(Strong City KS)
The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve maintains some of the only remaining undeveloped prairie lands in America. Being located in the Flint Hills region, it was never suitable for farming due to the shale rock just below the surface.
However, the tallgrass did provide excellent grazing range for livestock. A ranch on the preserve tells that story. The restored barn, corrals, outbuildings, and ranch house were open to visit.
The Visitor Center had displays and a video explaining the history, geology, and usefulness of the natural landscape. Unfortunately, it rained the whole time I was there. So, I didn’t get to hike out onto the prairie to see the resident bison herd.
Somewhat disappointed, I headed to my next camp by the village of Council Grove which had been one of the stopovers on the early Santa Fe Trail. From there, my track would diverge from that famous trading route.
Camp: Neosho Park CG-COE electric
Scene: Prairie, barn, house
I’m not sure how I’d feel about hiking out where the buffalo roam. I saw them up close and personal at T. Roosevelt NP in North Dakota, and it was an experience I’ll never forget. But, I was glad to have the safety of my car to jump into!
Agreed. It is wise to be caution with bison. The ranger said they were being a bit feisty; so perhaps, not going to see them was a good thing.
We saw some bison up close at a preserve on the Olympic Peninsula a few years back.
Glad to hear you got to see those awesome beasts. I’ve seen them in a few other places; so, it wasn’t a great loss for me to miss them this time.