4 Best National Parks in Kansas to Explore

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National Parks in Kansas
Photo by Mary Hammel on Unsplash

Kansas State is one of the liveliest states in the US. There is so much to do here that no one can ever get bored in this beautiful heaven. National Parks in Kansas are popular for their historical buildings and rich history.

The state is rich in its historical sites and architecture, and there are so many wonderful things to do here. From amazing food to exciting trails, Kansas never lets you down with its great offers.

Tourists from all over the world visit this ‘wheat state’ to experience its beauty of this state. And national parks in Kansas are just cheery on the top.

However, there are so many attractions here, and one of the best places to must-see is n the national parks in Kansas. You can never go wrong while exploring Kansas national parks with four national historic sites.

National Parks in Kansas has everything to make your vacation or your family vacation memorable.

There are so many options for national parks in Kansas that you can explore. But here, we picked up the best sites, from hiking trails to the national historic site.

So, let’s dive into a few of the best Kansas national parks and see. And let’s explore how to get there and what fun activities you can do there.

Four Best National Historic Sites in Kansas

1) Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Park

One of the popular historic national parks in Kansas, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trails, is one of the best expeditions in Kansas state. It is 4900 miles long, which further expands to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, crossing the Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon.

Lewis and Clark’s expedition is the most popular among locals and tourists visiting here. The main reason for its likeness is that it connects 16 states, including many tribal lands. States it touches include Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Washington, South & North Dakota.

The national park service runs the park. It is the best national park for children.

An education national historic site

Board of Education National Historic Site runs several programs here to honor the tribal legacies. Several tribal lives were touched and changed by these national parks in Kansas service teams.

Clark National Historic Trail

Lewis and Clark’s expedition longevity of the trail depends on how many sites you want to visit and see. If you want to cover the entire expedition from Pittsburg crossing the Pacific Ocean, then you would need at least 3-4 weeks.

Lewis and Clark National historic trail is a historic site made mark 1803 to 1806 for the protection and identification and public use and to enjoy the historic site.

It is well preserved national historic trail which remained intact for a very long time. Its natural resources and culture related to US tribal history are also well preserved. that is why it becomes important that you must once visit the place to see this amazing historic site.

What is it best known for?

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Park is known for its expedition. There are numerous species here that lives in water and dam. It is a great place to come nearer to nature.

There are so many places around the park which you can visit. Some of the historical sites in national parks in Kansas are:

  • Cahokla Courthouse
  • Winter Camp at Wood River
  • Gateway Arch National Park
  • Tavern Cave
  • Charbonier Bluff
  • St. Charles Historic District
  • Sugar Load Rock Cark’s Hill State Historic Site
  • Moniteau Creek at Manitou Bluffs
  • Leary Site
  • Platte Ricer Confluence
  • White Catfish Camp
  • Fort Atkinson
  • Blackbird Hill
  • Omaha Big Village
  • Sergeant Floyd Monument
  • Spirit Mound
  • Ionia Volcano
  • Bow Creek the Tower

Other Details

Entry Fee

The entrance fee of the park is $10 for adults, which can be used for seven days. Children under the age of 15 can go for free.

You can visit the official site of the Clark national historic trail to book your expedition.

Address

1 River City Dr, Kansas City, KS, United States, PIN 66115

Timing

It opens from Monday to Sunday from 7 am to 10 pm.

2) Fort Larned National Historic Site

Fort Larned National Historic Site is one of the best historic sites and national parks in Kansas. The national park has a rich history where you can see Santa Fe Trail guardians protecting the base.

The trail was once an army base in the 19th century from 1860 to 1870. It is still well preserved by the national park service team.

This national historic site has so many educational programs that you can learn about by visiting here. Al, you need to spare a minimum of two hours here in which you can visit museums, see the buildings and watch the film based on the national historic site.

The trail also has a picnic area where you can enjoy yourself with your kids, family, and friends.

Fort national park has seen lots of change in these hundred years and has undergone several changes.

Located 5.5 miles west of Larned, Kansas, the national park has several picnic centers where you can spend quality time. The area is clean and has several facilities, making your trip memorable.

For those who are looking for different learning opportunities, Fort Larned can also provide that by turning its building into a classroom where lessons can be easily taken.

You can also take guided tours of this Fort national historic site. If you are visiting with a large group or individually, you don’t need to worry about it. Just make sure to book in advance, so you don’t feel any stress later.

A National Historic Site

Fort Larned National Historic site has a rich history. Its trail, Santa Fe Trail, was once used as a route to transport commercial traffic to other states, including Missouri, Santa Fe, and New Mexico. It was firstly built to protect travelers from the area from the attack from people. Now it is known for its historic structures.

When tension built among native American tribes and authorities, who were trying to restrict their movement and take their personal freedom. After that, several military outposts grew in this part of the area.

Santa Fe National Historic Trail was built in 1859, with a Fort’s mission to protect commerce and settler and maintain peace on the trail.

Fort Larned National Historic trail also served as a national historic site and was a base for the US army.

Today its building is still intact, and visitors can visit the place and get the feel of how people lived back in the 19th century. It has interesting buildings showing the life of people in the past century.

You can visit Fort Larned National’s historic site for more details.

Other Details

Fee
The entry fee for individuals is free.22
Address

1767 KS-156, Larned, KS 67550, Kansas

Timing

It opens from Monday to Sunday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. And it is closed on major holidays.

3) Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

National Parks in Kansas
Photo by Nathanael Dunn on Unsplash

One of the most popular national parks in Kansas, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, was built to preserve the ecosystem in 1996. Tallgrass Prairie is also a home to bison and herds, which can be seen from private farming sites.

Visitors can visit hiking paths in the park and a cultural ranch to spend some time in the lap of nature.

There is so much to see here, from historical buildings to natural wonders, the park has diversity and offers amazing sightseeing.

Tallgrass Prairie ecosystem was once spread in 170 million of the land but turned into farmland after time.

Today in this vast prairie, you will only find them in the Flint Hills region to preserve the ecosystem of Tallgrass Prairie.

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve has everything where you can learn about prairie and understand its ecosystem of it.

Tallgrasses are well preserved so that visitors can enjoy the sight of them. Living for so many years made a connection to the people living here. There is also one of the best visitor centers in the park which you can visit.

You don’t need to book to visit here; you can come here all year. Its hiking trails have ranch roads and mowed paths, giving the environment a natural feel. Ideal if you come in comfortable footwear.

In Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, every place is within walking distance, and you can easily walk around the enjoy the scenic area. You can also take a bicycle if you don’t want to walk much.

There are so many things to do here. You can take:

  • Nature trails
  • Take a guiding tour of the Ranch
  • Do fishing
  • Explore the tallgrass visitor center
  • Bison viewing
  • Walking on Bottomland trail

However, you cannot bicycle on hiking trails as it is restricted to preserve the trails.

The national park hosts several activities for kids. There is also a girl and boy scout program where children can get real-life experience of their natural environment.

They can learn, discover and become paleontologists. Children learn how paleontologists work and get to know the tools they were using in ancient life. They get to know about the history of the earth and the ancient plants and animals that lived here, and what was the climate and atmosphere in the ancient world. They can further learn to protect national parks and found fossils and rocks.

There is also a Scavenger Hunt game in one of the best national parks in Kansas, where participants can participate and hunt for natural and cultural resources.

Other Details

Fee

Entry is free to the park.

Address

2480B KS-177, Strong City, KS 66869

Timing

It is open from Monday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.

4) Nicodemus National Historic Site

Nicodemus National Historic Site is beautifully located in western Kansas. The site was the hub of the African American community who settled there.

One of the historic national parks of Kansas, the Nicodemus National Historic Site, started when the civil war ended in 1879. The formerly enslaved people started to move out of the south and started shifting to the north and west side of the country. This movement has done because of finding support for themselves and shelter for their family and community.

The civil war changed everything and the exodus of 1879. The African Americans started to do farming on their land for survival.

The two groups settled in Nicodemus, the early settler, in 1877. And after that, 250 groups of people arrived in 1878.

After that, Nicodemus National Historic Site turned into a western town where there are banks, law, stores, and a post office. Till the end of 1887, many professionals settled in Nicodemus.

Soon it becomes a flourishing place where people start living with new hope. But soon, the decline of population and jobless forced the people to fly the place.

Today the park is open to visitors who can visit here and experience the life lived by people back then.

There are five historic buildings here which are the township hall, Methodist church, Baptist Church, school, and hotel. All these buildings, from school to Baptist church, are well preserved today.

You can also see the township hall, built-in 1939, as a self-government building used for theatre, dance, activities, etc.

This one of the best national parks in Kansas is open for pets and is allowed in the town site. If you have pets, then you can also take them there. But take care of them and don’t take them to the town hall as pets are not allowed there.

Other Details

Fee

There is no entry fee to the national park.

Address

304 Washington Ave, Bogue, KS 67625, United States

Timing

Nicodemus National Historic Site opens from Thursday to Monday from 9 am to 5 am. And it is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. And also, on national holidays.

Conclusion

Here we come to the end of our list. I hope you like these national parks in Kansas and like a list of all the historic parks in the city.

All these National Parks in Kansas were once home to native people. Many of the tribes still live here. But as time passed, all these tribes vanished. And the place is remained open for visitors and tourists who every year come here to experience the beauty of the land.

If you ever come to Kansas, don’t forget to check the history of the native people and how they live here. These national parks in Kansas will give you a glimpse of ancient life and take you to the era when these tribes live.

If you like this story of National Parks in Kansas, do check out 6 Best Oregon National Parks. 

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