The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 6, 2001 · Page 81
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 81

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Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 6, 2001
Page:
Page 81
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i.V-TUO. All .,«.V THE SALINA JOURNAL "III;? .yr, i~ M :> rn :i ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT SUNDAY, MAY 6. 2000 II Kansas landscape offers visitors plenty of variety By the Kansas Department of Commerce and Homing In a few special places, the Kansas landscape is much the same as it once was - largely natural and untouched. \risitors wanting to experience natural Kaiisas can walk through wildflowers in prairies undisturbed by civilization, view wildlife in their natural environments or discover some of the best geological finds in the world. Regardless of the season or interest, the wild beauty of Kansas offers wonderful travel opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast At one time, most of North America was prairie. Today, most of America's remaining vii^ prairie can be found in Kansas, and numerous opportunities exist for visitors to experience the beauty of the tallgrass prairie. The Tall- grass Prairie National Preserve in tiie heart of the Flint Hills near Strong City is the only unit in the National Park System dedicated to the rich cultural history of the prairie ecosystem. Travelers can take a bus tour into the 10,714-acre preserve or hike one of their trails. The Konza Prairie Research Natural Area, souHi of Manhattan, is owned and operated by Kansas State University and the Nature Conservancy. Much of the prairie is used for research purposes, but hiking trails take visitors into the heart of the prairie. For a imique prairie experience, Ethnobotany Week activities are offered for women only each spring and faU at the Homestead Ranch near Matfield Green and include wildflower walks, plant gathering for culinary and medicinal use, and plant pressings. The Prairie Drifter sunset tour in Cottonwood Falls gives visitors a unique prairie e3q )erience. The Cimarron National Grasslands was formed when the federal government purchased some of the most severely wind-eroded land during the Dust Bowl era. The land has since been rejuvenated and is now administered by the U.S. Forest Service. A nineteen-mile hiking and biking trail runs parallel to the original route of the Santa Fe Trail. The 180,000-acre Grassland also features primitive and established camping sites and a self-guided scenic driving tour. In south central Kansas, the Gypsum Hills or Red Hills features flat mesas, deep canyons, sharp high hills, and red soils. The Gyp Hills Trail Rides take place during the first three weekends in April at the Gant-Larson Ranch. Trail riders must provide their own horses, but for those who don't own horses or ride, horse-drawn wagon rides are provided. The ranch also offers a "women onlj^' trail ride in April. The Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway bisects Route 66: 75 years and still going During 2001, historic Route 66 celebrates its 75th anniversary. The celebrated route, memorialized in songs, movies and a television show, was once part of the cross-country route that took travelers from Chicago to California. Visitors to Kansas can find an interesting trip by visiting Galena, Riverton and Baxter Springs, the three towns that are located along the route as it leaves Missouri, winds through Cherokee Coxmty and enters Oldahoma Though the 13.2 miles of U.S. 66 in southeast Kai\sas is the smallest stretch of the 2,488-inile historic road, visitors can still see signs of the historic road. Look to either side of the highway and see the remains of the stonewalled filling stations and eateries ti\at operated during the highway's heyday. After leaving Joplin, Mo., visitors traveling west on Route 66 will soon be back in Kaivsas. Your first stop will be Galena, a weU-known name in Kansas's mining history. Learn more about tlie town's history by visiting the Galena Kansas is fulled with interesting things to do and see. Bicycle riders hit the trails in the Flint Hills. Photo by Ron Welch. this area of buttes and canyons and extends for forty-two miles tram Medicine Lodge to Coldwater on U.S. 160. For the more active traveler, hiking and bicycling opportunities abound in Kansas including the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail. The 33-mile walking and bicycling trail, from Ottawa to Welda, goes through native tallgrass prairie and deciduous woodlands. In June, the 450- mile Bike Across Kansas eight-day ride from the western edge of the state - to the eastern border attracts bicycling enthusiasts from across the country. Many of the state's lakes and reservoirs have hiking trails including 13 nules of trails at Kanopolis Lake in the Smoky Hills near Ellsworth. These lakes also offer great fishing opportunities as well as spots for camping. Mining and Historical Miaseum wliich is housed in a restored railroad depot on the west edge of town. Drive toward Riverton and you will travel across the last remaining Marsh Arch Rainbow Bridge on old Route 66. The one-lane bridge that crosses Spring River was built in 1923 and is listed on the National Register of Historic PlEices. Also visit Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store. Opened in 1925, it is a general store that displays lots of Route 66 memorabilia Hungry visitors can eat at their deli and purchase memorabilia from their gift shop. A few miles down the road is Baxter Springs, a small town with a Wild West past. Visit the Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum to learn more about their involvement in the Civil War. A Civil War monument at the Baxter Springs National Cemetery remembers soldiers killed in Oie 1863 Battie of Baxter Springs. Note: Information for this story came from the Kansas Department of Cortunerce. ^^elcome to the (^^untry Enjoy a complimentary "Plus" breakfast, indoor pool and whirlpool, fitness room, suites and whirlpool suites, high-tech meeting room and country hospitality 24 hours a day! Stop by anytime^ for a tour. ^ A cozy stay at a comfortable price* 785-827-1271 2760 South Ninth St. • Salina, KS • www.countryinns.com

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