The Flint Hills Region is 50 miles of wavy hills composed of flint and limestone, running the full length of Kansas from Nebraska to Oklahoma. The rich soil forms the foundation of the region's farmlands and grazing pastures in a land of rodeos, rocks, and tall grasses.
They make up the largest unbroken acreage of grass prairie on the North American continent, and are bespeckled with wildflowers. Each year, the grasslands are set ablaze with range fires intended to optimize the soil's ability to support new growth.
In 1996, the state's only national park was established here. The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is a salute to the rolling hills and tall grasses that once dominated most of the nation's Heartland from Indiana to Kansas, more than 140 million acres.
In its belly are countless plants and animals ? over 200 avian species, 29 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 31 types of mammals. These remarkable animals can be seen along the Southwind Nature Trail that meanders through grasslands, creeks, and hills.
The Flint Hills Scenic Byway (K-177 Highway) is an exquisite ride through 47-miles filled with historic sites such as the Santa Fe Trail, Council Oak, and the Old Cowboy Jail to name a few. The two-lane highway offers a wonderful passage into the beauty of nature and the pages of history with quaint restaurants, hotels, and shops along the way.
Stopping by areas such as Council Grove Lake to observe the animals makes for a pleasurable (and educational) pastime. There are all sort of critters in the wild here from the majestic bald eagle to dainty towees and bluebirds.
Sporting activities en route are plentiful. Stopping to enjoy time outdoors enhances the joy of the trip. At Council Grove Lake, for instance, there's boating, hiking, and camping; and, two miles of paved, handicapped accessible nature trails are available at Chisholm Creek Park.
The Flint Hills, home to the Sunflower State's only national park, is located in east central Kansas.