Outdoor Recreation, Travel & Tourism

See Also Nature and Science and Geography and Maps, History, Culture, Community, Economy

Main Topic
Fishing and Hiking - State Fishing Lakes
Where to Fish
For fishing, hiking, photography, etc. - locate State Fishing Lakes within the Flint Hills: Geary, Chase, Butler, Cowley, Woodson, and Pottawatomie. Click on balloon to find info on lake, including fishing regulations. Click on fish name to see drawing and info on species.
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism
Flint Hills - all aspects
Flint Hills Discovery Center
An entire museum exploring the geology, biology and cultural history of the Flint Hills. Terrific school field trips. (Hosts these Flint Hills Map and Education Program pages)
Flint Hills Discovery Center - City of Manhattan
Geocaching 101
Explains this fun hobby - a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Popular in the Flint Hills area.
Hiking on Prairie
Konza Prairie Trails
Map and description of hiking trails open dawn until dusk through variety of terrain (2.6, 4.6 and 6.2 miles in length).  Use this site to learn about geology and ecology as you go.
Konza Prairie
Hiking trail
Flint Hills Nature Trail
Describes location and features of this 117-mile trail, history, rules, related trails. Goes through 10 communities and 5 counties.
Kansas Rails-Trails Conservancy
Hiking, Plants, Wildlife, History
Tallgrass Prairie
National Preserve

Terrific public access to high quality prairie - over 10,000 acres and 40 miles of hiking trails (vary 1 to 13 miles) plus visitors center and historic buildings with rich ranching heritage. Under "Learn about the park," click History & Culture and Nature - for info about area ranching culture, history, plants, wildlife, bison, fire, grass, geology, recreational opportunities, etc. Unique story of public-private partnership to form preserve. Guided Field trips.
Tallgrass Prairie Preserve - National Park Service 

Hiking, Plants, Wildlife, History
Tallgrass Prairie Preserve Oklahoma
At 39,000 acres, this is the largest protected remnant of tallgrass prairie. Large Bison herd - over 2500 head.  Preserve is in southern tip of Flint Hills called “Osage Hills” in Oklahoma. Driving tour, hiking trails, birding and photography.
The Nature Conservancy
Horseback riding
Equestrian Trails in Kansas
Interesting list of over 26 public equestrian trails (with aerial maps) in Kansas. Only a few in Flint Hills, but several around edge, and group does sometimes sponsor Trail Rides on private lands in Flint Hills. Example of recreational and tourist potential. Kansas Horse Council
Museums and Nature Centers
Natural Kansas Links
Large List of LINKS to natural history museums and nature centers See Also: K-State Insect Zoo Website
Great Plains Nature Center
Natural Places - ESU
The Natural Areas
List of natural areas owned by ESU for research. Need to apply for permission to use. Great Field Trip sites - esp. Hamilton Quarry rich with fossils.
Emporia State University
Nature Center (in Flint Hills)
Great Plains Nature Center
Not in Flint Hills but focuses on prairie and aquatic education of areas including Flint Hills. Located in Wichita’s 282-acre Chisolm Creek Park. Offers special field trips for schools, as well as year-round events. Koch Habitat Hall nature museum on prairie, climate, includes huge aquarium of native fish. Hands-on exhibits.
Great Plains Nature Center
Nature Center (in Flint Hills)
Wildlife Education Service
Eco-Meet is interscholastic competition for students interested in wildlife biology. Sponsored by Milford Nature Center.
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
Nature Center (in Flint Hills)
Milford Nature Center
Near Junction City, nature center and park, dioramas of aquatic and terrestrial life, furs and animal tracks, and live raptors and bobcat, butterfly house, fish hatchery next door - tours available. Nature playground.
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
Outdoor activities
Get Outdoors Kansas
Calendars and Notices of Outdoor recreation events: runs, trail rides, bike rides, hikes, plein air painting events, farmers markets, geocaching.  Esp. see their wonderful new Flint Hills Gravel Trail - 431 mi. hiking-biking entire Flint Hills north to south.
Get Outdoors Kansas (coalition)
Outdoor activities for children
Last Child on the Prairie: a Directory for Parents and Teachers on Returning Children to the Outdoors
(also in Website Libraries)
Large list of LINKS to places, organizations, events, etc. to get kids outside in natural places. Quotes about the importance of kids experiencing nature. Evidence for teachers to explain why nature videos and in-class games are no substitute for getting students back into nature. [see also in this website: Teaching Resources - Place-based Education]
Kansas School Naturalist - Emporia State University
Outdoor places in Kansas
Natural Kansas: Links to Outdoor Kansas
(also in Website Libraries)
Large collection of LINKS to outdoor place websites:
  • Kansas Outdoor organizations
  • Traveling Kansas esp. for nature
  • Museums and Nature Centers
  • Zoos and Botanical Gardens
  • Nature-based businesses
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Tourism
Outdoor recreation -places to go and organizations
Natural Kansas Links
Large list of LINKS to
  • Places to go to be outdoors in Kansas.
  • Outdoor recreation organizations.

Great Plains Nature Center
Outdoor Symphony
Symphony in the Flint Hills
Annual event to increase awareness of the ecological and cultural significance of the Flint Hills. Produces symphony concerts on a different Flint Hills pasture each year for 6000+ people including 700 volunteers.
Also sponsors Woodfest - annual music-based weekend with art and outdoor activities at Camp Wood.
Symphony in the Flint Hills
Outdoors - Kids
Wildlifer Challenge
Wildlifer Challenges get kids doing basic outdoor play activities in nature (activities many kids today have never done): i.e. climb a tree, swim in a lake, catch a frog, catch a firefly, pitch a tent, pack a picnic, etc.
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
Outdoors activities - all
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
Large site - includes pull-down lists of Activities, Education, Wildlife and Nature.
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
Park Locations and Outdoor activities 
Go Play Kansas
Searchable database providing information on parks and recreational activities near you.  Five fun activity plans for classes & youth groups. Goal is to connect people to their environment to increase physical activity and fitness.
Parks - 4 State Parks in Flint Hills
Find Our State Parks
State map links to web pages with hiking and biking trails, fishing and wildlife viewing at our 4 State Parks in the Flint Hills: El Dorado, Fall River, Milford, and Tuttle Creek
Kansas Wildlife and Parks
Ranching history and prairie heritage
Pioneer Bluffs
Center for prairie heritage education on historic ranch in heart of Flint Hills. Prairie Talks in historic 1915 barn by ranch families and authors, artist exhibitions in Gallery, music concerts, living history workshops, art and craft fairs. Field trips. Picnic area, nature trail along creek.
Pioneer Bluffs Foundation
Rock Springs 4-H Camp
700-acre camp has numerous recreational activities, nature trails, historic buildings, and large natural spring. Summer 4-H camp and year-round facility.
Rock Springs 4-H Camp

Camp Wood YMCA (Elmdale, KS)
Outdoor School program for field trips for half or full day or overnight. Wide variety of summer camp programs, family camps.
Camp Wood YMCA
Beau Arndt Foundation
Sponsors Outdoor Days and safety education to promote outdoor enjoyment of nature, fishing, camping, hunting, and wildlife.
Beau Arndt Foundation
Flint Hills Bass Association
Fishing club - advice, blogs, tournaments.
Flint Hills Bass Association
Rural travel and tourism
Kansas Sampler Foundation
Exciting and popular organization with mission to preserve, sustain, and grow rural culture by educating Kansans about Kansas and by networking and supporting rural communities. Kansas Explorers Club members enjoy traveling rural Kansas. Has huge Kansas Sampler Festival each year, including a “Flint Hills Tourism Coalition Tent” - see list of 2015 exhibitors: http://kansassampler.org/page.php?id=558
Kansas Sampler Foundation

Scenic Tours
National Scenic Byway 
Find out about the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway  Links to both state and federal info: Brochure, Website, Maps, Photos.
U.S. Department of Trans Federal Highway Admin 
Scenic Tours
Kansas Scenic Byways
Find out about both the "Flint Hills National Scenic Byway" and “Native Stone Kansas Scenic Byway” Link to Brochure, Website, Maps, Photos.  
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
Travel - Flint Hills
The Flint Hills
Wonderful site - organized by Kansas Tourism Coalition - to eat, stay, shop, events. Click on your town or county at Website and will link to local visitors bureau websites.
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism
Travel - Flint Hills
Kansas Travel and Tourism

Travel Kansas link - Enter Flint Hills in Search Box to bring up area events, activities, dining, lodging. Or under Things To Do, click Nature-Flint Hills.
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism
Wildlife and plants, history
Maxwell Wildlife Refuge

On far west edge of native tallgrass prairie - represents wildlife of this area: large bison and elk herds - can see up close on open van tours. Wildflower tours. Annual 1800’s Mountain Man Rendezvous. Santa Fe Trail Days.
Maxwell Wildlife Refuge.
Wildlife-Flint Hills
Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge (Hartford, KS)
18,500 acre refuge of wetlands, grasslands, and woody riparian areas. Open to public - esp. for hunting. Site describes wildlife and resource management. Huge Bird List telling seasonal abundance.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service