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.
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
For more information about the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway contact:Ronn Peters (620) 242-7133