Kansas - Landmarks and Points of Interest
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site (Shawnee County)
The story surrounding Brown v. Board of Education, which ended legal segregation in public schools, is one of bravery and hope. The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site keeps alive the bravery and hope and furthers the legacy of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that forever changed this country’s history.
Fort Larned National Historic Site (Pawnee County)
Fort Larned was established during the time of the Santa Fe Trail, with protecting mail coaches, freighters and other trail traffic becoming the utmost importance along with maintaining friendly relations with Plains Indians. Today, with nine beautifully restored buildings, Fort Larned National Historic Site gives you a chance to experience military life on the Santa Fe Trail.
Fort Scott National Historic Site (Bourbon County)
This fort was established in 1842, at a time when America was still growing up. Yet within a few years, the soldiers of Fort Scott became involved in events that would lead to tremendous spurts of growth and expansion as the country spread westward to the Pacific. Fort Scott takes you through these years of crisis and beyond to the time when the United States emerged into maturity as a united, transcontinental nation.
Nicodemus National Historic Site (Graham County)
Nicodemus National Historic Site, located in the northwest corner of Kansas, is marked as an all black town settled by former slaves fleeing the south in 1877 after the Reconstruction Period had ended following the Civil War. This living community is the only remaining all black town west of the Mississippi River.
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve (Chase County)
Tallgrass prairie once covered 170 million acres of North America. Now less than 4 % remains, mostly in the Flint Hills of Kansas. On November 12, 1996, legislation created the 10,894-acre preserve, which protects a nationally significant example of the once vast tallgrass prairie ecosystem.
Monument Rocks National Landmark (Gove County)
Erosion has carved these chalk pyramids from what was once the floor of a vast sea. Visit these limestone formations, which were formed 80 million years ago and stretch 70 feet high. This site is the first natural landmark chosen by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a National Natural Landmark.
California National Historic Trail
The road to California carried over 250,000 gold-seekers and farmers to the gold fields and rich farmlands of California during the 1840s and 1850s—the greatest mass migration in American history. More than 1,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen in the vast undeveloped west—reminders of the sacrifices, struggles and triumphs of early American travelers and settlers. This National Historic Trail, which runs through the northeast corner of the state, is an extended trail that closely follows the original routes of travel of national historical significance.
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
The Lewis and Clark Expedition is the story of many individuals and groups, military men and scientists, a president and a slave, women and men, French-speaking boatmen and American Indians. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window onto the west for the young United States. Visit Kansas’ Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail visitor center in Fort Leavenworth.
Oregon National Historic Trail
As the harbinger of America's westward expansion, the Oregon Trail was the pathway to the Pacific for fur traders, gold seekers, missionaries and others. Today, more than 2,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen in the vast undeveloped western lands—reminders of the sacrifices, struggles and triumphs of early American travelers and settlers. This National Historic Trail runs through the northeast corner of the state.
Pony Express National Historic Trail
Young men on fast horses carrying the nation’s mail from Missouri to California in the unprecedented time of only ten days used the Pony Express National Historic Trail. In operation for only 18 months between April 1860 and October 1861, the Pony Express nevertheless has become synonymous with the Old West. Visit both the Marysville Pony Express Barn in Marysville and the Hollenberg Pony Express Station State Historic Site in Hanover.
Santa Fe National Historic Trail
The Santa Fe Trail, which runs through the whole state of Kansas, became a national road connecting the United States to the new southwest territories. Commercial freighting along the trail continued, including hauling considerable military freight to supply the southwestern forts. Stagecoach lines, thousands of gold seekers heading to the California and Colorado gold fields, adventurers, fur trappers and emigrants also used the trail. In 1880 the railroad reached Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the trail faded into history.