Description - Where can you find dinosaur bones, moon rocks, award winning elderberry wine, great works of art, and the perfect fishing hole? Where can you see bison grazing on open prairie that still bears the deeply cut grooves of pioneer wagon wheels? Where can you discover all of this and more in one place? Where else but Kansas.
Experience the great outdoors in its natural state. Explore the legacy of the western frontier. View some of the most unspoiled and diverse ecosystems in the country. Hunt and fish for variety of pursuits and at a variety of locations in Kansas. Find regional creativity displayed alongside internationally acclaimed exhibits in Kansas' art centers and museums. Share a real farm and ranch experience with your family or learn what inspired people to defy the laws of nature and take flight.
Copyright: National Park Service
Fort Scott National Historic Site
- A few miles from the Colorado border is the high point of the state, Mt. Sunflower, which reaches 4,039 feet. This area of the state is known as the high plains and was once covered by shortgrass prairie. Today most of the region is cultivated with only small parcels of native prairie lands. The northwestern area is carved by many streams and rivers. Interstate 70 is the major thorofare through this region. Monument Rocks National Landmark preserves a portion of the chalk stone formations that resemble pillars reaching up from the prairie. This region contains the largest production of sunflowers in Kansas. The southern portion of western Kansas contains Cimarron National Grasslands, which preserves a small portion of the natural grasslands that once covered the area. Flowing through this region is the Arkansas River on its way to the Mississippi River.
Central Kansas is split into two regions by the Kansas tourism industry: Post Rock Country and Heartland Country. Post Rock Country is characterized by rolling hills of sandstone and limestone. Its name is derived from the use of limestone, by settlers in the nineteenth century, for fence posts and private and public buildings. The landscapes and solitude of this region inspired Dr. Brewster Higley to write the song 'Home on the Range.' Many unusual fossils have been found in the limestone, sandstone and chalk stone of the region.
Southern central Kansas, refered to as Heartland Country, contains the largest saltbed in the United States. Salt mining has occured in this region since the 1890s and continues today. This area contains several large lakes open to the public for recreational pursuits. Wichita, the largest city in Kansas, lies in this region.
Northeastern Kansas was carved by glaciers millions of years ago. The landscape is characterized by boulder-strewn and loess-covered hills. In the nineteenth century Pony Express riders galloped through this region of the state. The only original Pony Express station remaining in the United States lies in northeastern Kansas and is open to the public as a museum.
The area designated as Heritage Hills lies in central eastern Kansas. This area contains the state capital, Topeka, and is characterized by several large man-made lakes. Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, at Monroe Elementary School, lies in downtown Topeka. (This site is undergoing major renovations and is not yet open to the public.)
Southeastern Kansas contains several small state parks, most of which lie on the banks of reservoirs. Fort Scott National Historic Site interprets the use of the site in the 1840s, when it was built to keep peace with Indians on the Kansas frontier. This area was once rich in minerals and mining occurred here, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, for coal, zinc, clay, limestone and lead.
Recreation - The amount of small historic sites and museums is remarkable in this state. (Every exit on Interstate 70 has one.) Fishing, hiking, swimming facilities are available at most state parks and reservoirs that pervade the state.
Climate - Kansas has an annual mean temperature almost as high as that of Virginia, more sunshine than that of any state to the east, and generous summer rains.
The State lies across the path of alternate masses of warm moist air moving north from the Gulf of Mexico and currents of cold, comparatively dry, air moving from the polar regions. Consequently, its weather is subject to frequent and often sharp changes, usually of short duration.
Summers are inclined to be warm--often the word "hot" describes them best--but are healthful, with low relative humidity during periods of high temperatures, and usually a good wind movement. Heat prostrations are almost unknown. Summer nights are usually cool, especially in the western counties.
Winters are drier, with more sunshine than those of eastern states. The average snowfall is less than that of other states, except those located farther south. Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and the New England States normally have from two to three times as much snowfall as Kansas.
Kansas is in the center of the United States.