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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

We left Chase County Fishing Lake, stopped in the cute little town of Cottonwood Falls, then continued up the Flint Hills Scenic Byway to Tallgrass Prairie.  The heart of the location is the old ranch, with headquarters on site.  They have  hikes and a ranger-driven bus ride as options that you can do.  We missed the bus tour because of a discrepancy between the time posted on the website and times posted at the visitor center.
We went on a short hike out among the prairie grasses.  The NPS only owns 35 acres of the preserve, with the Nature Conservancy owning the difference.  I heard 10,000 acres as a number, but I'm not sure how accurate that is.  Lets just say it's a lot of land and wide open sky out here.
The Flint Hills are prime grazing land.  The shallow soil isn't good for farming, which led to much of the prairie grass not being plowed under and replanted in corn or soybeans like much of eastern Kansas is.
Lots of grass out here.  If you miss the bus tour like we did, your only option is to explore on foot.  They do have a pasture with a buffalo herd that the bus tour drives through the middle of (the pasture, not necessarily the herd).  The bus fills up fast, at least the weekend we were here.  We were surprised how many people were out here. Like anywhere else, call ahead for your best options.

Nearest City: Strong City,KS
Location: 2 miles north of Strong City
Time Needed: varies
Difficulty: easy
Kid Friendly:
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