Frontier Military

Historic Byway

Travel through time, visiting multiple forts along the 168-mile-long Frontier Military Historic Byway.  Originally built to move soldiers and supplies, the Military Trail has watched American history unfold. Traveling from North to South, you'll find various landmarks such as Fort Leavenworth and Fort Scott, to other historical gems like the John Brown Museum.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Fort Scott National Historic Site, Marais des Cygnes Massacre Park and Mine Creek Battlefield hold historical value from the turbulent times of "Bleeding Kansas" and the Civil War. Also along the route, hear legends and see monuments that memorialize history across the Kansas landscape.

Frontier Military

  • Route Description

    Traveling south to north: The byway begins at a point on U.S. Highway 69 at the Kansas/Oklahoma border. Traveling north on US-69 towards Overland Park, the byway eventually merges with Interstate 435. Continuing north on I-435 for about 30 miles, the byway then merges onto Kansas Highway 5 towards Lansing, KS. The byway continues along with K-5 for about 10 more miles and then merges with K-7 in Leavenworth. Continuing north on K-7, the byway eventually concludes in Leavenworth at the intersection of K-7 and K-92 on Spruce Street.

    Traveling north to south: Beginning at the intersection of K-7 and K-92 Spruce Street in Leavenworth, KS, head south on K-7 towards K-5. Turn left onto K-5 and Continue south on K-5 for roughly 10 miles until you reach the entrance ramp for I-435. Drive south along I-435 for an additional 30 miles and take the exit for US-69. Keep driving south along US-69 until the byway eventually concludes at the Kansas/Oklahoma border.

  • Itinerary

    Begin at Fort Leavenworth and tour the Fort (identification will be required at the gate). There is an overlook and natural area in the Missouri River Valley where birds and wildlife abound.

    Fort Leavenworth includes a National Cemetery, the Command and General Staff College, Memorial Chapel and the Rookery, the oldest residence in Kansas.

    Traveling into the city of Leavenworth, Leavenworth Landing Park focuses on the role of the city as the "gateway to the west." It focuses on the forms of transportation that brought settlers through time to this area including a walking trail, sculptures of steam locomotives and a Conestoga wagon, steamship paddle wheel, etc. It offers a great view of the Missouri River. Contact 1-800-844-4114 for a map and brochure of the historic wayside tour of the city to learn about Carry Nation, General Sherman, Susan B. Anthony, the Underground Railroad and other historic characters.

    The byway winds south along the Missouri River on K-5 to I-435 around the Kansas City Metro Area to U.S. 69. The Kansas City Area has numerous scenic, historic, cultural, natural and recreational attractions to choose from including the Grinter Place, Johnson County Museum, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm (a Santa Fe Trail stopping place), Miller Nature Center, etc.

    Upon leaving the Kansas City metro area, the byway travels through Miami County where the Samuel Adair Cabin (John Brown's hiding place) is preserved and open to the public in Osawatomie. Also, stop at the Louisburg Cider Mill for some fresh apple cider.

    Proceeding south, continue your tour of the history of the Frontier Military Road and visit the state historic sites of the Marais des Cygnes Massacre and the Mine Creek Battlefield Site, the only Civil War battle in Kansas.

    You may also want to get your binoculars out and spend time at the Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area viewing birds and wildlife.

    Then it's on to Fort Scott and the National Historic Site as well as the Victorian District. Victorian homes converted to beds and breakfasts provide comfortable accommodations. You can also see a collection of Gordon Parks photographs and poems at the Mercy Health Center.

    The southern portion of the byway continues through wildlife areas that are converted coal mine sites.

  • For more information about the Frontier Military Historic Byway, contact:

    Julie Steiner
    Lenexa Convention & Visitors Bureau
    Kristi Lee
    Leavenworth Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Points of Interest & Amenities

    Discover old military trails once used to transport troops and supplies - many recreational adventures and unique historic sites await you along the 168-mile byway!

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