Continuing with our series of cool Great Plains sites that are easily accessible from major interstates, we come to Konza Prairie in Kansas. In fact, Konza is so close to the Interstate 70 that its southern border is the freeway. Konza Prairie is just south of Manhattan, Kansas, the home of Kansas State University. It consists of about 3,500 acres of tallgrass and mixed grass prairie, as well as wooded areas in the lower valleys and ravines. It’s owned and operated jointly by the Nature Conservancy as well as Kansas State University. The university uses it for research purposes.
Despite the private ownership and management, Konza still has some trails as well as educational programs that are available to the public.
Hiking – Konza has three main trails that total about 12 miles in length:
The Nature Trail (2.4 miles) – Perfect for the interstate traveler who wants to stretch their legs without loosing too much time. Great views!
The Kings Creek Loop Trail (4.4 miles) – For the person with more time, the Kings Creek Trail offers excellent views and a chance to spend more time in the prairie. There are some nice wooded areas too.
Godwin Hill Loop Trail (6 miles) – For the more adventurous, Godwin Hill Loop allows you to really experience the full effect of the area, and to spend some quality time in the prairie environment.
Hokanson Homestead Trail (< 1 mile) – Take your time and check out the old limestone homestead dating from the late 1800s.
Education – Follow this link for educational tours of the prairie: Konza Education