Scenic USA - Kansas

Cimarron National Grassland

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Cimarron National Grassland - Elkhart, Kansas

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Once a land inhabited by Native Americans and frequented by merchants headed westward to Santa Fe, the Cimarron National Grassland Steam Tractor - Cimarron National Grassland is now a multi-use land of over 100,000 acres. Lured by promises of the 1862 Homestead Act, this short grass prairie soon saw thousands of eastern settlers making a home among the Great Plains. By the 1930s, poor farming techniques and prolonged periods of drought turned this prairie land into enormous brown dust cloud. Now managed by the USDA Forest Service, the Grassland has returned to its natural state, providing habitat for area wildlife.
     Located in the southwestern corner of Kansas, the grassland tour begins at the town of Elkhart. Here forest service personnel provide literature and answer questions about the grasslands. Bisected by the Cimarron River, visitors may be surprised to learn the river usually flows two to four feet below the visible riverbed. During the tour visitors may spot 200 year old wagon trail ruts, remnants of the Santa Fe Trail (Stop 7). Limestone trail posts found along the Grassland Tour mark the historic Santa Fe Trail. Proghorn Herd - Cimarron National Grassland The Point of Rocks (Stop 10), one of the highest points of land in the state of Kansas, offers this sweeping view of a vast, wide open prairie.
     Stop 3, the Cimarron Recreation Area, offers rest rooms, campgrounds, horse corrals and a picnic area. Here, a stream-powered tractor is on display. Buried for years in the dry Cimarron riverbed, the eight ton steel giant was discovered in 2003 during construction of a new bridge.

   Sea of Grass brochure w/Tour Map

Nearby Points of Interest


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