The Glacial Hills Scenic Byway gets its name from the rolling hills and rock-strewn valleys carved by ancient glaciers. The receding ice left behind a beautiful landscape and highly fertile farmland. On July 4, 1804, the Lewis and Clark Expedition celebrated the first Independence Day of their journey near what is now Atchison. Fifty years later, the Kansas-Nebraska Act opened the Kansas Territory and settlers were drawn to the area's rich soil and nearby rivers.
The Glacial Hills region also includes one of the most famous Pony Express routes as well as Fort Leavenworth, the oldest Army post in continuous existence west of the Missouri River. Abraham Lincoln delivered one of his most famous campaign speeches in the area in 1859, and years later people would watch Atchison resident Amelia Earhart grow up to be a renowned aviator.
Begin your Glacial Hills Scenic Byway Journey at Leavenworth. Tour the historic Fort (identification is required at the gate). Take the walking/drive historic wayside tour of some of the historic places in the community.
Continue your byway journey at the Atchison Visitors Center and Museum in the historic Santa Fe Train Depot. The staff will assist you in arranging tours of the beautiful homes and museums in Atchison and a tour of the cemetery where many of Kansas' early political leaders are buried.
Be sure to see the Amelia Earhart earthwork by Stan Herd and her birthplace museum.
The byway extends north through the hills formed by glacial movement into Doniphan County. Stop at the Convention and Visitors Bureau to get details of a historic barn tour.
Continue the journey north to White Cloud and climb to the top of the hill for a view of four states and the Missouri River.
For more information about the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway, contact:Gary Satter Glacial Hills RC&D (785) 608-8801 Atchison Area Chamber of Commerce (800) 234-1854