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Konza Prairie Nature Trail – Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas

The Konza Prairie Biological Station, named one of the 8 wonders of Kansas geography and located in the Flint Hills of northeastern Kansas, preserves a native tallgrass prairie — an ecosystem that once covered more than 170 million acres from Canada to Texas and as far east as Ohio. Today only 4% remains, most (about two-thirds) survives here at Konza and farther south in Oklahoma.

Tallgrass Prairie is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and Konza is no exception — the preserve is home to over 500 species of plants, and fauna ranging from bison and deer to numerous species of reptiles, birds and insects.

A hike along the 2.6-mile Konza Prairie Nature Trail, an interpretive trail complete with a self-guided brochure available at the trailhead, is sure to immerse you in all the prairie has to offer — hike the loop in a clockwise direction to follow the 24 numbered stops that describe the highlights found within the prairie, allow approximately two hours to complete the trail.

Highlights include Kings Creek, a spring-fed stream with cool, clear water, open fields and lowland gallery deciduous forests, white rock ledges of ancient limestone that form the distinctive terraces of the Flint Hills, and of course the tallgrasses of the native tallgrass prairie — dominant species include big bluestem, Indian grass, little bluestem and switchgrass. The grasses will be tallest in September and October when the Autumn days turn the prairie into a grassy ocean of fall color that undulates in the wind like the waves of the sea. Spring and summer bring wildflowers such as asters, sunflowers, snow-on-the-mountain, sumac, ironweed, milkweed, and wooly verbena.

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