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The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS — 1


Contents

In these pages you will find a treasure trove of information on Northwest Kansas hunting, fishing, water sports, and tourism attractions. Come and enjoy all that life on the High Plains has to offer! Come and enjoy time on a Higher Plain.

Page 4 — Pheasants & Quail in the Sights Page 8 — Turkey & Waterfowl Page 10 — FAQ’s of Deer Hunting Page 12 — The Price of Play Page 14 & 15 — Jewels of the Crown, Northwest Kansas State Parks Page 16 — Great Lakes Page 17 — Go Fish Page 18 — Geocaching Page 20-21 — NW KS Map With Hunting Seasons and Bag Limits Page 22-23 — Land and Sky Scenic Byway Page 24-25 — Western Vistas Historic Byway Page 26-27 — Smoky Valley Scenic Byway

Page 28-29 — Post Rock Scenic Byway Page 30 — Big Road Trip Land & Sky Scenic Byway Page 31 — Rugged Byway & an Oasis Roadtrip Page 32 — Smoky Valley Byway and Three Rivers Tour Page 33 — Fort to Fort, Fort Hays to Fort Bissell & Beyond Page 34 — Be 18 On K-18 Page 36 — Tasty Destinations Western Kansas For Foodies Page 38 — Got Kids? Fun Things to do with Family Page 39 — 411 Northwest Kansas, Contact Information

CREDITS: The Ultimate Guide to Northwest Kansas is designed to help you enjoy all that Northwest Kansas offers. This brochure is not a legal document and does not contain all Kansas laws and regulations. Contact Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), KSOutdoors.com. Publisher is Empire Advertising Inc., 18825 24 Road, Cimarron, KS 67835. Publisher has made every reasonable effort to maintain accuracy and accepts no responsibility or liability for any content, errors, changes or omissions. No copyright infringement is intended. Please call in advance to verify information. Design is copyright 2020 by Empire Advertising.

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Damar • Palco • Plainville • Stockton • Woodston • Zurich

Visit rookscounty.net for Road Trip Ideas www.northwestkansas.org

The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS — 3


Pheasant & Quail in the sights Northwest Kansas pheasant and quail populations remain high for the 2020-21 hunting season.

The outlook for the 2020 Kansas pheasant and quail hunting season is looking to setup to be another great year! With extremely favorable conditions this winter and spring starting out great, we look forward to seeing the bird counts this summer. The tradition of upland bird hunting takes many forms in the United States. Hunters in Kansas typically pursue pheasant, quail or prairie chickens. Upland seasons range from early autumn to mid-winter, depending on the state and species. In Kansas upland game season runs from November through January.

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• FORECAST — Check for updated upland bird hunting forecast www.KSOutdoors.com. The forecast is usually updated in mid-September. • ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS — Pheasant production often depends on the wheat crop. If weather and moisture brings strong early wheat growth, long maturation and later-than-normal harvest, pheasant production will usually be good. Above-average precipitation is usually a good sign of higher pheasant numbers. All these factors have been present in 2020. • SEASONS — Regular: Nov. 14-Jan. 31. Youth: Nov. 7-8, 2020 • Limit — 4 cocks (2 in youth season) Pheasants must retain intact a foot, plumage, or some part that will identify sex while being transported.

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The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS — 5


Colby

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Colby

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The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS — 7


Turkey & Waterfowl • WHERE TO HUNT — See hunting forecasts for Northwest Kansas Wildlife Areas here: http://bit.ly/nwkforecast. • SEASONS — Fall archery/shotgun: Oct. 1-Dec. 3, Dec. 16-Jan. 31; spring regular (firearm/archery): April 16-May 31

• PERMITS — Buy permits at http://bit.ly/kspermits through Jan. 30. Unit 4, west of Highway 183 and south of Interstate 70, is closed for fall. Hunters may hunt only within the permitted management unit. Check Turkey Management Units here: www.KSOutdoors.com. • BAG LIMITS — Fall seasons: One turkey, either sex, per permit and one turkey per second turkey game tag. WATERFOWL

• WHERE TO HUNT — During migration seasons, KansasOutdoors.com reports bird populations at reservoirs.

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• SEASONS — Seasons and bag limits vary per species. www.KSOutdoors.com.

• PERMITS — All waterfowl hunters over 16 must have Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp and a Kansas State Waterfowl Habitat Stamp and a Kansas Harvest Information Program (HIP) Stamp before hunting ducks, geese or mergansers. Buy stamps and licenses at any license agent or at www.KSOutdoors.com. Buy Federal Waterfowl Stamps at a U.S. Post Office. www.northwestkansas.org


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The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS — 9

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The FAQs of

Deer Hunting This is what hunters need to know about deer hunting in Kansas from Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, www.KSOutdoors.com. All dates are 2020-21 unless otherwise noted and are subject to change. Q: WHEN ARE DEER APPLICATION DEADLINES? A: • NONRESIDENT DEER DRAW — April 27 (final Friday in April). • RESIDENT ANY-DEER DRAW — June 12-July 13. • RESIDENT ARCHERY AND WHITETAIL ANY SEASON AND HUNT-OWN-LAND PERMIT — Aug. 1-Dec. 31. To learn more about deer permits, see See deer quotas and draw statistics here: www.KSOutdoors.com. Q: WHEN ARE DEER SEASONS? A: • YOUTH AND DISABILITY — Sept. 7-15. • MUZZLELOADER — Sept. 17-30. • ARCHERY — Sept. 16-Dec. 31 • PRE-RUT WHITETAIL ANTLERLESS — Oct. 12-14, 2020. • FIREARM — Dec. 4-Dec. 15. Firearms season usually begins the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving. • FIREARM WHITETAIL ANTLERLESS-ONLY — Jan. 1-3, 2021 .

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Q: HOW MANY DEER PERMITS CAN A HUNTER RECEIVE? A: • As many as six: • One antlered deer permit. • As many as five antlerless white-tailed deer permits. Q: HOW MANY ANTLERED DEER PERMITS MAY ONE HUNTER RECEIVE? A: • Only one. No hunter may legally harvest more than one antlered deer per year. Q: WHAT IS A MULE DEER STAMP? A: • Nonresidents who draw an archery or muzzleloader nonresident white-tailed deer permit in designated units may apply for one mule deer stamp. If drawn, the applicant’s white-tail permit converts to an either species/ either-sex permit. Mule deer stamps are available in designated Deer Management Units. For more information on deer hunting in Kansas, see www.KSOutdoors.com..

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?????????????? ROAR ART SHOW Where amateur and professional artist's can show off their original art work! Come view the amazing art work the second weekend in October located at the Russell County 4H Building! For more information about this event please visit http://roarart.org/

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The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS — 11


The Price of

Play

STATE PARK PERMITS • Daily $5/$6 online • Annual $25 BOAT REGISTRATION • Boat Registration (three years) $42.50

CAMPING • Daily $10 • Fourteen-Day $112.50 plus utility & prime site fees FISHING • Resident $27.50 • Non-Resident $52.50 • Trout Permit or Bass Pass $14.50 HUNTING • Resident $27.50 • Lifetime $502.50 • Non-Resident $97.50

COMBINATION • Fish/Hunt, Resident $47.50 • Fish/Hunt, Non-Resident $137.50 • Fish/Hunt, Lifetime Resident $962.50

DEER • General Resident Firearm $52.50 • General Resident Archery, Muzzleloader $42.50 • Resident Landowner/Tenant Firearm $32.50

• Resident Landowner/Tenant Archery, Muzzleloader $22.50 • NR Tenant Archery, Muzzleloader $87.50 • Whitetail General Resident $42.50 • Whitetail Landowner/Tenant $22.50 • NR Whitetail $442.50 • NR Tenant $87.50 • Resident Whitetail Antlerless $22.50 • Resident Youth Whitetail Antlerless $10 • NR Antlerless $52.50 • NR Mule Deer Stamp $152.50

TURKEY • Fall NR Permit $52.50 • Fall NR Tenant Permit $27.50 • Fall or Spring Resident Permit $27.50 • Fall or Spring Landowner/Tenant Permit $15 • Spring Resident Game Tag $17.50 • Spring NR Game Tag $32.50 • Spring Resident Permit/Game Tag $37.50 • Spring NR Permit $62.50 • Spring NR Tenant Permit $32.50

WATERFOWL • Federal Waterfowl Stamp $26.50 • Harvest Information Program (HIP) Stamp $2.50 • State Waterfowl Stamp $10

Buy permits and licenses at www.KSOutdoors.com. All information was checked at publication, but changes do occur. Check www.KSOutdoors.com for updates.*NR - Non-resident.

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Jewels in the Crown NORTHWEST KANSAS STATE PARKS

Northwest Kansas enjoys some of the crown jewels in the Kansas State Park System, including two of the nation’s top bass fishing lakes — KEITH SEBELIUS RESERVOIR and WILSON RESERVOIR.

• CEDAR BLUFF South of Interstate 70 in Trego County, this park consists of two areas, BLUFFTON and PAGE CREEK, on the 4,000-acre CEDAR BLUFF RESERVOIR. Anglers are drawn to excellent fishing. High sandstone bluffs provide a stunning, rustic setting for visitors. With 156 utility sites, 267 primitive camping sites, and six cabins, the park suits nearly any taste. Choose from lots of

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recreational opportunities including PA’S POND, a fishing hole for children and the disabled. Almost 9,000 acres in CEDAR BLUFF WILDLIFE AREA offer bountiful opportunities for hunters and wildlife watchers. Admire wildlife along the five-mile AGAVE RIDGE TRAIL. Examine historic travelers’ names carved into THRESHING MACHINE CANYON. www.KSOutdoors.com • LITTLE JERUSALEM These chalk badlands in western Kansas are projected to open for public access in late 2020. Ancient Niobrara Chalk formations left from when an inland sea covered Kansas territory take you back in time with breathtaking views. The soft limestone pyramids are also home to www.northwestkansas.org


wildlife – from bats and ferruginous hawks to snakes, toads and lizards – and plants found nowhere else in the world. Please don’t visit without confirmation that the area is open. www.KSOutdoors.com

• PRAIRIE DOG/KEITH SEBELIUS Prairie Dog State Park occupies 1,150 acres along Keith Sebelius Reservoir. Bassmaster Magazine honored the reservoir as one of “2012 100 Best Bass Lakes in the U.S.” The reservoir holds the state saugeye record and has trophy wipers. Prairie Dog offers a marina and boat access, archery range, 1.4-mile PRAIRIE DOG NATURE TRAIL, an 1890s ADOBE HOUSE, utility and primitive campsites. NORTON WILDLIFE AREA offers 6,400 acres of good prospects for pheasant, waterfowl and rabbits, deer and furbearers. www.KSOutdoors.com

• WEBSTER In the Solomon River Valley’s Chalk Hills, Webster State Park occupies two tracts, OLDTOWN and GOOSE FLAT, totaling 880 acres. Webster is among Kansas’ top fishing spots. Campers choose from 36 fully-equipped campsites or more than 100 primitive sites. Amphitheater, showers, baseball diamond, playground, archery range, volleyball court, horseshoe pits and three-mile COYOTE NATURE TRAIL offer something for everyone. WEBSTER FUN DAYS and other events offer visitors a unique experience. WEBSTER WILDLIFE AREA provides 8,018 acres of hunting opportunities. www.KSOutdoors.com. www.northwestkansas.org

• WILSON In the Smoky Hills, Wilson State Park’s 945 acres consist of two areas, HELL CREEK and OTOE, south of 9,000-acre Wilson Reservoir. The park has three campgrounds, SYLVAN PARK, MINOOKA PARK and LUCAS PARK. Utility and primitive campsites, day-use areas, swimming beach, boating access, marina and trails provide ample services. Lucas Park’s hills are one of the nation’s top 10 remote controlled model sailplane racing sites. Its 25.5-mile SWITCHGRASS BIKE TRAIL received the “Epic Award” from the International Mountain Bicycling Association in 2012. Hike the mile long accessible CEDAR TRAIL, the mile-long DAKOTA TRAIL, 2 -mile PRAIRIE FIRE TRAIL, threequarter- mile BUR OAK NATURE TRAIL, MINOOKA HIKING TRAIL and 3 1 ⁄2-mile ROCKTOWN HIKING TRAIL. In 2011, USA Today selected Rocktown as one of the “51 Great Hikes in the USA.” Wilson is famous for striped bass and walleye fishing. The state records for striped bass and walleye were both caught in Wilson. The lake has also been home to smallmouth bass records in the past. Bassmaster Magazine recognized Wilson as a top 100 bass fishing lake in 2012. The 8,096-acre WILSON WILDLIFE AREA holds a waterfowl refuge and offers hunting for waterfowl, deer, turkey and upland birds. www.KSOutdoors.com

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Great Lakes

Plenty of great fishing is available in Northwest Kansas’ reservoirs and other lakes. For state fishing regulations, see www.KSOutdoors.com.

RESERVOIRS

CEDAR BLUFF RESERVOIR • SURFACE: 6,869 acres at conservation level. • MAXIMUM DEPTH: 42 feet. • LOCATION: 13 miles south of Interstate 70 Exit #135 Ogallah on Highway 147. • FISH SPECIES: Crappie, Walleye, White Bass, and Wiper • FORECAST: www.KSOutdoors.com KEITH SEBELIUS RESERVOIR • SIZE: 2,304 acres at conservation level. • MAXIMUM DEPTH: 42 feet • LOCATION: Three miles southwest of Norton off Highway 36. • FISH SPECIES: Bluegill, Black Bullhead; Black Largemouth and Spotted Bass; Walleye, Wiper, Crappie, Saugeye, Channel and Flathead Catfish. • RECORDS: Kansas Saugeye record, 9.81 pounds. • FORECAST: www.KSOutdoors.com. KIRWIN RESERVOIR • SIZE: 5,000 acres. • MAXIMUM DEPTH: 49 feet. • LOCATION: 15 miles southeast of Phillipsburg off Highway 9. • FISH SPECIES: Wiper, White and Largemouth Bass; Flathead and Channel Catfish; Walleye, Crappie, Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Black Bullhead. • FORECAST: www.KSOutdoors.com. WEBSTER RESERVOIR • SIZE: 3,740 acres. • MAXIMUM DEPTH: 42 feet. • LOCATION: Eight miles west of Stockton off Highway 24. • FISH SPECIES: Walleye, Wipers, Crappie, Channel and Flathead Catfish; Largemouth, Smallmouth, Striped and White Bass; Bluegill, Sunfish. • FORECAST: www.KSOutdoors.com.

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WILSON RESERVOIR • SIZE: 9,040 acres. • MAXIMUM DEPTH: 65 feet. • LOCATION: Eight miles north of I-70’s Wilson exit on Highway 232. • FISH SPECIES: Striped, Spotted, White, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass; Blue, Flathead and Channel catfish; walleye, crappie, white perch. • RECORDS: Kansas striped bass record, 44 pounds; and walleye record, 13.16 pounds; previous Smallmouth Bass record holder. • FORECAST: www.KSOutdoors.com.

STATE FISHING LAKE

• ROOKS STATE FISHING LAKE — 2 1⁄2 miles south, two west of Stockton, 64 acres.

COMMUNITY LAKES

• ANTELOPE LAKE — Two miles west, half mile north of Morland, 80 acres. • BIG CREEK LAKE — South Main, Hays. 11 acres. • ELLIS CITY LAKE — East Eighth Street, Ellis, 100 acres. • KELLER POND — Northwest edge of St. Francis, three acres. • LOGAN CITY LAKE — 2 1⁄2 miles south of Logan, 25 acres. • PLAINVILLE TOWNSHIP LAKE — One mile west and one south of Plainville, 158 acres. • ST. FRANCIS SAND PITS — One mile west, two south of St. Francis, three acres. • SMOKY GARDENS — Seven miles south, two west and two south of Goodland, 11 acres. • VILLA HIGH LAKE — Colby, two acres. For more on Northwest Kansas fishing, see www.KSOutdoors.com

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Go Fish For up-to-date information on Northwest Kansas fishing, see KansasAngler.com. www.KSOutdoors.com. • LARGEMOUTH BASS — Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s 2018 survey showed the state’s secondhighest density ratings in KEITH SEBELIUS RESERVOIR. Sebelius’ biologist rating is excellent. Largemouths may also be found in ANTELOPE, ELLIS CITY and PLAINVILLE LAKES, WEBSTER, WILSON, CEDAR BLUFF and KIRWIN RESERVOIRS. • SMALLMOUTH BASS — WILSON and CEDAR BLUFF are listed. • SPOTTED BASS — SEBELIUS tops the charts with the highest density and most preferred fish (greater than 14 inches). Types of fish in Northwest Kansas Lakes Sebelius’ rating is excellent. WILSON has the biggest fish. CEDAR BLUFF has the second-highest density. • STRIPED BASS —WILSON tops the chart in density and size. State record, 43.5 pounds, was set at Wilson. • WHITE BASS — CEDAR BLUFF rated excellent with the highest preferred size (greater than 12 inches) and highest lunker rating (greater than 15 inches). It’s the second densest. WILSON has the largest fish. WEBSTER and KIRWIN are also listed. • BLUEGILL —WEBSTER leads the state in density and preferred size fish (greater than 8 inches) and has the thirdlargest fish. SEBELIUS has the second-largest preferred size

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fish. KIRWIN, WILSON, CEDAR BLUFF, LOGAN CITY, ANTELOPE, ELLIS CITY and ROOKS STATE LAKES are listed. • CHANNEL CATFISH — WILSON, WEBSTER, CEDAR BLUFF, KIRWIN, SEBELIUS, ANTELOPE, PLAINVILLE, ELLIS CITY and LOGAN CITY LAKES are listed. • FLATHEAD CATFISH — SEBELIUS has the most preferred fish (greater than 28 inches), largest fish and is fourth densest. • BLACK CRAPPIE — KIRWIN is the densest, both in 2018 and three-year average, plus it has the biggest fish. SEBELIUS has the most preferred (greater than 10 inches). Crappie may also be found in CEDAR BLUFF, WEBSTER, PLAINVILLE, ANTELOPE, ELLIS CITY and ROOKS STATE. • WHITE CRAPPIE — KIRWIN, WEBSTER, CEDAR BLUFF and SEBELIUS and ELLIS CITY are all listed. • SAUGEYE — ANTELOPE LAKE leads the state in density and three-year average. SEBELIUS is the reservoir density leader and is second-highest three-year average overall. State record, 9.81 pounds, was set at Sebelius. • WALLEYE — CEDAR BLUFF leads the state in three-year average density and is second in 2018 density. WILSON is fourth densest and has the third-highest three-year average. WEBSTER and KIRWIN are also listed. • WIPER — SEBELIUS has the highest preferred rating and three-year average. KIRWIN and WEBSTER are also listed.

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Geocaching Geocaching is the World’s Largest Treasure Hunt, a giant, worldwide, outdoor activity. Geocaching begins with a visit to www.geocaching. com to get coordinates for your choice of millions of caches anywhere in the world. Using a GPS device, zero in on the coordinates and begin your adventure. The trip takes you to a cache where you will find a variety of items to look at and sign in to register that

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you have been there. If you desire, take something out of the cache, but be sure to replace it with something else. When you have access to the website, log in and log the cache as a find. There are approximately 3,245,966 geocaches around the world and many in the 18 counties of Northwest Kansas. Give it a try and you will be surprised at the people you will meet and the things you will find. www.northwestkansas.org


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HUNTING SEASON AND BAG LIMITS ANIMAL

SEASON

BIG GAME

DAILY LIMIT/ POSSESSION

DEER (Archery) Sept. 16 - Dec.31 1 DEER (Mussleloader) Sept. 16 - 29 1 DEER (Antlerless Whitetail) Oct. 6-8 Dec. 12-14 1 DEER (Firearms) Dec. 4-15 1 ANTELOPE (Archery) Sept. 21-30, Oct. 12-31 1 ANTELOPE (Mussleloader) Sept. 30 - Oct. 8 1 ANTELOPE (Firearms) Oct. 4-7 1

BIRDS

PHEASANT Nov. 14 - Jan. 31 4 YOUTH PHEASANT Nov. 7 - Nov. 8 2 PRAIRIE CHICKEN (Northwest Zone) Sept. 15 - Oct. 15, Nov. 18 - Jan. 31 1 QUAIL Nov. 11 - Jan 31 8 YOUTH QUAIL Nov. 7 - Nov. 8 4 TURKEY (Spring) April 17 - May 31 1/1 TURKEY (Archery) April 8-16 1/1 TURKEY (Fall Shotgun, Archery) Oct. 1 - Dec. 3, Dec. 16 - Jan. 31 1/1 DOVE Sept. 1 - Nov.29 15/45 DUCKS (High Plains Unit) Oct. 12 - Jan. 5, Jan. 17-26 6/8 DUCKs (Low Plains Early Zone) Oct. 12 - Dec. 8, Dec. 14-29 6/18 DUCKS (Low Plains Late Zone) Oct. 26 - Dec. 29, Jan. 18-26 6/18 Duck Limits: Six ducks including no more than five mallards, of which only two may be hens; three wood ducks, three scaup; one pintail; two redheads, and two canvasbacks. TEAL (High Plains Zone) Sept. 14-29 46/18 TEAL (Low Plains Zone) Sept. 8-23 46/18

SMALL GAME

PRAIRIE DOG All Year RABBITS (Cottontail, Jackrabbit) All Year BULLFROGS July 1 - Oct. 31 SQUIRRELS June 1 - Feb. 28

No Limit 10/30 8/24 5/20

See more information about when to hunt in Kansas: http://bit.ly/huntingseasons — The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS 2020 — The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS

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LICENSE/PERMIT INFORMATION Hunting License — $27.50 resident (age 16-65; under 16 is free), $97.50 non-resident, $42.50 non-resident under 16 A Kansas hunting license is required for all hunters, except those exempt by law. Hunters must wear blaze orange. Fishing License — $27.50 resident, $52.50 non-resident. All anglers over 16 must have a fishing license. Buy hunting and fishing licenses at www.KSOutdoors.com. Licenses are also available at Kansas Travel Information Centers. Learn more about Kansas outdoors regulations at www.KSOutdoors.com. www.northwestkansas.org

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Land & Sky Scenic Byway

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From the spectacular ARIKAREE BREAKS in Cheyenne County to the canyons of Sherman and Wallace counties, LAND AND SKY SCENIC BYWAY is 88 miles of scenic delights. On the nation’s first agricultural themed byway, stand under the 80-foot tall GIANT VAN GOGH PAINTING in Goodland, see how dry beans are processed at 21ST CENTURY BEAN in Ruleton and watch the seasons of agriculture under the biggest skies you’ve ever seen. In late June to early July, the land turns gold with ripening wheat. During sunflower bloom season, look for glowing yellow on the horizon. The glow is a sure guide to a blooming sunflower field. When you see that glow, get ready to photograph the Sunflower State’s best displays of its signature flower.

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Western Western Vistas Vistas Historic Byway Vistas Vistas

Historic Byway

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Discover the unexpected side of Kansas, along the 102-mile Western Vistas Historic Byway. Here you can see remnants of the Great Cretaceous Inland Sea that covered the center of North America 80 million years ago. The fossil remains of the Sea’s inhabitants are featured in local museums, alongside the history of the American West. Stones n’ Bones Explore the “Stones” of Western Kansas by visiting Monument Rocks in Gove County, Kansas’ newest state park, Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, also in Logan County. Fossils abound in this rich landscape! Check out the “Bones” at Fick Fossil Museum in Oakley and Keystone Gallery located south of Oakley near Monument Rocks. In Wallace County, you can see the 40-foot plesiosaur fossil at the Fort Wallace Museum. www.northwestkansas.org

Western Plains History At the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center in Oakley you can visit the huge bronze tribute to the legendary scout, Buffalo Bill. At the Butterfield Trail Museum in Russell Springs, you experience the stagecoach history along the Smoky Hill Trail. See bison in their native habitat at the Smoky Valley Ranch/Nature Conservancy and at Duff’s Buffalo Ranch in Logan County. Just south of these Logan County attractions, you will come upon the remains of El Quartelejo Indian Pueblo at Scott Lake State Park. Include the Jerry Thomas Gallery and Collection, and El Quartelejo Museum in your stop. The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS — 25


Smoky Valley

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Scenic Byway

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SMOKY VALLEY SCENIC BYWAY 60-mile U-shaped Kansas Byway with easy access to I-70 Passes through the Smoky Hill River Valley WONDERS OF NATURE Hazy, blue-grey appearance at sunrise & sunset Transition from mixed-grass to short-grass prairie Native wildflowers Colorful Agriculture crops GEOLOGICAL WONDERS Covered by inland sea 80 million years ago Layers of chalky limestone remain Limestone outcroppings abound Cedar Bluff Scenic Overlook provides stunning views HISTORICAL SITES Pioneer Trails – Smoky Hill Trail or BOD Limestone BOD Markers identify the trail today Threshing Machine Canyon – Former BOD station Wilcox School – Restored with interpretive panels Emanuel Lutheran Church – Swedish immigrants Zion Lutheran Church – Volga-German immigrants CEDAR BLUFF STATE PARK, RESERVOIR & WILDLIFE AREA WAKEENEY Since 1950 “Christmas City of the High Plains” Northwest Kansas Veterans Cemetery Trego County Historical Museum VODA Shiloh Vineyard & Winery COLLYER Castle Rock & the Badlands SEE YOU ON THE ROAD IN NW KANSAS www.northwestkansas.org

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Post Rock Scenic Byway

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No town accomplishes quirky and offbeat quite like Lucas, the northern end of POST ROCK SCENIC BYWAY. The GARDEN OF EDEN started Lucas on its path to “Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas”. For certain, no town has public restrooms like BOWL PLAZA. The GRASSROOTS ART CENTER gives a good taste of what Lucas has to offer, but don’t stop there. The entire town is filled with grassroots art attractions. WILSON LAKE, “The Clearest Lake in Kansas” and an angler’s paradise, is south of Lucas. In WILSON STATE PARK, ride the world-renowned SWITCHGRASS MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL.

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Big Road Trip Land and Sky Scenic Byway

If you love the open road, the sounds of nature and endless skies, you’ll love LAND AND SKY SCENIC BYWAY. It’s just plain fun to drive or ride. Picture the wind blowing through your hair, the open road ahead of you. The byway offers plenty of hills and a few curves to make the road more interesting and fun. Start in St. Francis at the Motorcycle Museum, then head to Goodland to see the giant green grasshopper just north of town. The sights to see are endless.

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Rugged Byway and an

Oasis Road Trip WESTERN VISTAS HISTORIC BYWAY — Keystone Gallery- Fossils, Prehistoric Art — Duff Buffalo Ranch - Bison Range Overview ­— Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark - Iconic, Unforgettable — Smoky Valley Ranch/Little Jerusalem State Park - Open range meets spectacular canyons — Fick Fossil Museum - Great Inland Sea Treasures — Buffalo Bill Cultural Center - Pointing the way to the Wild West — Butterfield Trail Museum - Stage coach Travel along the Smoky Hill — Fort Wallace Museum - Indian Wars Clash of Cultures North to Colby “Oasis on the Plains” — Prairie Museum of Art and History/Cooper Barn Presenting the Plains and their People — Thomas County Courthouse - Grand Lady of Colby — Colby Aquatic Park - Water Fun on the Oasis — New Colby Events Center Cutting-edge Culture www.northwestkansas.org

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Smoky Valley Byway and Three Rivers Tour

THREE RIVERS ROAD TRIP Adventure Around Every Curve Smoky Hill River – I-70 Solomon River – US Hwy 24 Prairie Dog Creek – US Hwy 36 There’s something for everybody along this road trip! Grab your fishing pole or picnic basket & hit the road. Plan a day trip & enjoy the sites. Smoky Hill River / I-70 Grainfield – Grainfield Opera House Park – Cathedral of the West Quinter & Collyer – Castle Rock & The Badlands Voda – Shiloh Vineyard & Winery WaKeeney & Ogallah – Smoky Valley Scenic Byway Cedar Bluff State Park, Reservoir & Wildlife Area Solomon River / US Hwy 24 Studley – Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site Morland – Antelope Lake “Bas-Relief” Brick Mural Nicodemus – Nicodemus National Historic Site Prairie Dog Creek / US Hwy 36 Norton – Prairie Dog State Park/Keith Sebelius Reservoir Restored 1892 Adobe House “They Also Ran Gallery”, First State Bank 3 Restored Gas Stations Stage Coach Station #15 SEE YOU ON THE ROAD IN NW KANSAS

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Fort to Fort Fort Hays to Fort Bissell & Beyond From Ellis County in the southwest to Smith County in the northeast, the Fort to Fort Road Trip offers something for everyone. Find fun, history, architecture and more. For history buffs, return to the past at PHILLIPSBURG’S FORT BISSELL and at FORT HAYS STATE HISTORIC SITE. While in Hays, walk in famous footsteps in the HISTORIC DOWNTOWN HAYS WALKING TOUR. Eat in one of The Bricks in Downtown Hays restaurants. Dinosaur buff? Hear a T-rex roar at STERNBERG MUSEUM in Hays. For those who love the outdoors, WEBSTER STATE PARK is a prime place for water sports, fishing and camping. Bowhunt or watch eagles at KIRWIN NATIONAL WILDLIFE. Love architecture? Tour spectacular BASILICA OF ST. FIDELIS, VICTORIA; and HOLY CROSS CATHOLIC CHURCH, PFEIFER. ASH ROCK CHURCH near Woodston was made of Fort Hays Limestone. Love art? Visit DANE G. HANSEN MUSEUM, Logan. If you’re a rail fan, watch the fantastic O-scale C&R RAILROAD run in the HUCK BOYD CENTER in Phillipsburg. Music lovers should visit “HOME ON THE RANGE” CABIN, where the Kansas state song was born. www.northwestkansas.org

The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS — 33


Be 18 on

K-18

Damar

Bogue St. Joseph's Church

Plainville

Palco Natoma

Zurich Codell

Waldo

Paradise

Luray Lucas Bowl Plaza Post Rock Scenic Byway

232

Wilson State Park

Where can you enter PARADISE , find WALDO, and meet Adam and Eve at the GARDEN OF EDEN? Along Kansas Highway 18. Where else? Jimmy Buffett would tell you to eat a cheeseburger in Paradise. Or try a burger at THE CARDINAL DRIVE-IN, Plainville, on Friday. 34 — The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS

Buy homemade sausage at BRANT’S MARKET, Lucas or Plainville. Drink a cup of Joe at FRENCH PRESS in Natoma and Plainville. Bullying tornadoes picked on Codell. They arrived the same day in 1916, 1917 and 1918. The town still lives. www.northwestkansas.org


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The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS — 35


Tasty Destinations Western Kansas for Foodies

Wineries - Shiloh Vineyard & Winery, WaKeeney - Resurrection Vineyard, Hays

Breweries - Defiance Brewery, Hays - Gella’s Diner/Lb Brewing Co, Hays - Center Pivot, Quinter

Coffee Houses - French Press Coffee and Specialty, Plainville - Fresh Seven Coffee, St. Francis - The Memory Bank and Wallace Trading Company, Wallace - Good Grounds, Goodland - Breathe Coffee House, Hays - The Coffee Bar, Bird City

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- Paisley Pear, Hays - The Caddy Shack, St. Francis - Western Kansas Saloon and Grill, WaKeeney - Crazy R’s, Goodland

Destination Dining - The Elephant, Hoxie - Towns End Tavern, Sharon Springs - Destination Kitchen, Norton - Trio Tap House, Hays

Soda Fountains - Gibson’s Health Mart Pharmacy, WaKeeney - Ray’s Pharmacy, Quinter Bakeries - Sunshine Bakery, Oakley - Hometown Bakery, WaKeeney - Augustine’s Bakery, Hays - Tin Roof Bakery, St. Francis

www.northwestkansas.org

The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS — 37


Got Kids?

Fun Things to do with Family

Remember when Main Street was the place to hang? At Terra Bona, Goodland, time slows down for an evening. Stop by with family and friends, pull out a board game or work on our current jigsaw puzzle. Tourists are welcome. Visit Prairie Dog State Park, Norton KS and enjoy a 1.4 mile nature trail complete with interpretive signage AND a storybook trail is a great way to explore the park. In the Prairie Dog campground, enjoy a playground, horseshoe pits, sand volleyball court, basketball court, bicycle trails, and a nice family beach.

Precision Valley Golf and Bike Center in Hays provides entertainment for all ages including mini golf, a driving range, and indoor golf simulators. The Pro Shop carries club, apparel, and accessories for both golf and disc golf. The Bike Shop offers a variety of bikes and cycling accessories, with repair and maintenance services on site.

Visit one or all of the three great city parks in Palco, Plainville, and Stockton in Rooks County. Zipline in Palco, or waterslide in Plainville or Stockton for FREE! Families will love spending an afternoon in Colby’s newly remodeled Villa High Park. Bring your fishing license and your poles, because the pond is now stocked with several varieties of fish. The new walking trails, paved areas, and updated lighting allow easy access to both picnic and fishing areas.

4

This stocked pond at Cedar Bluff State Park, was specially designed for youth and disabled fishermen. The limit is two per day. The Pa’s Pond is located next to the Cedar Bluff State Park Office in the Bluffton Area.

Phillipsburg Disc Golf was a Boy Scout Project designed by Brad Blew in 2016. It encloses the Phillipsburg City Park and adds many challenges such as hills and trees. The adjacent park has ample room for kids to run and play!

Have a family picnic and then a short hike at Keller Pond just outside St. Francis.

“The kids play area at the Fort Wallace Museum interprets along the Smoky Hill 38 —Lake The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST of camping www.northwestkansas.org Enjoy Wilson and the Switchgrass Mountain Bike KANSAS Trail! Plenty River for our youngest visiopportunity tors.” for family friendly activities!


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NORTHWEST KANSAS COUNTY STANDARD CONTACTS County Seat

Standard Abbrevition

Contact Number

Web Site

Cheyenne, St. Francis ............... CN ....................785-332-3508 ..................... CCDCKS.com Ellis, Hays.................................... EL ...................800-569-4505 .................... visithays.com Gove, Gove ................................ GO ...................785-754-8328...................... https://govecountyks.org/economic-develoment/ Graham, Hill City....................... GH.................... 785-421-5621....................... DiscoverGrahamCountyks.com Logan, Oakley ............................LG ....................785-671-1000 ..................... visitoakleyks.com Norton, Norton ..........................NT .................... 785-877-2501 ...................... discovernorton.com Osborne, Osborne......................OB........... ........ 785-346-2670……............... www.discoverosborne.com Phillips, Phillipsburg................... PL .................... 785-543-2321 ...................... visitphillipscounty.org Rooks, Stockton ........................ RO ....................785-425-6881 ..................... rookscounty.net Russell, Russell ..........................RS ....................877-830-3737 ..................... russellcountyks.org Sheridan, Hoxie...........................SD.....................785-675-1240...................... www.facebook.com/sheridanccf Sherman, Goodland...................SH.................... 785-821-0403...................... VisitGoodland.com Smith, Smith Center ................. SM ....................785-282-3895 ..................... SmithCenterKS.com Thomas, Colby ...........................TH ....................800-611-8835 ..................... OasisonthePlains.com Trego, WaKeeney .......................TR ....................785-743-8325 ..................... WaKeeney.org; TregoCountyKS.com Wallace, Sharon Springs ........... WA ...................785-821-3564 ..................... TravelWallaceCounty.com

www.northwestkansas.org

The Ultimate Guide to NORTHWEST KANSAS — 39


The only

Brew Box in Western Kansas!!

326 Barclay Ave WaKeeney, KS 67672

Mon-Thurs 9am-9pm Fri-Sat 9am-10pm 785-743-5637

2012-2020 KOA President’s Award

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Profile for roger-rookscounty

2020 NW Kansas Ultimate Guide  

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