Plan Like a Park Ranger

Our top ten tips

Fire fighters perform a controlled burn
Controlled burns close some park trails in the early spring

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1. Plan before you arrive

Check out the current conditions section of our website for the most up to date information regarding potential hazards and closures. Check our calendar. We offer special events and programs throughout the summer. All programs are free and open to everyone.
Visitor center buildings covered in white snow
Tallgrass Prairie Visitor Center in winter

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2. Stop in at the visitor center

Here you will find trail maps, restrooms, water, and information. Ask a ranger if there is anything you need to know before enjoying the preserve. Check our hours here or call us at 620-273-8494 ext. 270.
View from the Scenic Overlook, grass and sky
The only shade out here comes from the clouds moving across the sky.

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3. Bring water, sunblock, and bug repellant

There is little to no shade on the prairie. Bring plenty of water, dehydration can be serious. Check for ticks after a hike, especially if you left the trail.
Windmill Pasture Gate
Entrance to Windmill Pastue

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4. Always use hiking gates

Never cross cattle guards. They are a real ankle breaker. Be sure to close the gate behind you.
Bison on Scenic Overlook Trail
Bison heard along the Scenic Overlook Trail

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5. Do not pet the fluffy cows

Seriously, bison are dangerous. Stay 100 yards from the nearest animal. Feel free to hike off trail to go around the herd.
Gravel track runs through bottomland prairie at the edge of a stream
Fox Creek Trail in the fall

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6. Discover the Tallgrass

Hike the Fox Creek Trail in the fall to see the tallest tallgrass at the preserve. Use the highway underpass to access this area from the visitor center.
stone building at top of hill and road surrounded by green prairie, blue sky
Lower Fox Creek School, part of the preserve, along the Flint Hills Scenic Byway

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7. The Flint Hills Scenic Byway is our driving tour

Trails at the preserve can be explored only by foot. Tune your car radio to 1640 AM to learn more about the Flint Hills region.
Spring Hill Mansion
Spring Hill Mansion

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8. Tour the Spring Hill Mansion

Take a self guided tour through the Spring Hill Mansion. Experience the lifestyle of a wealthy rancher at the end of the 19th century. Signage in each room tells the story of the house and a cell phone tour is available. The mansion and barn are open daily 9am-4:30pm, unless the park is closed.
BARK Ranger Badge
B.A.R.K. Ranger badge

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9. Don't forget your pet

Dogs are welcome on the Southwind Nature Trail, the Bottomland Nature Trail, and the Fox Creek Trail. They are also welcome on the Two Section Trail when no cattle are present. Do not leave pets locked inside hot/cold vehicles. Ask a ranger about our B.A.R.K. Ranger Program.
dark sky with stars
Stars viewed from the Lower Fox Creek School parking area

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10. Did you know our trails are open 24/7?

While we are not certified as a dark sky park, many stars can be spotted on clear nights. Don't forget your flashlight.

Last updated: March 23, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

2480B KS Hwy 177
Strong City, KS 66869


620 273-8494 x270

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