Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
The preserve is the only unit in the National Park Service dedicated to preserving a rare remnant of tallgrass prairie. Visitors may experience the prairie via prairie bus tours (May through October), nature hikes and trails. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is a 10,894 acre remnant of tallgrass prairie located in the heart of the Flint Hills.
Visitors can enjoy historic house tours of an 1880s limestone mansion, a massive three story limestone barn, Lower Fox Creek one-room school and two frontcountry nature trails. Over ten miles of backcountry trails available via free hiking permit. See a ranger for details.
Daily prairie bus tours are available from May - October and run at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. Minimum of two people required per bus tour. Tickets are $5 per adult and $3 for children 5 - 18 years. Children aged four and under are free. Special Combination Prairie Bus and Ranch Headquarters Tours are available during the summer season (May - October) for $7 per adult with an advanced reservation required. Ranch headquarters tours are available year-round with advanced reservations. Tickets are $4 per adult and $2 for children ages 5 - 18 years. Age four and under are free.
Experience a working ranch on the 1st and 3rd weekends (May - October) as living history interpreters demonstrate everyday skills, while dressed in period costume. Visitors can help churn butter, quilt or watch cooking, saddling and gardening demonstrations as part of the weekend activities.
On the second and fourth weekends at 10 am, visitors can experience a short hike along a riparian area to learn about the aquatic element found in a prairie ecosystem. Visitors are driven via bus to the Red House area, then hike roughly 1/2 mile to a natural stream area. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Hike is moderately strenuous. Visitors should bring water, wear appropriate clothing for hiking and use bug spray.
New Junior Ranger activities are available on site or may also be downloaded via the website. Completion of five activities are required to earn a Junior Ranger badge. Children may complete a Leave No Trace Scavenger Hunt to obtain a patch. Both activities available in Spanish.
Catch-and-release fishing is now available in three ponds at the preserve. A Kansas state fishing license is required. A free Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve fishing permit is required before fishing and may be obtained at the information kiosk on site.
"Experience the Flint Hills Tours" are available for organized bus tour groups with advanced reservations. Reservations can be made by calling the preserve at 620-273-8494 and visiting our website. Experience all that the Flint Hills has to offer. New activities are added, so watch our website for more listings.
The preserve is open everyday from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. The preserve is located 17 miles south of Council Grove or 2 miles north of Strong City, Kansas on Flint Hills National Scenic Byway 177.