A scenic badland area on the extreme northern edge of Cheyenne County. This area of extremely rough terrain, with its deep ravines and gullies, is a contrast to the plains generally associated with the area. The Breaks are 36 miles long and 2 to 3 miles wide and offer scenic beauty that is worth the trip to see. For a copy of the driving tour please contact Cheyenne Community Development at 785-332-3508 or visit Arikaree Breaks Wildlife Drive (naturalkansas.org)
The museum features a diorama complete with prehistoric fossils uncovered locally. This diorama shows life as it progressed over the millennia on the High Plains and includes furniture and period exhibits of frontier life. All of the exhibits are of Cheyenne County history. The Harvey addition of the museum features many room displays -epicting the early pioneer’s life in Cheyenne County. Be sure to see the Doctor’s Office, County School Room Wheeler Post Office, dining room, bedroom, kitchen, soda fountain, and the Moline Parlor Organ. For more information, call 785-332-2809 or 785-332-3119 or visit Museum – CHEYENNE COUNTY, KS (cncoks.us).
Located at 110 East Washington in beautiful downtown St. Francis, Kansas. The 10,000 square foot museum houses more than 135 vintage motorcycles from various manufacturers. The big names in early motorcycles, Indian and Harley Davidson, are highly represented, but so are motorcycles from lesser known manufacturers such as Flanders, Excelsior, Cleveland, Pope, Iver Johnson, Feilbach Limited, Ace, Henderson, Marsh-Metz, and many others. For more information, visit www.stfrancismotorcyclemuseum.org
Since 1953 Bird City has been home to “The Thresher Show”. Starting the last Thursday in July for three days people from miles around come to see the largest collection of operational steam engines in the state of Kansas. The steam engines are only part of the show, there are 40 buildings of historic farming equipment and machinery. The grounds include a 4,000 square foot museum highlighting life on the high plains. There are many family-friendly activities during the show such as seeing a blacksmith demonstration, there is a working sawmill, stopping by the printing press and getting a souvenir, enjoying a glass of cold lemonade and so much more! For more information about the Tri-State Antique Engine & Threshers Show, visit www.threshershow.org
Norton County is fortunate to be the home of Keith Sebelius Reservoir and Prairie Dog State Park located just 4 miles west of Norton. This lake is the number one fishing lake in Kansas. The reservoir is a man-made lake with approximately 2,500 surface acres of water and is known for its large numbers of trophy wipers, a white bass/striped bass hybrid known for its ferocious fighting ability, walleye, Saugeye, crappie, channel cat, and many other varieties.
Prairie Dog State Park has a wide variety of camping sites ranging from recreational vehicles to primitive, as well as several cabins. In addition to great fishing, boating and camping, the park offers a nature area, walking trail, sand beach, bath houses and shelter areas that are great for picnics and social gatherings, pavilion, playground, basketball court, sand volleyball court, horse shoe pits and 1.4 mile walking trail as well as many wildlife viewing opportunities. Prairie Dog State Park offers fresh air and beautiful scenery. Within Prairie Dog State Park are two historic buildings: the 1886 Hillmon School and the 1890 Adobe House. Tours are available by contacting the park office at 785-877-2953. Prairie Dog / Locations / State Parks / KDWP - KDWP (ksoutdoors.com)
Located In the heart of Logan, the Dane G. Hansen Museum is host to a permanent art collection as well as traveling Smithsonian exhibits. No admission fee. For upcoming events: www.hansenmuseum.org or call 785-689-4846 Located at 110 W Main St., Logan, KS 67646
Originally built for the safety of the settlers, Fort Bissell is now home to a museum that showcases the history of Phillips County. Visit: www.fortbissellmuseum.org or call (785) 689-4846 Located at 501 Fort Bissell Ave., Phillipsburg, KS 67661
Located among the trees west of Agra. Newly renovated and stocked, it offers a fishing dock, walking trail, restrooms, shelter houses, grills, and fire pits. Primitive camping and swimming allowed.
The primary purpose of Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is to conserve, maintain, and manage wildlife and habitat for migratory birds. The 10,778 acre Kirwin NWR is located in the rolling hills and narrow valley of the North Fork of the Solomon River in north-central Kansas. For more information, visit: www.fws.gov/refuge/kirwin Located at 702 E Xavier Rd, Kirwin, KS 6764
The Home on the Range site is 240 acres in Pleasant Township, Smith County, Kansas and consists of range and cultivated land formerly owned by Pete and Ellen Rust. This special acreage includes 13 acres devoted exclusively for use by the Higley/Home on the Range Cabin and associated events. For more information, visit Home on the Range (homeontherangecabin.com)
When Alaska and Hawaii were added as States, Lebanon’s site became the Historical Geographical Center of the 48 States or the Contiguous United States. There is a park kept up by the Lebanon HUB Club members where you can picnic and rest. A small chapel also sits there where you can find inspiration. For more information, visit Smith County, Kansas > Visitor & Tourism Information Site > Lebanon (smithcoks.com)
Camp Ford Historic Park Visit the largest Confederate prisoner camp west of the Mississippi River. Featuring a kiosk, paved trail, and information signs along the trail. This site is located at 6500 US-271. It is open daily from dawn until dusk and the admission is free. The museum is the home of the Twentieth Century of Progress permanent exhibit, which has a sampling of many different collections in our holdings. There are temporary exhibits every 6 months to a year. For more information, visit Home - Smith County Historical Society
The 24 X 32-foot Vincent van Gogh replica painting sits on an 80-foot easel weighing 40,000 lbs. and is one of only three in the world. The Big Easel was a project of Cameron Cross. Cross first dreamt up the idea in his hometown of Altona, Canada. After working as a teacher and artist in the town, he wanted to give something back, and so decided to recreate one of the Dutch master’s works. Well received locally, Cross traveled across the world to Australia and eventually Kansas where he erected his massive picture on an 80-foot easel off of I-70.The painting stands in a park complex which encompasses Pioneer Park built directly west of the painting. More about the painting Giant Van Gogh Painting – Goodland, Kansas - Atlas Obscura
Enjoy the World-Class Kuska Collection, including over 28,000 toys, glass, ceramics, silver, souvenirs, musical instruments, coins, clocks, stamps, dolls, furniture, clothing, quilts, and art. Visitors will experience early prairie life in a sod house, a one-room school, a country church and a 1930s farmstead. For more information, visit https://prairiemuseum.org/
The largest barn in Kansas, Cooper Barn measures 66 feet wide by 114 feet long and 48 feet high and houses the new exhibit “High and Dry: Agriculture on the High Plains.” Focusing on the rich agriculture history of northwest Kansas, the new exhibit showcases over 100 years of agriculture history through artifacts, farming implements, photos and stories. Voted one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture, For more information, visit 8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture | Cooper Barn, Colby Kansas Sampler Foundation
Located in an old grain bin, the visitor center is an attraction all on its own. Stop in for warm hospitality and travel assistance. I-70 at exit 53.
John Fenton Pratt had no idea when he started building his ranch that it would someday tell the story of his family and his native Yorkshire, England. Take a step into history as you tour the grounds of this relatively unchanged rural ranch. Exterior signs tell the story of the stained-glass windows, Yorkshire architecture, and this unique sheep ranch. You can even book an overnight stay in a sheep herder wagon! For more information, visit Cottonwood Ranch, Kansas - Cottonwood Ranch, a Kansas Historical Site (cottonwoodranchks.com)
Nestled in the rolling prairie and cropland covered hills of western Kansas, Sheridan State Fishing Lake provides a serene getaway for camping, fishing, and picnicking or just simply relaxing. The area is located 12 miles east of Hoxie, just one mile north of Highway 24. The lake covers 60 acres and is surrounded by 188 acres of timber and native grass wildlife area. Bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, and red ear sunfish are just a few of the species awaiting anglers. Solar powered fish feeders provide additional food, increasing fish growth rates and the quantity of fish the lake can support. A floating fishing pier is available and fishing is allowed on the floating pier. For more information, visit Sheridan / Northwest Region / State Fishing Lakes / Locations / KDWP Info / KDWP - KDWP (ksoutdoors.com)
Located on Highway 24, halfway between Webster Lake and Hill City. Established in 1877, Nicodemus is the only remaining town west of the Mississippi River founded and settled by African Americans at the end of Reconstruction. The National Historic Site, located in Nicodemus, consists of 5 historic structures: A.M.E Church, First Baptist Church, Nicodemus School District #1, St. Francis Hotel and Township Hall. A Visitor Center is located in the Township Hall, where Park Rangers, orientation videos, interpretive displays and book sales enrich the visitor experience. For more information visit https://www.nps.gov/nico/index.htm
Located about 8 miles west of Stockton south of US-24. Webster State Park is a protected prairie setting of rolling hills and spacious skies. Visitors often see deer, turkeys, quail, pheasants, and many wildflowers. The 3,700 acres of open water offer great fishing in Webster Reservoir. For more information visit https://ksoutdoors.com/State-Parks/Locations/Webster
The Rooks County Historical Society and Museum offer a glimpse into the history of Rooks County. A Pete Felten limestone sculpture of a draft horse marks this museum. The outdoor sculpture and a small display within commemorate one of the most famous and largest horse barns in the state, the 1912 classic Thomas Big Barn, near Woodston. It was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire just as renovation was completed in 1995. The museum also features county and town exhibits and photos, the Zelma Rader Atherton doll collection, and a photo display of many courthouses found in the state. For more information visit http://rookscounty.net/rooks-co-museum/
On May 20, 2018, the town of Codell celebrated the dedication of a new sculpture to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 1918 tornado. The town of Codell had a tornado three times in successive years-1916, 1917, and 1918 on the 20th day of May. The first year the twister passed at the west edge of town in the late afternoon. The second year it passed very close to the east edge of town in mid-afternoon. The third year, it came after dark wiping out a large part of town. For more information, visit Codell | (rookscounty.net)
This beautiful example of classic Romanesque design is a glowing example of the importance that early settlers to Rooks County placed on religion. The church had its first mass celebrated in 1917. Today, Damar holds annual events to provide funds for the continued restoration and upkeep of the church. For more information, visit Catholic Diocese of Salina | St. Joseph Parish – Damar (salinadiocese.org)
Palco, located along K-18 Highway in western Rooks County has a great park that is next to the McKenna Youth & Activity Center in the downtown area. First-run movies are played at the theatre in the Activity Center each week.
Plainville is home to Plainville Township Lake, located 1 mile south and 1 mile west of town. During normal years, the lake has plenty of water and provides an excellent location for fishing, picnics, and family gatherings. Electric hookups are available for camping. A new hiking trail on the west side of the lake is in the works.
Samuel Perry Dinsmoor, a retired schoolteacher, Civil War veteran, farmer and Populist politician, began building the Garden of Eden and Cabin Home in 1907 at the age of 64. For 22 years he fashioned 113 tons (2,273 sacks) of cement and many tons of limestone into his unique "log" cabin with its surrounding sculptures. For more information, visit Garden of Eden - Lucas, Kansas (gardenofedenlucas.org)
Mt. Sunflower, located near the Colorado border (the lowest point in Colorado) is the highest point in Kanas, standing 4039 feet. The site is open year-round. It is on private property, so please be respectful. Fill out the registration book in the mailbox. Lat/Lon: 39.02190°N / 102.037°W
“Fightin'est Fort in the West” – features exhibits on Custer's 7th Cavalry, Fred Harvey, the history of the Butterfield Overland Despatch (BOD) Stagecoach Station on the Smoky Hill Trail and the early Indian Wars outpost of Fort Wallace. See the 40-foot cast of the Elasmosaurus platyurus fossil found nearby, by the Fort surgeon in 1867. Also on display: barbwire folk art, antique vehicles. For more information, visit The Museum (ftwallace.com)
Located in the Fort Wallace museum, the display is one of the largest collections of reed organs in existence, with nearly 60 magnificently restored organs on display. For more information, visit Welcome to the Ft.Wallace Museum (ftwallace.com)
The Fort Wallace Cemetery holds the only visible remains of the original military post. Carved wooden headstones tell the tale of those who died of violence and disease. In the middle stands an obelisk erected by Custer’s Seventh Cavalry in memory of comrades who dies in the bloody summer of 1867. Visit the graves of the German family, who died at the hand of the Southern Cheyenne in 1874. For more information, visit FORT WALLACE CEMETERY – Travel Wallace County
This 1887 two story renaissance-style structure of brick and stone with mansard roof was originally the Logan County Courthouse. Now it houses artifacts from the BOD stage coach line (Smoky Hill Trail) that ran from Atchison, Kansas to the gold fields of Denver in the 1860's. There is a trail marker on site as the museum lies directly on the Smoky Hill Trail. For more information visit http://www.butterfieldtrailmuseum.org/
The Buffalo Bill Cultural Center is a Community Travel Information Center offering regional and state-wide brochures, maps, and travel information. Outside is the twice life-size bronze of Buffalo Bill on his favorite horse, Brigham, in pursuit of a buffalo, sculpted by Leoti, Kansas artists, Charlie and Pat Norton. The center is the midpoint of the Western Vistas Historic Byway. Located conveniently off I-70 at exit 70, 4 miles south. For more information, visit https://www.buffalobilloakley.org/
The museum focuses on local fossils and history. See an extensive historic photo display, Mrs. Fick's creative folk-artwork with fossils and other mediums. See marine fossils and fossilized sharks teeth, railroad artifacts, the Prather Creamery, General Store, sod house and depression glass. Read about the story of the German family massacre which occurred near Russell Springs, Kansas. Self-guided tour or call to schedule a group tour. Families welcome and there's an area for small children to enjoy. For more information, visit Fick Fossil & History Museum | VisitOakleyKS
These badlands are Kansas’ most dramatic Niobrara chalk formation. They provide unique and important habitat for many plants and wildlife. Native amphibians, reptiles and birds such as ferruginous hawks and cliff swallows live here. Long ago, this area was a great sea. In addition to the present-day wildlife, the remains of swimming and flying reptiles dating back 85 million years have been found here. Visitors to the 332-acre Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park are required to purchase a daily vehicle permit at the park or have an annual Kansas state parks vehicle pass. Hours are sunup to sundown daily, all year long. Two permanent hiking trails take you to multiple scenic overlooks at your own pace. For more information visit https://ksoutdoors.com/State-Parks/Locations/Little-Jerusalem-Badlands
Kansas' first National Natural Monument was voted one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas. The Niobrara chalk formation, rich in fossils, some reaching up to 50 feet. These rocks help guide the travelers along the Smoky Hill Trail. No services are available, and road is impassable in inclement weather. Birdwatchers don’t forget to pack the camera because, in addition to some uniquely stunning views, you’ll find many local and migratory birds. For more information visit https://www.visitoakleyks.com/monument-rocks
Thousands of years ago, this area was covered by a chalk ocean, which accounts for the chalk bluffs and beds. The chalk bluffs are still a fossil hunter's delight. This lofty calcareous limestone bluff has the appearance of an old English castle. A must see. Voted one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas. For more information visit http://www.naturalkansas.org/castle.htm
Since 1950, WaKeeney has held the title of "Christmas City of the High Plains." Each November WaKeeney is magically transformed into a holiday wonderland from the Saturday following Thanksgiving through New Year's. A magnificent handmade, 35-foot tree of fresh pine greenery rests under a canopy of heavenly blue lights in the middle of the main downtown intersection at Main and Russell Avenue. The canopy of blue lights radiates from the four ivory stars that crown the tree. In addition, a four-square block area around the tree is draped with greenery, handcrafted wreaths, bells, and stars, and, of course, more lights. The entire downtown business district is also outlined with LED color-changing perimeter lights which remain lit year-round. The entire display is made up of approximately 3 miles of electrical wiring, 1400 lbs. of fresh greenery, and 1100 yards of greenery roping. Read more WaKeeney: Christmas City of the High Plains – Homestead on the Range
Located on the Trego County Fairgrounds in WaKeeney along US Hwy 283. There is a vast collection of pioneer possessions on display, such as the old safe from the Trego County Treasurer's Office which was installed in 1901; a teller's cage from the Ogallah Bank; a telephone exchange used in Collyer in 1910; equipment used by pioneer doctors; the first printing press of the Western Kansas World dating back to 1879; items from both World Wars; and early day household and farm equipment and tools. Beginning in 1875-78, many people began settling in Trego County. They were Civil War veterans, soldiers, and sailors as well as immigrants from England, Germany by way of Russia, Bohemia, Sweden and Czechoslovakia. For more information visit https://www.tregohistorical.org/
The more than 14,000 acres of water and wildlife area make the Cedar Bluff State Park an excellent destination for campers, hunters, anglers and year-round explorers. And, they don't call it Cedar Bluff for nothing! For a stunning view of the area, drive to the top of the 150-foot tall, cedar-covered limestone bluffs on the south side of the lake. For more information visit https://ksoutdoors.com/State-Parks/Locations/Cedar-Bluff
Established in 1867 to protect the construction workers who were building the Union Pacific Railroad. The original blockhouse, guardhouse, and officers’ quarters remain along with exhibits interpreting pioneer and military history. A modern visitor center helps interpret the significance of the fort and the grounds contain extensive interpretive signage which provide an overview of the fort and its history. Through innovative exhibits discover stories of people like George Armstrong Custer and Buffalo soldiers, enlisted men, officers' wives and laundresses. For more information, visit Historic Fort Hays Site | Hays CVB, KS - Official Website (visithays.com)
183 Bypass. The bison herd began in 1953 with a bull named “Wild Bill” and a cow named “Calamity Jane”. The herd has been in Frontier Park ever since and has grown to include a bull, Ace, and many cow. Each year the bison herd welcomes new calves to the delight of each person who stops in Frontier Park. Thanks to a local rancher a rare, white bison named Ghostbuster joined the herd in the summer of 2017. For more information, visit
Bison Herd | Hays CVB, KS - Official Website (visithays.com)
Downtown Hays 9th & 10th St. This self-guided tour provides information about the famous and not so famous people who walked the streets of Hays during the 1860's to 1880's. Twenty-five bronze plaques mark the route for the walking tour. Each marker tells of the historical significance of the building and individuals like James Butler Hickock, William Fredrick Cody and General George Armstrong Custer. Get the map of the walking tour: Walking-Tour-of-Historical-Hays-2020- (visithays.com)
Sternberg Museum of Natural History displays live animals, fossils of 80-million-year-old sea-monsters, & interactive exhibits. The musuemhouses over three million paleontology, zoology, and geology specimens that document life and environments in the Great Plains region of North America. Enjoy Discovery Under the Dome! For more information visit About - Sternberg Museum of Natureal History (fhsu.edu)
This imposing building was constructed of native limestone or "post rock" to house the sheriff and county jail in 1907. Today the museum displays portray the early history of Russell County. View 100 years of Clothing, Heartland Politics, Russell County Goes to War, and the Painless Puller Palace during a visit to the Fossil Station Museum. For more information, visit https://www.russellkshistory.com/html/fossil-station-museum.html
Dorrance is located in the eastern part of Russell County and is a rural farming community. In June of 1867, the Kansas Pacific Railroad tracks reached Dorrance, bringing German, English, Irish, and other immigrants, who had accounted for much of the town's modest growth by 1870. A prairie fire almost destroyed the entire business district of Dorrance on March 27, 1879. The town was named after a Mr. Dorrance, who was the railroad superintendent at that time. For more information, visit https://www.russellkshistory.com/html/dorrance.html
Set in the scenic Smoky Hills region of Kansas, Wilson State Park provides convenient access to one of the state’s prime water recreation areas. Lake Wilson Marina is a full-service marina, and anglers can gear up at Knotheads Bait & Tackle Shop, located on the east side of South Shore. The Switchgrass Mountain Bike Trail is a 24.5-mile trail located in the Hell Creek Area of the state park. For more information, visit Wilson / Locations / State Parks / KDWP - KDWP (ksoutdoors.com)