rewarded by delving into the communities along the route and taking side jaunts of your choice. Starting from Leavenworth, go to North Esplanade Street overlooking the Missouri River bluffs. Not only is this area the state’s first park and lined by beautifully maintained historic homes, it offers an expansive view of the wide, brown river. That coloring is from sediment churned up by the waters, sediment that throughout the Ice Age would be deposited along the riverbanks—sometimes extending for miles in either direction—and leave behind a layer of soil called “loess” that created the rolling hills and rich farmland surrounding the byway. You can see cutaways of this soil in bluffs around the byway just outside of Leavenworth and this soil is the basis of farming communities that gathered at landmarks such as St. Patrick Church, some 15 miles north of Leavenworth, visible one mile to the west of the byway. Extending some 22 miles north on Kansas Highway 7/US Highway 73, the byway crosses through Atchison, a town that grew as a critical junction for river and railroad traffic. It is one of the primary stops along the byway and offers numerous places to eat, such as the River Shack Smokehouse that overlooks the river. If you have only a little time, consider dropping in at the town’s riverfront Veterans Memorial Park (at the eastern end of Main St., just under the Highway 59 bridge crossing over the Missouri River) for history displays and river views. If you have more time, then the childhood home of Amelia Earhart offers a fascinating exploration of this aviation legend’s life. Benedictine College with its St. Benedict’s Abbey is an uplifting visit, with open services in the august cathedral adorned with prairie-themed wall mosaics and rich organ accompaniments. (See the resource section for more Atchison locations.)

byway GETTING THERE In the northeast corner of Kansas, the byway runs from Leavenworth and heads north through Atchison and Troy into White Cloud. LENGTH 63 miles TIME TO TRAVEL Approximately 75 minutes without stops ROADWAYS US Highway 73 and Kansas Highway 7, north and south WHEN TO SEE All seasons SERVICES Gas, food and lodging RESOURCES Glacial Hills RC&D (785) 608-8801 Visit Atchison (800) 234-1854 visitatchison.com Iowa Tribe of KS and NE iowatribeofkansas andnebraska.com Doniphan County (785) 985-2235 dpcountyks.com Visit Leavenworth (913) 758-2948 VisitLeavenworthks.com

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From Atchison, the byway continues north through beautiful farmland with crops of alfalfa, wheat and corn, and in the spring accompanied by smaller gatherings of stunning iris and peony beds next to farm homes. Some 18 miles past Atchison, it makes a short jaunt into Troy—a small community well worth a stop in order to see Peter Toth’s impressive courthouse-yard sculpture (part of a project with sister sculptures in every state and dedicated to the nation’s Native communities) as well as the Nelson Rogers House, believed to be the only remaining structure where Abraham Lincoln visited during his stay Kansas. You can extend this side trip a few miles more to the east, running through Wathena or Elwood and then explore the smaller roads to the north that follow the river’s bend before coming back to the main byway. Here, and as you travel between Troy and White Cloud, the Missouri River seems to lap at the byway, and the landscape offers magnificent opportunities for birding. In just a short drive, we encountered an indigo bunting, a great blue heron, a western bluebird and a Baltimore oriole. Coming up on White Cloud, enjoy the river views from the lowlands, and then cut through town and find Third Street or loop back from the north to drive the steep road up to the Four-State Lookout, which offers an expansive view of the Missouri River and, to the north, the borders of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa. Just past White Cloud, to the north and the west, are the lands of the Ioway nation (the Iowa Tribe of Kansas-Nebraska), open to visitors for seasonal rodeo events and year-round with a casino, guest cabins and a convenience store that sells some of the nation’s products such as the honey from bees kept on the clover-filled meadows near the Missouri River bluffs. Look in the resource sections of this guide for an app that allows you to download a historical tour of the reservation lands, taking you to the border of Nebraska, where the Missouri River continues to flow, but the lands slowly shift to different soils, different histories and other stories. —By Nathan Pettengill


Glacial Hills Scenic Byway

about the

see

amenities LEAVENWORTH LANDING PARK

FOUR-STATE LOOKOUT*

Leavenworth (913) 651-2203 lvks.org

White Cloud (785) 595-3261 travelks.org/listing/4-statelookout/1310

CARROLL MANSION

stay

Leavenworth (913) 682-7759 leavenworthhistory.org

CODY’S REST

Leavenworth (913) 683-1403

ST. PATRICK CATHOLIC CHURCH*

Atchison County (913) 367-0671

UNION PARK GUEST HOUSE

Leavenworth (913) 651-3991

VETERAN’S MEMORIAL PARK*

Atchison (913) 367-5561 cityofatchison.com/location/veteransmemorial-park

TUCK U INN AT GLICK MANSION BED AND BREAKFAST

Atchison (913) 367-9110 glickmansion.com

AMELIA EARHART BIRTHPLACE MUSEUM*

ABBEY GUEST HOUSE (WEEKEND SPIRITUAL RETREATS)*

Atchison (913) 367-4217 ameliaearhartmuseum.org

St. Benedict’s Abbey, Atchison (913) 367-7853 kansasmonks.org/retreats

BENEDICTINE COLLEGE, ST. BENEDICT’S ABBEY*

eat

Atchison (913) 367-7853 kansasmonks.org benedictine.edu

ISLAND SPICE JAMAICAN RESTAURANT

Leavenworth (913) 297-2292

DONIPHAN COUNTY COURTHOUSE* NELSON ROGERS HOME

JERRY’S AGAIN

Atchison (913) 367-0577

Troy (785) 390-7320 dpcountyks.com

PAOLUCCI’S RESTAURANT

WILBUR CHAPMAN (PIGGY BANK) MONUMENT

White Cloud Corner of Main and First streets

Atchison (913) 367-6105 RIVER SHACK SMOKEHOUSE*

Atchison (913) 370-8016

*MENTIONED IN THIS GUIDE COMPLETE LISTINGS The above listings are only a portion of the destinations along this byway. For a complete and regularly updated listings of amenities, including destination sites, lodgings, places to eat, shops and events along the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway, go online at: travelks.com/ksbyways/glacial-hills/points-of-interest-amenities

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GYPSUM HILLS

Photographs Andrea Etzel

scenic byway


Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway

about the

byway

T

he Gypsum Hills get their distinctive red tint from the iron in the soil, which oxidizes when exposed to the air. The area’s unique topography only gets more amazing from there. Kansas isn’t a place you’ll typically find buttes, canyons, mesas, or sinkholes, but the Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway has them all. Travel along Highway 160 from Coldwater to Medicine Lodge for stunning views of the red hills and green pastures overrun with invasive red cedar, the only juniper native to Kansas. For real adventure, turn off the byway onto the Gyp Hills Scenic Drive, just west of Medicine Lodge. The mostly unpaved 22-mile detour runs through an open range where you may encounter local ranchers on horseback tending their cattle. Wildlife This slice of south-central Kansas is home to very few people, but plenty of wild animals. Among the native grasses and brilliant wildflowers you’re likely to come across deer, pheasant, quail, prairie chickens, coyotes and turkeys. If you’re lucky, you may spot an armadillo or a bobcat. A century ago these pristine natural features were roamed by buffalo

GETTING THERE The Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway runs west to east, beginning at Coldwater and ending at Medicine Lodge. From the west, the byway can be accessed by U.S. Highway 183 south from U.S. Highway 54. From the east take U.S. Highway 281 south from U.S. Highway 54. LENGTH 42 miles TIME TO TRAVEL 43 minutes, without stops ROADWAY Kansas Highway 160 WHEN TO SEE Spring and Fall RESOURCES Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway (620) 243-3059 gypsumhillsbyway@gmail.com

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herds, pursued by the Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, and Kiowa people. Equine enthusiasts can join an organized tour with Gypsum Hills Trail Rides—just remember to bring your own mount and tack —or explore the Gant-Larson Ranch on your own. For visitors without horses, the Ranch offers hiking and camping—but watch out for rattlesnakes. History The area’s Native American tribes signed a peace treaty with the United States in 1867, which the town of Medicine Lodge celebrates with the Peace Treaty Indian Summer Days festival held every three to four years in September. At Peace Treaty time, as the locals call it, you can fill your schedule with a little of everything. Start each day with a parade and end each evening with historical re-enactments. Don’t miss the annual powwow, a fun opportunity to learn about Native American history and culture. Cheer on your favorite local ranch hands in events like penning, calf branding and ranch bronc riding at the annual Kansas Championship Ranch Rodeo. —By Sarah Kelly Shannon


Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway

about the

COMANCHE COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM:

Coldwater (620) 582-2108 STAN HERD MURALS

CARRY A. NATION HOME & STOCKADE MUSEUM

Medicine Lodge (620) 886-3553 medicinelodgestockade.org

Medicine Lodge (620) 886-9815 peacetreaty.org (held every three to four years)

Coldwater (620) 582-2775 davespizzaoven.com

BUNKHOUSE BED AND BREAKFAST AT WILDFIRE RANCH

Medicine Lodge (620) 739-4788 bunkhouseatwildfireranch.org

THE BLONDE GRILL GYPSUM HILLS TRAIL RIDES*

Medicine Lodge (620) 886-9822 gypsumhillstrailrides.com

Coldwater PEACE TREATY PAGEANT*

DAVE’S PIZZA OVEN

stay

Coldwater (620) 582-2705

Coldwater (620) 582-2900 theblondegrill.com

GYP HILLS GUEST RANCH

Medicine Lodge (620) 886-3303 gyphillsguestranch.com

BURGER SHACK-N-SNACK BARBER STATE FISHING LAKE

Medicine Lodge (620) 886-5752

Medicine Lodge (620) 886-3908

BUSTER’S SALOON

Sun City (620) 248-3215

shop

CHIEF THEATER

eat

see

amenities

SAGEBRUSH GALLERY OF WESTERN ART

Medicine Lodge (620) 886-5163 earlkuhn.com

*MENTIONED IN THIS GUIDE COMPLETE LISTINGS The above listings are only a portion of the destinations along this byway. For a complete and regularly updated listings of amenities, including destination sites, lodgings, places to eat, shops and events along the Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway, go online at: travelks.com/ksbyways/gypsum-hills/points-of-interest-amenities


n i s w e i V e h t y o j n E County

n a m r e Sh

785-890-3515 • 888-824-4222 VisitGoodland.com • Director@VisitGoodland.com #visitgoodland Visit Goodland

@visitgoodland

@visitgoodland.com


LAND AND SKY Photographs Doug Stremel

scenic byway


Land and Sky Scenic Byway

about the

byway

T

he Land & Sky byway runs north and south through Cheyenne, Sherman and Wallace Counties. Aptly named, this byway gives an unparalleled taste of Kansas landscape and open sky; from the craggy badlands in the northern half of the byway, to the smooth, open views and hills of the high plains in the southern part of the byway.

GETTING THERE Interstate 70, Exit 17; U.S. Highway 36, U.S. Highway 40. All three highways cross the scenic byway.

A Taste of the High Plains This byway is the perfect example of big sky and wide-open plains. Traveling the southern portion of the byway, from Sharon Springs to Goodland, you can see for miles along Highway 27. On a clear day, the blue sky is endless and the high plains fields full of wheat, milo, sunflowers and corn stretch forever. The landscape of the southern section of the byway gives way to hills and the road takes bends and sharp turns as it winds between Sharon Springs and Goodland. Travelers will enjoy an ever-changing agricultural rainbow depending on time of year. Catch the sunflowers in late summer, and watch the crops and grazing pastures change from various hues of greens, golds and browns from spring through fall.

TIME TO TRAVEL 1.5 hours without stops

Americana, Art & Culture The Land and Sky byway transports visitors to another space and time. The stretch of highway passes between Central and Mountain time zones. But it is also chock full of history, ranging from the homesteaders of the late 1800s to the car-crazed Americana of the 1950s. On the southern end of the byway stop at Penny’s Diner in Sharon Springs, for a home cooked meal and a bit of art and culture, complete with checked floor tiles and red bar stools found in a shiny rail car-style building. Traveling north, take a jaunt west off K-27 to Mount Sunflower before journeying to Goodland, where you can check out the restored White Eagle Gas Station. Northeast of Goodland, you will find the Kidder Massacre historic marker near the Kuhrt Ranch. The soldiers

RESOURCES Cheyenne County Development Corporation (785) 332-3508 ccdcks.com

LENGTH 88 miles

ROADWAY Kansas Highway 27 WHEN TO SEE Summer and fall to catch the harvest season and year round to enjoy all four seasons SERVICES Gas, food and lodging are available in all three counties and in the communities of St. Francis, Goodland and Sharon Springs.

SHERMAN COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU (785) 890-3515 visitgoodland.com WALLACE COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU (785) 891-3564 travelwallacecounty.com

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killed in the massacre were originally buried south in the Fort Wallace Post Cemetery. Goodland is an excellent stop for art and culture along the byway. Known for its largerthan-life rendition of Vincent Van Gogh’s Three Sunflowers in a Vase, the town hosts an Art in the Parks program, and is also dotted with murals depicting the area’s history. Aviation enthusiasts should stop at the High Plains Museum to see the first American patented helicopter. Arikaree Breaks Following the byway north of Goodland, travelers may visit the communities of Wheeler and St. Francis before coming upon the unique landscape known as the Arikaree Breaks. Formed some 10,000 years ago, the ravines and canyons specific to this craggy scenery were formed by winds and ancient waterways. They were built of Pierre Shale, Ogallala sand and gravel, and loess silt believed to be from the Arikaree and Republican rivers. Today, the surprising canyons and rolling hills are streaked with buffalo grass, sage, prickly pear cactus and yucca plants. This is in stark contrast to the high plains of the southern section of the byway. Be sure to download the self-guided driving tour of the Arikaree Breaks. Maps of the area are available at the Information Center in St. Francis or the Kansas Travel Information Center on I-70 milepost 7, just west of Goodland. History enthusiasts will want to stop at Horse Thief Cave along County Road 17. Another interesting site is Cherry Creek Encampment located one mile northwest of K-27 and US-36. The encampment honors the memory of Cheyenne tribe members who fled the Sand Creek Massacre and were joined by other plains tribes totaling some 3,000 Natives. The Sand Creek Massacre sparked 25 years of war on the plains, culminating in the Battle of Wounded Knee in South Dakota in 1890. —By Kelly Gibson


Land and Sky Scenic Byway

about the

St. Francis (785) 332-4950 ST. FRANCIS MOTORCYCLE MUSEUM

St. Francis (785) 332-2400 stfrancismotorcyclemuseum.org

THE SPENCER HOUSE BED AND BREAKFAST

St. Francis (785) 332-2513 thespencerhousebandb.com

shop

CHEYENNE COUNTY MUSEUM

stay

see

amenities

KUHRT RANCH RESORT*

St. Francis (785) 332-3300

Edson (785) 899-5306 kuhrtranch.com

OLDE WESTPORT SPICE AND TRADING CO.

MT. SUNFLOWER BED AND BREAKFAST

Goodland (800) 537-6470 oldewestportspice.com

Sharon Springs (785) 852-4004 mtsunflowerbandb.com

GIANT VAN GOGH PAINTING*

THE BUFFALO GUYS

Goodland (888) 330-8686 thebuffaloguys.com

Goodland (785) 890-4595 highplainsmuseum.org MT. SUNFLOWER

Sharon Springs (785) 891-3564

eat

Goodland HIGH PLAINS MUSEUM

FRESH SEVEN COFFEE

St. Francis (785) 772-0823

GENERAL STORE

Sharon Springs (785) 852-4256

BIG ED’S

Bird City (785) 734-2475 CRAZY R’S BAR AND GRILL

THE RADIEL WRENCH MUSEUM

Goodland

Sharon Springs (785) 852-4716 landandskyscenicbyway.com/ wrench

BUTTERFLY CAFÉ

FORT WALLACE MUSEUM AND CEMETERY*

Wallace (785) 891-3564 ftwallace.com

St. Francis (785) 332-0308 DONNA’S GIFT PALACE

CARNEGIE ARTS CENTER

Goodland (785) 890-6442 goodlandarts.org

QUINCY GALLERY

Goodland PENNY’S DINER

Sharon Springs (785) 852-4664 STEPHEN’S RESTAURANT

Sharon Springs

*MENTIONED IN THIS GUIDE COMPLETE LISTINGS The above listings are only a portion of the destinations along this byway. For a complete and regularly updated listings of amenities, including destination sites, lodgings, places to eat, shops and events along the Land and Sky Scenic Byway, go online at: travelks.com/ksbyways/land-sky/points-of-interest-amenities

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NATIVE STONE scenic byway


Native Stone Scenic Byway

about the

byway

Photographs Nick Krug

T

he Native Stone Scenic Byway is a nearly 75-mile route exploring nature and history—the natural beauty of Kansas limestone and the communities, crafts and architecture that grew around it. Limestone is the bedrock of this region; eight million acres of it lie just below the soil surface, and from that comes many of the region’s main features. I decided that this byway was best visited with a travel companion—my three-year old son. After all, what better way to assess the timeless beauty and deep attraction of history than by introducing it to a preschooler with little patience, a frequent need for stops involving snacks and comfortable facilities? The Native Stone Scenic Byway didn’t disappoint. Our first stop was in Dover, where we parked our car to explore and run along the limestone wall outside the Historic Sage Inn that dates back as far as 1878 (22 years after the town was settled). Also in Dover is the Sommerset Hall Café, which gained national fame in 2008 when its coconut cream pie was selected by the television show Good Morning America Weekend as the nation’s best slice of pie. Our lunch plans were set for Big Bertha’s Diner a bit further down the byway in Eskridge. But thanks to a generous slice of pie, we were able to put off lunch for a short spell to stop and enjoy the horses grazing in the fields along the road and to walk through some tall grass and take a close-up look at an old limestone barn outside of Keene. Big Bertha’s Diner waited for us … and it was well worth it. After Eskridge, the byway stretches through some beautiful land before turning north on Highway 99. Here, native stone fences begin to appear, rising and falling on the prairie roads winding toward Alma, “The City of Native Stone.” In Alma, we couldn’t resist taking an eastbound turn over the train tracks and

GETTING THERE In northeast-central Kansas, the Native Stone Byway runs as an east-west, s-shaped route beginning six miles east of Dover, at K-4 Hwy and Glick Rd. and ending at the interchange of Interstate 70 and Kansas Highway 177. LENGTH 75 miles TIME TO TRAVEL Approximately 90 minutes without stops ROADWAYS Kansas Highways 4, 99, 18 and 177 WHEN TO SEE Spring, but also winter for the pies en route SERVICES Limited services along Kansas Highways 4 and 18 RESOURCES Wabaunsee County Economic Development (785) 765-4655 wabaunsee.com City of Alma (785) 765-3922 cityofalma-kansas.com Manhattan CVB (785) 776-8829 manhattancvb.com

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following the downtown signs directing us to the Alma Creamery, which has been churning out local cheese and other products since 1942. Built in 1867, Alma’s downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places and contains several nice shops and attractions such as the Wabaunsee County Historical Museum. With our bellies full (again, but this time of fresh Alma cheese), we continued north along Highway 99 toward Wabaunsee, meeting a pair of cyclists who, like us, stopped to admire some of the limestone buildings along the ride. From Alma, the byway continues north of Interstate 70, looping up past Mount Mitchell Heritage Prairie Park, which honors Captain William Mitchell, a leader of the Freestate Beecher Bible and Rifle Colony. Hiking trails are cut through a quiet 45-acre park, which features a tall lone hill covered in windswept prairie grass and ruts from a road that in the 1800s was used to transport slaves to freedom. Four miles on—after the byway turns onto Highway 18—is the Beecher Bible and Rifle Church, completed in 1862 and rooted in the state’s abolitionist communities. Tours of the limestone church, with its gabled roof and bell tower, are available by request; the church has services on Sunday mornings. As the byway comes into its last miles, it heads west toward Manhattan and then south back toward I-70 with a wonderful scenic overlook on Highway 177. For me and my traveling companion, these were some of the most delightful miles. We were heading home after a full, eventful outing that had stood up to the most finicky of tourists, and the wildflowers along the vast Konza Prairie that we were passing shone under the sunshine as we said goodbye. —By Nick Krug


We’re A Wine Store … And More!

Native Stone Scenic Byway

about the

see

amenities ECHO CLIFF PARK

Dover (785) 256-6050 travelks.com WABAUNSEE COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM*

Alma (785) 765-2200

Award-Winning Wines Made in Kansas Free Wine Tasting Customized Gift Baskets Unique Gifts & Products Free Food Samples on Saturdays Wine Taste While You Browse Support Employment For People with Developmental Disabilities by purchasing Rosewood Wine Cellar Products.

MOUNT MITCHELL HERITAGE PRAIRIE PARK*

1901 Lakin Downtown Great Bend, KS (620) 603-6410

Wamego mountmitchellprairie.org

Hours:

Mondays-Thursdays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

BEECHER BIBLE AND RIFLE CHURCH*

Wabaunsee mountmitchellprairie.org

RosewoodWineCellar.com

stay

WELCOME TO CLAY COUNTY, KANSAS

eat

Fun Shopping

Alma (785) 449-2100

THE FLINT HILLS DISCOVERY CENTER

SOMMERSET HALL CAFÉ*

Manhattan (785) 587-2726

Dover sommersethallcafe.com

KONZA PRAIRIE*

BIG BERTHA’S DINER*

Konza Prairie Biological Station kpbs.konza.k-state.edu

Eskridge (785) 449-2818

HISTORIC SAGE INN*

ALMA BAKERY & SWEET SHOPPE

Dover (785) 256-6050

Alma (785) 765-2235

THE LOFT AT THE VOLLAND STORE

ALMA CREAMERY*

Alma (785) 765-3522

Zoo Museums Rodeos Festivals Milford Lake Water parks Hunting Shopping

ABNER ALLEN GUEST HOUSE

Manhattan (785) 456-9201

shop

Alma (785) 499-3916

COME EXPERIENCE

THE LODGE AT LAKE WABAUNSEE

ANTIQUE EMPORIUM OF ALMA

Alma (785) 765-3332

*MENTIONED IN THIS GUIDE COMPLETE LISTINGS The above listings are only a portion of the attractions along this byway. For a complete and regularly updated listings of amenities, including destination sites, lodgings, places to eat, shops and events along the Native Stone Scenic Byway, go online at: travelks.com/ksbyways/native-stone

claycokansas.com | claycenterchamber@gmail.com | 785.632.5674 Kansas Byways

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GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE

BED & BREAKFAST

ASSOCIATION

A stay at one of our fine member properties

www.kbba.com

AN UNFORGETTABLE GIFT!

SEASONS OF THE FOX

TUCK U INN AT GLICK MANSION

THE HISTORIC WOLF HOTEL

Lindsborg, KS

Atchison, KS

Ellinwood, KS

seasonsofthefox.com

glickmansion.com 913-367-9110

historicwolfhotel.com

800-756-3596

620-617-6915

Each Bed and Breakfast Inn has been inspected and approved and is in compliance with Health and Fire Codes.

ABILENE’S VICTORIAN INN

Our members offer friendly, safe, and comfortable environment with breakfast as described on member’s individual website. Each member B&B assures its guests comfort, cleanliness and warm hospitality.

THE PHILIP HOUSTON HOUSE

abilenesvictorianinn.com

With knowledge of the surrounding area, community events, historic sites, shopping, sports, and great restaurants, your innkeeper will assure you of a quality experience.

785-263-7774

info@kbba • 316-765-1845

HENDRICK’S B&B AND EXOTIC ANIMAL FARM

MT. SUNFLOWER BED & BREAKFAST & RETREAT

CIRCLE S RANCH & COUNTRY INN

Nickerson, KS

Sharon Springs, KS

Lawrence, KS

hedricks.com 888-489-8039

mtsunflowerbandb.com 785-852-4004

circlesranch.com 785-843-4124

Abilene, KS

Rexford, KS

shepherdstaff.org 785-687-2565


POST ROCK scenic byway


Post Rock Scenic Byway

about the

Photographs Justin Lister

T

he Post Rock Scenic Byway takes its name from the limestone fence posts that pioneers used in settling this region. These edifices are beautiful and practical because the mainly treeless plains of the time provided little wood for traditional fencing. Today, that innovative approach continues in this section of Kansas—a beautiful area of the Smoky Hills favored by migrating birds where communities have emerged with a quirky, can-do spirit. And all of this regional flavor can be discovered with a trip of slightly over 20 miles along one of the state’s shortest and most picturesque scenic byways. I chose to travel the byway from south to north, leaving Wilson during the sunrise as the mist hung in the valleys and crevices of the landscape. Yellow spring flowers brightened the horizon, and then other colors emerged as the sun rose. It’s a beautiful journey over a two-lane road that bounces over the hills as fence posts blur by the sides. But don’t travel too fast—this is a trip that rewards the close inspection. My first stop was at Wilson Lake, which I’ve always found to be one of the state’s most beautiful lakes thanks to the limestone underneath it. I’m often an early riser, but I was the latecomer to groups of fishermen who were trying their luck (and being rewarded for it) along the banks. The lake’s dam stands proudly in the distance, and you soon pass it as you head along the byway and into a prairie scene populated mostly by cattle. I love this area and got out to look around in all directions where the land extends into the horizon with no signs of homes,

byway GETTING THERE In central Kansas, the byway is just off Interstate 70, going south a short distance on the 206 mile marker exit to visit Wilson, and then back north on Kansas Highway 232. LENGTH 18 miles TIME TO TRAVEL Approximately 25 minutes without stops ROADWAY Kansas Highway 232 WHEN TO SEE All seasons SERVICES Gas, food and lodging RESOURCES Lucas Area Chamber of Commerce (785) 525-6288 lucaskansas.com Wilson Chamber of Commerce (785) 658-2272 wilsonkschamber.com

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power lines or even trees. This is where you really understand what the pioneers faced when they arrived and how hard they must have worked just to erect a line of fence. I think that creative problem-solving is reinterpreted in so many other ways at Lucas, the town at the end of the Post Rock Scenic Byway and home to the unforgettable and historic “Garden of Eden” as well as to a thriving arts community. At first glance it seems to be typical small-town Kansas with its wide main street lined with old buildings—except it isn’t typical at all. My first stop is at “Possumbilities” where I’m greeted by Rhonda Riniker. She’s the CEO of the store (and by “CEO” she means, of course, the “Caffeine Energy Orienter”). Light prisms in the window cast rainbows across the room and on the antiques throughout the store as Riniker tells me about some of the town’s highlights, including the imaginative public bathroom that is, in itself, an architectural treasure. There’s also the famous Garden of Eden, a Civil War veteran and self-taught artist’s sculpture display of biblical and political allegories cast in concrete. And there’s the Grassroots Arts Museum and many other stops and shops in this town. The Post Rock Scenic Byway can be a short side trip from I-70 or a day trip with plenty of stops along the way. Or, it can be a destination that continues to call you back for frequent visits, with new discoveries each time. I’m still exploring it and will be for some time to come. —By Justin Lister


Post Rock Scenic Byway

about the

SIMPLE HAVEN B&B

WILSON STATE PARK AND WILSON LAKE*

Wilson (785) 658-3814 simplehavenbandb.com

Wilson (785) 658-2551 ksoutdoors.com

shop

see

amenities KANSAS ORIGINALS MARKET AND GALLERY

Wilson (877) 457-6233 kansasoriginals.com

HORSESHOE LODGE

Lucas (785) 525-7717

WORLD’S LARGEST CZECH EGG

Wilson wilsonkschamber.com

Lucas (785) 525-6395 garden-of-eden-lucas-kansas.com

IRON LION BAR AND GRILL

Wilson (785) 658-2700

Lucas (785) 525-6464

GRANDMA’S SODA SHOP

Wilson (785) 658-2200

GRASSROOTS ARTS CENTER*

stay

Lucas BRANT’S MARKET

eat

GARDEN OF EDEN*

POSSUMBILITIES*

Lucas (785) 525-6118 grassrootsart.net

MADE FROM SCRATCH CAFÉ

MILLER’S PARK

K-18 CAFÉ

Lucas

Lucas (785) 525-6262

MIDLAND RAILROAD HOTEL

BACKSTREET BAKERY

Wilson (785) 658-3300

Wilson (785) 658-2284 midlandrailroadhotel.com

Lucas (785) 346-6491

*MENTIONED IN THIS GUIDE COMPLETE LISTINGS The above listings are only a portion of the attractions along this byway. For a complete and regularly updated listings of amenities, including destination sites, lodgings, places to eat, shops and events along the Post Rock Scenic Byway, go online at: travelks.com/ksbyways/post-rock/points-of-interest-amenities

Proud Past – Brilliant Future 785-528-3714 (Osage City Hall) www.OsageCity.com


Begin your Western Vistas Historic Byway Tour Fossils to Frontier & Wildlife to Warriors EL QUARTELEJO MUSEUM: Fossils Meet the Frontier Fossils from the inland sea, interactive displays, early Indian scenes and artifacts Replica & History of El Quartelejo Pueblo

www.elquartelejomuseum.org JERRY THOMAS GALLERY & COLLECTION: Where Art and History Tell a Story

Historic displays, gift shop, renowned guided Historical Byways Bus Tour

www.jerrythomasartgallery.com

Wildlife, Western Heritage, Native American & U.S. Cavalry Art and More

Amazing Artifacts from Native Americans, Battle of Little Big Horn, Civil War, Cowboy Trails, and Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork

902 W. HigHWay 96, Scott city, KanSaS 67871 | (620) 872-5912 tueSday – Saturday, 1:00 – 5:00 or by appointment.

Sunflower Stroll… Downtown Tonganoxie

Labor Day Weekend Artists, Music, Crafts, Food and Family Fun!

Tonganoxie, Kansas www.tonganoxiebusinessassociation.com 913-417-3900


PRAIRIE TRAIL scenic byway


Prairie Trail Scenic Byway

Photographs Justin Lister

about the

Approximately 80 miles, the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway is a tribute to the cattle trails that shaped this region and the towns that grew up around them. It’s a zig-zag of a journey through five Kansas communities and countless wheat fields. Because it offers so much natural beauty and so many different attractions, it is probably my favorite of all the byways, particularly the gorgeous stretch of road between Ellsworth and Kanopolis Lake at Kanopolis State Park. No matter where you begin, the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway is a rewarding drive through some of Kansas’ best scenery. For this last journey, I happened to start at the southern end in Canton. I did this in part because I wanted to capture this less-populated area during the morning hours when the sunlight brings out the best views of rolling farmland. You might want to make a quick side trip by turning west on Pueblo Road to Maxwell Wildlife Refuge—home bison and elk herds. Tram tours of the refuge can be made by reservation. On this day, I simply stopped and took several pictures along the first miles, where the road led me gently to the north and west, through Roxbury and into Lindsborg. For me, Lindsborg is a must-stop. The vibrant downtown features many restaurants and shops. As a photographer, I simply had to pay homage at the Small World Gallery, a combination artisan jewelry shop and photo gallery featuring the work of Jim Richardson, the longtime National Geographic photographer who—if he isn’t somewhere on assignment across the globe—is quite likely to be in or around the studio when you drop in. The town also features the Old Mill Museum and its realistic 19th-century town replica as well as the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery, which houses the largest collection of Sandzén’s impressionist paintings. I’d recommend planning ahead for your favorite stop, but you can’t go wrong simply exploring this town. Just outside of Lindsborg is Coronado

byway GETTING THERE Near the very center of Kansas, this byway runs from Canton (not far from the intersection of the historic Santa Fe and Chisholm trails) and runs in a north and west step route, through Lindsborg, Marquette and Ellsworth before ending at the intersection of US Highway 156 and Interstate 70. LENGTH 80 miles TIME TO TRAVEL 90 minutes without stops ROADWAYS Kansas Highways 141 and 4; US Highway 156 WHEN TO SEE All seasons SERVICES Gas, food and lodging RESOURCES Lindsborg CVB (785) 227-4128 lindsborgcity.org Marquette (785) 546-2205 marquettekansas.com Ellsworth Chamber (785) 472-4071 goellsworth.com

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Heights, a castle-like WPA-era construction. In part, it commemorates the region that the famous Spanish explorer traveled through in the mid 1500s, but it also offers one of the best panoramic views of the region. A few miles west of Lindsborg is Marquette, which, you guessed it, is another mandatory stop for me because it is home to the Kansas Motorcycle Museum—simply one of the best motorcycle museums in the country. Check out the News and Events tab on museum’s website (listed on pg 36). From Marquette, the byway continues briefly on Highway 4 then heads north on Kansas Highway 141, allowing travelers a stop at the picturesque Kanopolis State Park and Reservoir. For me, Kanopolis Lake is full of memories of all the summers and Memorial Days I spent there in the past. In addition to a variety of watersports, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking opportunities, the park also features more than 200 campsites and natural trails. If there are any restless legs in your group, this is the place to stop and stretch them. Nearby, Mushroom Rock State Park gets its name from the unique geologic rock formations of Dakota sandstone found there that resemble mushrooms. This five-acre park consists of two mushroom pedestals and numerous other rock formations. It is free to the public and worth the very short detour. From here, the byway continues westward to Ellsworth, once known as the “wickedest cattle town in the West,” but now a pleasant renegadeless community that is perfect for a short stop and stroll before following the last of the byway back north to I-70. If you are a hobbyist photographer, this byway is a must. Be sure to go early in the morning or in the afternoon to take advantage of the beautiful light that brings out the best in this Kansas landscape. —By Justin Lister


Prairie Trail Scenic Byway

about the

CORONADO HEIGHTS*

MAXWELL WILDLIFE REFUGE*

KANSAS MOTORCYCLE MUSEUM*

ROSBERG HOUSE

Marquette (785) 546-2449 ksmotorcyclemuseum.org

stay

Canton (620) 628-4455 maxwellwildliferefuge.com

North of Lindsborg (888) 227-2227 lindsborghistory.org/ coronadoheights

Lindsborg (785) 250-0508 rosberg.house

Lindsborg (785) 227-2549 seasonsofthefox.com

Marquette (785) 546-2565 ksoutdoors.com

SWEDISH COUNTRY INN

Lindsborg (800) 231-0266 swedishcountryinn.com

MUSHROOM ROCK STATE PARK*

Marquette (785) 546-2565 ksoutdoors.com OLD MILL MUSEUM*

Lindsborg (785) 227-3595

SODAS N SUDS

Canton (620) 350-8006

shop

SWEDISH CROWN SEASONS OF THE FOX

KANOPOLIS STATE PARK AND RESERVOIR*

eat

see

amenities

Lindsborg (785) 227-8422 theswedishcrown.com

CONNECTED

Lindsborg (785) 212-1801 connectedfairtrade.com

ELLSWORTH STEAK HOUSE

SMALL WORLD GALLERY*

Ellsworth (785) 472-3043 ellsworthsteakhouseks.com

Lindsborg (785) 227-4442 smallworldgallery.net

PRETTY BOY FLOYD’S STEAK AND SHINE

RENDEZVOUS ADVENTURE OUTFITTERS

Ellsworth (785) 472-2183

Lindsborg (785) 227-9810 rendezvousadventure outfitters.com

CITY SUNDRIES BIRGER SANDZÉN MEMORIAL GALLERY*

Lindsborg (785) 227-2220 sandzen.org

Marquette (785) 546-2234

*MENTIONED IN THIS GUIDE COMPLETE LISTINGS The above listings are only a portion of the attractions along this byway. For a complete and regularly updated listings of amenities, including destination sites, lodgings, places to eat, shops and events along the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway, go online at: travelks.com/ksbyways/prairie-trail/points-of-interest-amenities

Established 1874

New Lancaster General Store Middle Step back in time! Kansas art, wine, foods, gifts, antiques

Creek Winery

36688 New Lancaster Rd, Paola, KS 66071 • PO Box 372 2 ½ miles W. of 69 Hwy. at 359th St. exit • 913 377-4689

newlancastergeneralstore.com


THE FRIENDS OF MAXWELL

GROWN HERE / MADE HERE

MAXWELL WILDLIFE REFUGE

TASTE

2800 acres of native prairie located in the Smoky Hills. Guided tram tours for viewing wildlife available by reservations. Call 620-628-4455 or visit our website for more information.

Growers of Award-Winning Kansas Wines

The Flint Hills

Also stop in Topeka to visit our store and tasting room!

The Local Depot

NOTO Arts District 907 N Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS

MAXWELLWILDLIFEREFUGE.COM

2565 PUEBLO ROAD, CANTON, KANSAS

785-246-6500

www.prairiefirewinery.com OPEN DAILY 20250 HUDSON RANCH RD, PAXICO, KS 66526


ROUTE 66 historic byway


Route 66 Historic Byway

about the

I

Photographs Aaron Leimkuehler

f you plan to motor west, there’s one highway that you should head to—at least according to Nat King Cole. While Kansas only holds 13.2 miles of the “Mother Road,” or Route 66, this partially curvy, tree-lined portion of the route packs in as much nostalgia and Americana as the hundreds of miles in neighboring Missouri or Oklahoma. Entering from Missouri, you’ll find Galena, a formerly hard-boiled lead & zinc mining town that helped inspire the Disney Pixar hit, Cars. In fact, you can even find the inspiration for Tow Mater sitting in front of Cars on the Route at 119 N. Main. With a small downtown, Galena offers a snapshot of small-town life. After going through Riverton and the roundabout, exiting to Beasley Road, you’ll find the only remaining Marsh arch bridge on the entirety of Route 66. Typified by the iconic rainbow arches, there were once three Marsh arch bridges along Route 66 in Kansas, but only this one remains due to its placement on the National Historic Register. Finishing up the Route before crossing over into Oklahoma is Baxter Springs, the first cowtown in Kansas. Stop at the historic Route 66 Visitors center, marked with a Phillips 66 shield and housed in a classic automotive cottage-style building. Baxter Springs boasts a charming downtown complete with a bas-relief depicting the history of the town, as well as the Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum. Stopping Points If you’re only passing through, you’re missing out on any one of these quaint towns. Lovers of Americana will find plenty to pick through at treasures like the Nelson’s Old

byway GETTING THERE Begin your drive at Stateline Rd and MO66, driving the 13.2 miles east to west. Follow the signs of the original Route 66 through Galena and Riverton through the roundabout, exiting on Beasley Rd, past the Rainbow Bridge, then south through Baxter Springs to the KS/OK border. LENGTH 13.2 miles TIME TO TRAVEL 25 minutes ROADWAY K-66, C.R. Beasley Road US-69A WHEN TO SEE Year-round SERVICES All services available along the byway. RESOURCES Baxter Springs Chamber of Commerce (620) 856-3131 baxterspringschamber.com Cherokee County Economic Development (620) 762-0717 cherokeecountykansas.com Kansas Byways

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Riverton Store. There, travelers can find a delicious sandwich, local handicrafts and a bit of history. It’s the oldest continuously operating business on Route 66, having opened in 1925, a year before the highway itself. Relax under the pressed-tin ceiling and browse the groceries, Route 66 memorabilia, and flowers. If you need to stretch your legs, south of Galena is the Southeast Kansas Nature Center and Schermerhorn Park. It is a great place to let the kids explore. The 55-square mile section of the “Ozarks of Kansas” is home to several species of endemic amphibian, including grotto salamanders, cave salamanders, and dark-sided salamanders, all found in the Schermerhorn Cave. The cave stretches back a full half mile but is gated to protect the unique environment. Take a walk on the nature trails, play on the park equipment and check out the exhibits featuring native species, Native American artifacts and live insect and reptile specimens. Notable Natives While not native, the man who would be known as the “Commerce Comet”, Mickey Mantle, played ball with the Baxter Springs Whiz Kids from 1947–49 before signing with another small town team—the New York Yankees. Famed PGA golfer Hale Irwin spent his youth in Baxter Springs before moving to Colorado. You can see memorabilia from these athletes and more at the Baxter Springs Little League Museum and the Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum. The area is rife with the exploits of outlaws such as Jesse James, Cole Younger, Henry Starr, Wilbur Underhill and members of their gangs. —Rachel Murphy Leimkuehler


Route 66 Historic Byway

about the

amenities BAXTER INN-4-LESS

GALENA MINING AND HISTORICAL MUSEUM

Baxter Springs (620) 856-2106 BaxterInn4Less.us

Galena (620) 738-2192 GalenaMuseum.org SOUTHEAST KANSAS NATURE CENTER AND SCHERMERHORN PARK AND CAVE*

eat

• Cedar Bluff State Park, Reservoir & Wildlife Area • Smoky Valley Scenic Byway • Halfway between Kansas City & Denver on 70

see

Share Our Sky of Wonder!

Galena (620) 783-5207

Galena (620) 783-5554

Connect with O u r S t or i e s

Riverton/Baxter Springs

BAXTER SPRINGS SMOKEHOUSE

BAXTER SPRINGS HERITAGE CENTER AND MUSEUM*

Baxter Springs (620) 856-3287

Baxter Springs (620) 856-2385 BaxterSpringsMuseum.org

VAN’S STEAK HOUSE

ROUTE 66 VISITORS CENTER at the Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Service Station*

Along the Western Vistas Historic Byway

Baxter Springs (620) 856-2385

Baxter Springs (620) 856-5506

shop

785.743.8325 | www.WaKeeney.org

Galena (620) 783-1366 STREETCAR STATION COFFEE SHOP

THE MARSH ARCH BRIDGE (RAINBOW BRIDGE)

WaKeeney Travel & Tourism

CARS ON THE ROUTE*

LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL MUSEUM

PICKERS’ POST FLEAMARKET & BAIT SHOP

Galena (620) 461-0461

Baxter Springs (620) 856-3131

NELSON’S OLD RIVERTON STORE

DECADES OF WHEELS CAR MUSEUM

Riverton (620) 848-3330 EislerBros.com

Baxter Springs SOMEWHERE IN TIME ANTIQUITIES

Fick Fossil & History Museum

stay

(Open - October 2018)

Baxter Springs (417) 385-5006

ROSE COTTAGE

Baxter Springs (620) 856-2524 RoseCottageKansas.com

SLEEPY GIRLS FURNITURE

Baxter Springs (620) 856-0211

*MENTIONED IN THIS GUIDE

Oakley, 7 8785-671-4839 5•671•1000 O a k l e y,Kansas Kansas T o u rwww.discoveroakley.com ism@D iscoverOak ley.com

COMPLETE LISTINGS The above listings are only a portion of the attractions along this byway. For a complete and regularly updated listings of amenities, including destination sites, lodgings, places to eat, shops and events along the Route 66 Historic Byway, go online at: travelks.com/ksbyways/route66/points-of-interest-amenities

Kansas Byways

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SMOKY VALLEY

Photographs Jessi Jacobs

scenic byway


Smoky Valley Scenic Byway

Q

uiet communities, lush farmlands and a rainbow of Kansas crops define this byway. If travelers are looking for a break from I-70 to add a little color to their drive, this byway is a perfect change of pace. Marked by native grasses, wildflowers and dirt roads, this byway offers travelers the chance to enjoy tranquility to a soundtrack of sandpipers and bobwhites. Natural Wonder Cedar Bluffs State Park, Reservoir and Wildlife Preserve is a must-stop for any traveler along the Smoky Valley Byway. Impressive 100-foot limestone bluffs hug the southern waterline, which is outlined by cedar trees. With ample camping options, the park is a perfect stop-over for those in need of an overnight break in their journey. For those looking for outdoor entertainment, the reservoir allows fishing, swimming and boating. And biking enthusiasts can explore the park’s BMX track. International History Abounds If you are interested in simple church architecture from the early 1900s, the Smoky Valley Scenic Byway offers a couple unique examples from immigrants who settled in Kansas at that time. The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Emanual Church, built by Swedish settlers in 1902 out of limestone, is just 7.5 miles south of Ogallah. Zion Lutheran Church, 8 miles south of WaKeeney, was built by Volga-German immigrants in 1905.

about the

byway GETTING THERE Head south on U.S. Highway 283, 26 miles, at Interstate 70 Exit 127 (WaKeeney), head east on Kansas Highway 4 at Ransom for 9 miles to Kansas Highway 147. Continue north on Kansas Highway 147 for 24 miles to Interstate 70 Exit 135. LENGTH 60 miles TIME TO TRAVEL 2 hours ROADWAY U.S. Highway 283, Kansas Highway 4 and Kansas Highway 147 WHEN TO SEE Spring to summer SERVICES All services in WaKeeney RESOURCES WaKeeney Travel & Tourism (785) 743-8325 wakeeney.org

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Travelers will see a marked difference in the two buildings though they were built only a few years apart. Stop into the Trego County Historical Museum in WaKeeney for a taste of the region’s history, including a military collection as well as artifacts from daily life of pioneer women. Also, housed at the museum is a portion of a threshing machine, which was being transported to Salt Lake City on a wagon train. The wagon train was attacked at Bluffton station on its journey along the Butterfield Overland Despatch, and the machine was set on fire and left in a canyon. The spot, now known as Threshing Machine Canyon, became an early tourist attraction (and an early guest book of sorts), and travelers can still see names carved 150 years ago into the limestone rock walls. A Taste of Small Town Life WaKeeney is located at a trailhead of the Smoky Valley Byway. Whether starting or ending your journey, this small town is worth a stop for refreshments and hospitality. Grab a malt at the soda fountain, located inside Gibson Health Mart Pharmacy. If you are in need of a souvenir, stop in Boeve’s Coins and Antiques, promising unique collectibles for all sorts of interests. If you’re at the end of your journey, tour Shiloh Vineyards and enjoy a tasting of its Kansas-made wines. If you’re taking your journey during the holiday season, WaKeeney holds the title of “Christmas City of the High Plains,” and boasts unrivaled light displays from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. —Jessi Jacobs


Smoky Valley Scenic Byway

about the

see

amenities CEDAR BLUFF STATE PARK*

ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH

Trego County (785) 726-3212 ksoutdoors.com

WaKeeney (785) 743-6629

WAKEENEY KOA

WaKeeney (785) 743-5612 KOA.com

WILCOX SCHOOL CHRISTMAS CITY OF THE HIGH PLAINS*

District #29 (785) 743-8325

WaKeeney (785) 743-8325 wakeeney.org

CASTLE ROCK

BEST WESTERN PLUS WAKEENEY INN & SUITES

WaKeeney (785) 743-2700 bestwestern.com

Collyer (I-70 Exit 115) naturalkansas.org/castle.htm

WaKeeney (785) 743-2211

KANSAS VETERANS’ CEMETERY

WESTERN KANSAS SALOON & GRILL

WaKeeney (785) 743-5685 kcva.ks.gov/veterancemeteries/wakeeney

WaKeeney (785) 743-2050 wksaloon.com

TREGO COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM

BUTTERFIELD TRAIL BUNKHOUSE

GIBSON HEALTH MART PHARMACY*

WaKeeney (785) 743-5753 gibsonhealthmart.com SHILOH VINEYARD & WINERY*

stay

WaKeeney (785) 743-2964 tregohistorical.org

WaKeeney (785) 743-5662

JAKE & CHET’S CAFÉ

shop

WaKeeney (785) 743-8325 wakeeney.org

COUNTRY BARN LOFT B&B

eat

F-14 TOMCAT FIGHTER JET

WaKeeney (785) 769-3194 butterfieldtrailbunkhouse.com

WaKeeney (785) 743-2152 shilohvineyard.com

SPORT HAVEN

Trego County (785) 726-4457 THE STUDIO 128

WaKeeney (785) 814-7170

*MENTIONED IN THIS GUIDE COMPLETE LISTINGS The above listings are only a portion of the attractions along this byway. For a complete and regularly updated listings of amenities, including destination sites, lodgings, places to eat, shops and events along the Smoky Valley Scenic Byway, go online at: travelks.com/ksbyways/smoky-valley/points-of-interest-amenities

Bring the whole family to enjoy: • Over 28 miles of trails with • Playground 3 levels of difficulty • Restroom facilities • Picnic shelters with grills • Large parking lot We now have over 380 acres to explore with your family!

Unique Victorian and antique Christmas tree and ornaments Oct-Jan 1 10-5pm Wed-Sat | 1-5pm Sun

(785) 887-6148 | www.lecomptonkansas.com


WESTERN VISTAS historic byway


Western Vistas Historic Byway

about the

byway

F

Photographs April Harmon

rom chalky rocks to Wild West, the Western Vistas byway is the perfect route for history buffs, geology fans and nature lovers. Travel the road for a chance to see bison, pronghorn and prairie dogs, as well as massive, naturally formed stone structures. Fossils and Landforms Niobrara Chalk formations dot the landscape just off the highway, and this Cretaceous-era rock will delight geologists, fossil enthusiasts and rock lovers of all types. Known for a high concentration of fossils, this area was once an inland sea and habitat for prehistoric fish and marine creatures. True fossil-lovers can get their fill at the Fick Fossil and History Museum, located in Oakley—the halfway point of this stunning byway. The Keystone Gallery, 18 miles north of Scott City along Highway 83, also offers uniquely Kansan fossil exhibits and souvenirs. Owners Chuck Bonner and Barbara Shelton have been locating and restoring area fossils for decades, and Bonner family members have been hunting fossils since 1925. Travelers can see these formations for themselves, though many are on private land so be sure to abide by the owners’ wishes. Only a few miles east of the byway, just across the Gove County line, find Monument Rocks and Little Pyramids, naturally formed stone structures that feel more like the desert canyons found in the Southwest than the bountiful prairie found elsewhere in Kansas. And if travelers head west about 20 miles north of Scott City, they will find Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park and the Smoky Valley Ranch, with even larger outcroppings of Niobrara Chalk, open to the public within the next year.

LOCATION Via Interstate 70 Exits 17 Goodland south to U.S. Highway 40, east to Oakley, U.S. Highway 83, south to Kansas Highway 95, U.S. Highway 83, south to Scott City. Oakley, Interstate Exits 70 or 76 to U.S. Highway 40 west or U.S. Highway 83 south. LENGTH 102 Miles TIME TO TRAVEL 1.5 hours without stops ROADWAY U.S. Highway 40 west from Sharon Springs to U.S. Highway 83 south from Oakley to Kansas Highway 95 west through Scott Lake State Park, east to U.S. Highway 83, south to Scott City WHEN TO SEE All seasons SERVICES Available in Sharon Springs, Oakley, Scott City RESOURCES Western Vistas Historic Byway (785) 671-4839 westernvistashistoricbyway.com

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The Wild West This route from Scott City to Sharon Springs is filled with dramatic history of the early American West. From troops of the 7th Cavalry to Kiowa hunters in hot pursuit of thundering bison herds, Scott City’s museums span hundreds of years of human history. Learn more at the El Quartelejo Museum and the Jerry Thomas Gallery and Collection, where an ancient Indian Pueblo and the later struggle for survival of the Cheyenne people are documented. A Western Vistas informational kiosk will guide you as you travel north on Highway 83 to Oakley, where you can stop over at the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center. Go ahead and walk right up to the bronze statue of a young Buffalo Bill portrayed as he made his living in Western Kansas, circa 1868. Continue west on U.S. Highway 40 along Kansas’ first historic byway, and take a short journey south on KS Highway 25 to frontier-era Russell Springs, which features the Butterfield Trail Museum in the Logan County Courthouse. There you will learn more about Butterfield’s Overland Despatch Stagecoach Line, the primary passenger transportation to Denver from 1865-1869. Check out Lone Butte south of town, an historic landmark for native people and settlers. Back on Highway 40, your route along the Smoky Hill Trail will lead you through Wallace, home of the Fort Wallace Museum, where a statue of famed scout William Comstock stands guard over the entrance. The new Milford Becker museum addition will lead you on a journey through the tribal lands, U.S. military stronghold and railroad boomtown of Wallace’s past, using a climb-aboard stagecoach, a 40-foot fossil plesiosaur and old building facades to tell the story. —By Kelly Gibson


Western Vistas Historic Byway

about the

Scott City (620) 872-5912 elquartelejomuseum.org

Russell Springs (785) 751-4242 butterfieldtrailmuseum.org

JERRY THOMAS GALLERY AND COLLECTION

Scott City (785) 410-6667 jerrythomasartgallery.com

FORT WALLACE MUSEUM*

Scott City (620) 397-8133 thevintageinn.net

Wallace (785) 891-3564 ftwallace.com

HISTORIC LAKE SCOTT STATE PARK*

MOUNT SUNFLOWER

West of Sharon Springs on U.S. 40; access via county dirt roads travelwallacecounty.com

eat

LITTLE JERUSALEM BADLANDS STATE PARK*

Logan County ksoutdoors.com/State-Parks/ Locations

MAJESTIC THEATRE RESTAURANT

Scott City (620) 872-3840

BUFFALO BILL CULTURAL CENTER AND BRONZE SCULPTURE*

Oakley (785) 671-1000 buffalobilloakley.org FICK FOSSIL AND HISTORY MUSEUM AND MEMORIAL GARDENS*

Oakley (785) 671-4839 discoveroakley.com

SUZY B’S FLOWERS & MORE

Scott City (620) 872-5336 GIFTS ETC.

Scott City (620) 872-2222 giftsetcks.com

Oakley (785) 672-3538 highplainscamping.com

Oakley (785) 671-3070 smokyriverquiltshoppe.com

KANSAS COUNTRY INN

EVERYTHING’S-ABLOOMIN’

THE LOGAN HOUSE

Russell Springs (785) 751-4247 theloganhouse.com

Oakley (785) 672-4720 colonialsteakhouse.com

Scott City (620) 872-7100

SMOKY RIVER QUILT SHOPPE

Scott City (620) 214-1669 COLONIAL STEAKHOUSE

GIFTOLOGISTS

HIGH PLAINS CAMPING

THE TAYLOR HOUSE

MONUMENT ROCKS*

North of Scott City, south of Oakley; access via county dirt roads keystonegallery.com

Scott City (620) 872-2061 ksoutdoors.com

Oakley (785) 672-3131 kansascountryinn.com

SMOKY VALLEY RANCH

Logan County nature.org

Scott City (620) 872-3043 THE VINTAGE INN

KEYSTONE GALLERY*

Scott City (620) 872-2762 keystonegallery.com

THE LAZY R MOTEL

shop

BUTTERFIELD TRAIL MUSEUM AND HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION*

EL QUARTELEJO MUSEUM*

stay

see

amenities

Oakley (785) 672-3060 everythingsabloomin.com THE GENERAL STORE

Sharon Springs (785) 852-4256

MT. SUNFLOWER B & B

Sharon Springs (785) 852-4004 mtsunflowerbandb.com

MITTENS TRAVEL PLAZA

Oakley (785) 672-4111

SMOKY RIVER RENDEZVOUS

STEPHENS RESTAURANT

Sharon Springs (785) 852-4182

Winona (785) 846-7785 smokyriverrend.com

TOWNS END TAVERN

Sharon Springs (719) 342-1359

*MENTIONED IN THIS GUIDE COMPLETE LISTINGS The above listings are only a portion of the attractions along this byway. For a complete and regularly updated listings of amenities, including destination sites, lodgings, places to eat, shops and events along the Western Vistas Historic Byway, go online at: travelks.com/ksbyways/western-vistas/points-of-interest-amenities

Kansas Byways

46

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road

trip There’s more to the byways than you think. Due to the state’s unique physiographic regions, the byways are placed in scenic and historic areas that provide travelers experiences among distinctive landscapes.

PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS HIGH PLAINS Excellent farmland slopes gently downward from the west. ARKANSAS RIVER LOWLANDS Irregular hills and dunes follow an ancient river path. RED HILLS Sandstone and shale mix with areas of rugged hills, buttes and mesas. SMOKY HILLS A larger sea once covered this area of astonishing rock formations. WELLINGTON AND MCPHERSON LOWLANDS Permeable sand covers an area surrounded by salt mines and marshes. FLINT HILLS This scenic pastureland is named for the flint rock that covers the bluestem slopes. GLACIATED REGION Rounded hills and broad valleys feature glacial deposits of quartzite. OSAGE CUESTAS This broad terrace panorama has steeper eastern slopes than western slopes. CHAUTAUQUA HILLS This province is only a few miles wide, with underlying thick sandstone. CHEROKEE LOWLANDS Bituminous coal veins near the surface of this region reveal its mining history. OZARK PLATEAU The extreme southeast corner of the state is rich with fossils. MAP KEY

SCENIC BYWAY

HISTORIC BYWAY


Profile for Kansas Magazine

Byways Guide of Kansas | 2018 - 2020  

You'll discover Kansas' stunning beauty and rich heritage along the Sunflower State's 12 byways.

Byways Guide of Kansas | 2018 - 2020  

You'll discover Kansas' stunning beauty and rich heritage along the Sunflower State's 12 byways.

Profile for kansasmag