Wetlands & Wildlife

National Scenic Byway

Everywhere you look, you see evidence of motion and change!

Along the byway, you'll encounter landscapes and communities shaped by the powerful forces of motion and change. You're entering a region formed by ancient and ongoing geological movement, a land of stunning bird migrations, wild winds, and weather, and of richly layered human history. Everywhere you look, you'll see evidence of motion and change - from rippling wheat fields to the grand spectacle of a hundred thousand shorebirds alighting in the Byway wetlands.

The Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway takes visitors through Barton, Stafford, and Reno counties in central Kansas. The road moves through radiant wetlands exploding with wildlife, prairie vistas with immense blue skies, and seven rural communities shaped by nature and the entrepreneurial spirit. The marshes that anchor this drive, Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, are international treasures nestled in the heart of America and the Central Flyway.

Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway Website

  • Route Description - North to South

    Distance: 77 miles

    Hoisington to St. John (North to South) - Begin your journey at US-281 and K-4. Head east on K-4 towards the city of Hoisington. Stay on K-4 east, going through the city of Hoisington and towards the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Refuge. Just past Cheyenne Bottoms will be NE 100 Ave. Make a right and head south on NE 100 Ave. Stay on NE 100 Ave for about 4 miles until you reach the intersection for K-156 and NE 100 Ave. This is where the route can be tricky, so pay close attention to the road signs. Turn right on K-156 and remain on the road for about 4 miles until you are at the  K-156 and NE 30 Rd intersection. You'll turn left onto NE 30 Rd and then immediately right onto Dartmouth/NE 60th Ave. 

    Remain on Dartmouth for 10 miles. The goal is to stay on Dartmouth Rd. To do this, you'll need to make a right on SE 70th Rd; then an immediate left onto Hudson Rd (reference the screenshots below). Keep going southwards on Hudson Rd for 7 miles until you hit the intersection of Hudson and NE 140th St. Make a left on NE 140th towards the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. You'll stay on NE 140th for about 12 miles. NE 140th St will eventually become 95th Ave (no need to turn). Where 95th Ave intersects with North Raymond Rd, just past the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, turn right. 

    Keep heading south on North Raymond Rd. for 7 miles until you reach the intersection for 4th Street and North Raymond Rd. At this intersection, turn right onto 4th street. Remain on 4th Street, heading west towards the city of St. John, for 16 miles. The route concludes just north of St. John where 4th Street intersects with US-281. 

    Dartmouth Road intersection

    Wetlands Route

    Dartmouth Road to US-156

    Copy of Wetlands Route 2


  • Route Description - South to North

    Distance: 77 miles

    St. John to Hoisington (South to North) - Starting in the city of St. John, head north on US-281 until you reach the intersection of US-281 and 4th Street Rd. (The intersection is by the Wild Horse Creek). Make a right onto 4th Street Rd. and continue on the road for 16 miles until you reach North Raymond Rd. Turn left onto North Raymond Rd and continue onwards for an additional 7 miles until you are at the intersection of North Raymond Rd and 95th Street. You'll then turn left onto 95th Street, which will then become NE 140th St. (no need to turn) once you are at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. Drive for 12 more miles on NE 140th St. through the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge until you hit the intersection of 140th and Hudson Road. 

    This is where the route can be tricky, so make sure to pay close attention to the road signs. At the intersection of 95th and Hudson, turn right onto Hudson Road and drive for 7 more miles until Hudson Road meets Dartmouth Road. You'll make a quick right onto Dartmouth, drive for about half a mile, then, to stay on Dartmouth Road, make a left. You'll know if you are on the right path if you are heading north on Dartmouth Road towards Great Bend and the Cheyenne Bottoms Refuge. Stay north on Dartmouth Road for 10 miles until you reach the intersection of NE 30 Rd and Dartmouth. Here, you'll make an immediate left onto NE 30 Rd, then an immediate right onto K-156.

    Continue on K-156 for 6 miles until you reach the intersection of US-156 and NE 100 Ave. Turn left onto NE 100 Ave, and continue for about 4 miles until you reach the intersection of US 100 Ave and K-4, then turn left onto K-4. Stay on K-4, heading west towards Hoisington. Drive through the city of Hoisington until you are at the intersection of K-4 and US-281. The route concludes at this intersection, which is only a few miles northwest of Hoisington.

    Dartmouth Road intersection

    Wetlands Route

    Dartmouth Road to US-156

    Copy of Wetlands Route 2


  • Cheyenne Bottoms Refuge

    The Nature Conservancy's Cheyenne Bottoms Preserve is a 7,848 acre wetland preserve adjacent to the state-owned Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife…

    The Historic Wolf Hotel

    Come stay with us! We have rooms to suit every taste and budget. From our Suite with all the amenities of home to Grandma's room with a…

    Migrants Mile Trail

    This trail allows the visitor to see a variety of habitats: woodland, prairie, and marsh. There are two loops on this trail: the inner loop…

    Heritage Park

    Heritage Park is Hoisington’s original city park. It features two picnic shelters, basketball & tennis courts and playground equipment…

    Ellinwood Tunnels

    Tours of the underground tunnels built in 1878 under Ellinwood. Daily tours include tour of underground livery stable, barber shop, bath…

  • Things to do along the way


    Kansas Byways

    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…

    Native Stone

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

    Prairie Trail

    When you travel the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway, you follow in the steps of Native Americans, explorers and pioneers as they sought food…

    Post Rock

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

    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…

    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…

    Gypsum Hills

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

    Frontier Military

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

    For more information about the Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway, contact:

    Great Bend CVB