- 18 miles (29 km)
- 30 minutes for a quick trip, longer to really appreciate the scenery.
Driving along Post Rock Scenic Byway, you can envision a time when the first buffalo roamed through the tall and short grasses of the Smoky Hills and Saline River Valley. Because the Native Americans followed the buffalo, you can stop to see the hunting petroglyphs they left in the Dakota Sandstone Bluffs surrounding Wilson Lake. Since art is such an intrinsic part of this area, it's no wonder that several of the locals have become grassroots artists.
Spend a moment perusing through the local artists' collections at the Grassroots Art Center in Lucas. Some of the pieces include a motorcycle made from over 179,000 pull-tabs, a 1/3 life size sculpture, weighing over 1500 lbs, of a family heading west in their covered wagon, and an opportunity to tour Florence Deeble's rock garden - filled with backyard post card scenes like Mount Rushmore and an Indian Pueblo. You will be amazed by the originality and creativity of the artists.
After visiting the Art Center, continue on to Samuel Perry Dinsmoor's Cabin Home & Garden of Eden. Built in 1907 by Dinsmoor himself, the log cabin type home boasts complete originality with no doors or windows alike. In the "garden," you will find 113 tons of sculpted concrete depicting a biblical portrayal of Adam, Eve, their two sons Cain and Abel, an All-Seeing Eye of God, and the Devil with his pitchfork in hand. Like the grassroots artists were inspired by the art of the Native Americans, Dinsmoor's architecture was inspired by the pioneers in the area.
The early immigrants of Kansas were determined to make the best of their treeless surroundings, so the hardworking Germans, Scandinavians, and Czechoslovakians utilized the native limestone. They built houses, barns, bridges, and churches out of limestone building blocks; they even used limestone to make up their mortar. The Wilson Downtown District is lined with historical limestone buildings with ornate architecture.
But the most famous use of the functional stone is the fence posts that have become an identifying feature of the landscape. In the vast and open prairies of Kansas, the limestone fence posts allowed for pastures, productive farming, and a fireproof fence - an important feature, as you can imagine. These fence posts eventually led to the native limestone being called "post rock limestone," thus the name of the byway.
The Post Rock Scenic Byway celebrates the cultural legacies of these natives and pioneers. Through art and architecture, they have created a unique environment to share with travelers and visitors who enjoy the unexpected.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Center and Office (KS)
The construction of Lake Wilson was overseen by the Army Corpsof Engineers, and they continue to manage the watershed. Theirvisitor center and office, located on the south side of the dam,offers informational and educational experiences. The visitor canlearn of the reservoir's history, and the signigicance of the Corpsongoing projects in the area. Currently, the Corps of Engineersmanages 3,200 acres of native prairie and cropland for wildlife.The Corps also manages agricultural leasing programs locally, wheretracts of public land are leased to farmers who incorporatespecific wildlife management practices in their farming.
Brant's Meat Market (KS)
Sample Brant's homemade bologna fresh from the smokehouse made from Bohemian family recipes passed down for three generations. Enjoy the small town hospitality and view historic family pictures and murals of the Czech motherland.
At the junction of K-232 and K-18 turn left or West .5 miles to First Street Exit into Lucas,, drive 6 blocks to Main Street turning left or South half a block to 125 South Main.
Deeble House and Folk Art Rock Garden (KS)
From 1950-99, Florence Deeble created backyard postcard scenes such as Mount Rushmore, Estes Park and an Indian Pueblo from colored cement and unusual rocks. Grassroots artist Mri Pilar transformed the inside of the house into the "Garden of Isis." The interior installation sparkles with foil lined walls and ceilings. Hundreds of recycled assemblage sculptures, called Rebarbs and Unclocks, are exhibited in 5 rooms of the house.
At the junction of K-232 and K-18 turn left or West .5 miles to First Street Exit into Lucas, drive 5 blocks to Fairview Avenue turning left or south one half block. The Deeble House and Folk Rock Garden is located at 126 South Fairview Avenue.
Flying Pig Studio & Gallery (KS)
Flying Pig Studio & Gallery, owned by world famous artist Eric Abraham, has fantastic creations in porcelain that will amaze and amuse. He states that "Art is but a permanent figment of the imagination." Eric is a professional artist and teacher. He revitalized a historic limestone building on Main into a studio, gallery, and living quarters while adding another attraction to the arts and culture of the Lucas community.
At the junction of K-232 and K-18 turn left or West .5 miles to First Street Exit into Lucas, drive 6 blocks to Main Street turning left or South half a block to 123 South Main.
Garden of Eden (KS)
In 1907, the Garden of Eden and Cabin Home was built by 64 year old Samuel Perry Dinsmoor, a retired school teacher, Civil War Veteran, farmer and Populist politician. By 1913, Dinsmoor had hosted 2,000 visitors to his Garden of Eden and Cabin Home, while currently the visitors number about 10,000 a year from all over the nation and world. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
At the junction of K-232 and K-18 turn left or West .5 miles to First Street Exit into Lucas,, drive 4 blocks to Kansas Avenue turning left or south one block. The Garden of Eden is, located on Kansas Avenue and Second Street.
Grassroots Art Center in Lucas (KS)
Expect the unexpected at the Grassroots Art Center! Exhibits include 18 Kansas self-taught, outsider and recycled art environments. Ordinary people have a vision and spend 15-20 years usually at retirement age creating an environment around their home. They use unconventional art materials such as limestone, pull-tabs, debris from a lake, and chewing gum. Visitors will be challenged to think, question and laugh out loud.
At the junction of K-232 and K-18 turn left or West .5 miles to First Street Exit into Lucas,, drive 6 blocks to Main Street turning left or South one and a half blocks. The Grassroots Art, Center is located at 213 South Main Street.
Grassroots Art Center Post Rock Courtyard in Lucas (KS)
The Grassroots Art Center developed an outdoor courtyard exhibit as a tribute to the stone masons who worked in post rock limestone from 1870-1920. The exhibit emphasizes the architectural, historical, and cultural value of post rock limestone, and incorporates at one place a series of examples of construction and design detail, showing the many uses of the stone from the most utilitarian to the ornate and whimsical.
At the junction of K-232 and K-18 turn left or West .5 miles to First Street Exit into Lucas,, drive 6 blocks to Main Street turning left or South one and a half blocks. The Grassroots Art, Center is located at 213 South Main Street., drive 6 blocks
Hell Creek Bridge (KS)
Hell Creek Bridge, located on the east end of Wilson Lake, spans across anarea offering views of a big rocky cove featuring Dakota Sandstone.The bridge is highly visible from the byway, and sits about 1/4mile off of the byway, on another road. Another, smaller bridge,this one part of the byway, crosses Hell Creek. Hell Creek was sonamed because the creek runs east to west (opposite from all of theother rivers and streams in the region). The Native Americansthought that since it ran backwards, it was possessed by evilspirits. The pioneers who settled the area continued the tradition,callin the creek Hell Creek.
Kansas Highway 232
Kansas Originals Market & Smoky Hill Winery Outlet Store (KS)
The Kansas Originals Market and Smoky Hill Winery Outlet Store markets hand-crafted, Kansas-made products. Experience Kansas foods, fine art, folk art, crafts, and wines, all made from the hands, the hearts, and the homes of Kansans. Among the shelves of Kansas-made products, are scenic drawings and photographs and books of places along the byway, and carved limestone art work.
Pelican Point (KS)
Pelican Point is unique because sometimes it is there, and sometimes it isn't. The great fishing spot is actually an Island which disappears when the reservoir is high.
On the east end of Wilson Lake, just off of the byway.