Prairie Trail

Scenic Byway

When you travel the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway, you follow in the steps of Native Americans, explorers and pioneers as they sought food, shelter, adventure and a better life. Early traders followed the nearby Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico, 19th-century cowboys drove cattle along the Chisholm Trail, and huge herds of bison roamed the majestic Flint Hills.

Historians believe Francisco Coronado surveyed the countryside from Coronado Heights just north of the Byway in the early 1540s. Other famous visitors included Zebulon Pike and "Buffalo Bill" Cody. Immigrants from faraway lands, including Sweden, also settled in the area and built towns highlighting their culture and heritage.

  • Driving Directions

    Distance: 80 miles

    Ellsworth to Canton: Begin on the I-70 exit 225 for K-156 towards Ellsworth KS. Continue on K-156 towards Ellsworth for about 10 miles. Once in Ellsworth, make a left on K-140 for 13 miles towards K-141 near Carneiro, KS. Along the way, be sure to stop by Mushroom Rock State Park. You'll continue the route on K-141 for another 13 miles, heading south towards Kanopolis State Park.

    Once you reach the sign for K-4, make a left and head east for 15 miles towards Lindsborg, KS. Where K-4 meets 14th Ave in Lindsborg, make a right and head south for 1 mile towards Smoky Valley Rd. Stay on Smoky Valley Rd for 13 miles until you reach Roxbury, KS. In Roxbury, turn right onto 27th Ave and drive the final 13 miles to Canton, KS.

    Canton to Ellsworth: Starting in Canton, KS, head north on 27th Ave for 13 miles until you reach Roxbury, KS. In Roxbury, make a left onto Smoky Valley Rd and continue for 13 miles towards Lindsborg, KS. Make a right on 14th Ave just outside of Lindsborg, KS, and continue for 1 mile. Once you reach the sign for K-4 in Lindsborg, make a left and drive 15 miles to K-141. At the intersection of K-4 and K-141, make a right towards Kanopolis State Park and continue for another 13 miles towards the intersection of K-141 and K-140.

    Where K-141 and K-140 meet, make a left onto K-140 headed towards Carneiro, KS, and continue for 13 miles towards Ellsworth, KS. Along the way, be sure to stop by Mushroom Rock State Park. Stay on K-140 until you reach K-156 in Ellsworth. Make a right onto K-156 and drive the final 10 miles where the route concludes at I-70 exit 225

  • Plan Your Road Trip

    Small World Gallery

    Small World Gallery is a rarity. There you’ll often find National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson, who grew up on a Kansas farm and…

    Kansas Motorcycle Museum

    Home of the collection of 5-time National Sportsman Champion Stan "The Man" Engdahl. Engdahl's collection includes over 600 trophies won by…

    Mushroom Rock State Park

    One of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Geography, Mushroom Rock is the smallest, but one of the most unique, state parks in Kansas. The park is only…

    McPherson Opera House

    Attend a performance at the stunning McPherson Opera House where a major renovation project saved the building from demolition. The…

    Red Barn Studio Museum

    The Red Barn Studio was the working studio of professional artist and craftsman Lester Raymer (1907-1991). The Red Barn Studio is filled…

    Coronado Heights

    Coronado Heights is the southern-most bluff in a series of seven, known as the Smoky Hills. The hill is located northwest of Lindsborg. It…

  • Things to do along the way


    Kansas Byways

    Flint Hills

    The Flint Hills National Scenic Byway offers incredible views of the native grasses and flowers of the tallgrass prairie - one of the last…

    Glacial Hills

    The Glacial Hills Scenic Byway gets its name from the rolling hills and rock-strewn valleys carved by ancient glaciers. 

    Smoky Valley

    Named for their hazy, blue appearance at sunrise and sunset, the Smoky Hills divide the more easterly mixed-grass prairie from the…

    Frontier Military

    Travel through time, visiting multiple forts along the Frontier Military Historic Byway.  Originally built to move soldiers and…

    Gypsum Hills

    Ancient floodplains, buttes, canyons, mesas and sinkholes are rare on the Great Plains. Yet, nestled in the Kansas grasslands is the Gypsum…

    Route 66

    Kansas' Historic Route 66 Byway offers opportunities for visitors to enjoy a variety of experiences to "get their own kicks…

    Western Vistas

    Visit a rugged landscape on the culturally and visually fascinating route known as the Western Vistas Historic Byway. 

    Land & Sky

    Travelers along the Land and Sky Scenic Byway have the opportunity to experience the Wallace Branch of the Great Western Cattle Trail, scale…

    Wetlands & Wildlife

    Along the byway, you'll encounter landscapes and communities shaped by the powerful forces of motion and change. You're entering a…

    Post Rock

    Over the Smoky Hills of weathered bedrock, the Post Rock Scenic Byway winds through fields, pastures and prairie.

    Native Stone

    Discover the natural beauty of the panoramic Native Stone Scenic Byway.

    For more information about the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway contact:

    Ronn Peters
    (620) 242-7133