Kansas State Parks

Kansas National and State Parks and Lakes Near You (2018)

Who said Kansas parks were all just flatland and tall grass? Kansas is a state of contrasts, from prairies in the west to the forested hills of Kansas City, Kansas. National and state parks in Kansas offer an affordable (if not free) way to embrace nature, hike the trails, and relax by the lake.  What’s your next adventure?

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Kansas National Park or Wildlife Refuges

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site

1515 SE Monroe St, Topeka, KS 66612

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic site in Topeka tells the story of Brown v. Board of Education, which ended legal segregation in public schools. They were teachers, secretaries, welders, ministers, and students who simply wanted to be treated equally. The site was established on October 26, 1992, by the U.S. Congress. Handicapped parking is available to the side of the building; other parking is to the left of the building across the street.

Fort Larned National Historic Site

1767 Kansas 156, Larned, KS 9321

Fort Larned National Historic Site showcases Fort Larned, which operated from 1859 to 1878. The fort is part of the Santa Fe Trail, and the sandstone constructed buildings sheltered troops who were known as the Guardians of the Santa Fe Trail. it is five miles west of Larned, Kansas.

Fort Scott National Historic Site

Market, Fort Scott, KS 66701

Fort Scott National Historic Site is a historic site that gives details on the chain of events that happened in Fort Scott from 1842 to 1873. Walk through the tall structures, the parade ground, and its tallgrass prairie for a walk through time.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail


Between May 1804 and September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window into the west for the young United States. Read the Lewis and Clark Pups blog, the Newfie News!

Nicodemus National Historic Site

304 Washington Ave, Bogue, KS 67625

Nicodemus National Historic Site highlights the only remaining western town established by formerly enslaved African Americans that left Kentucky in organized colonies at the end of the of post-Civil War Reconstruction period to experience freedom in the “promised land” of Kansas. Nicodemus represents the involvement of African Americans in the westward expansion and settlement of the Great Plains.

Oregon National Historic Trail


Imagine yourself an emigrant headed for Oregon: would promises of lush farmlands and a new beginning lure you to leave home and walk for weeks? More than 2,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen along the Oregon National Historic Trail in six states and serve as reminders of the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs of early American settlers.

Pony Express National Historic Trail

Pony Express Museum, 106 S 8th St, Marysville, KS 66508

Despite just running for 18 months, the Pony Express is a part of American lore. Visit destinations such as the Pony Express Museum in Marysville, which was built in 1859 and leased to the Pony Express in 1860. Other museums and locations highlight the Pony Express National Historic Trail in eight states that was the most effective means of communication prior to the telegraph.

Santa Fe National Historic Trail

Santa Fe Trail Center Museum and Library, 1349 K-156 Hwy Larned, KS 67550

You can almost hear the whoops and cries of “All’s set!” as trail hands hitched their oxen to freight wagons carrying cargo between western Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Follow the Santa Fe National Historic Trail through five states and you’ll find adventure and evidence of past travelers who made this remarkable trip before you!

Tallgrass Prairie

2480B KS Hwy 177, Strong City, KS 66869

Tallgrass prairie once covered 170 million acres of North America. Within a generation, the vast majority was developed and plowed under. Most of the remaining tallgrass prairie resides in Kansas in the Flint Hills. The preserve outside of Lawrence protects a nationally significant remnant of the once vast tallgrass prairie and its cultural resources. For information about the prairie, visit the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, Kansas.

Mount Mitchell Heritage Prairie outside of Wamego, KS
Mount Mitchell Heritage Prairie outside of Wamego, KS

Want to add one to the list? Let me know!

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