As you drive towards Council Grove look for these large figures on the prairie hills near the highway. North of town is a covered wagon and out rider. South of town on 177 is a cowboy with a lariat. East of Council Grove on 56 are three Kansa indians on horse back. You will have to tell me what is to the west. I have not been that way to find out.
This is the giant stump of the Custer elm. General Custer owned land near here and camped under this tree when it was alive. To preserve the stump a canopy has been erected over it. There is a small park there now.
Guardian of the Grove statue is near the bridge down town. Behind the statue is a park along the river that has a path leading to the Kaw Mission. The guardian is a Kansa indian. He is authentic in many details. There are over 30 different symbols tied to the statue. As an example a vein in his arm looks like the route of the Santa Fe trail. If you can't figure out what the 29 other hidden symbols are there is a brochure to help you at the Kaw Mission.
Last Chance Store was the last place for freighters on the Santa Fe trail to get supplies. It was built in 1857 and is still standing. Last Chance Store is one more stop on the Council Grove history tour. In all there are 21 points of historical interest. I will not tell you about all of them because in this way you can discover them for your self.
I could not write a page without mentioning bird watching. If you go about 5 miles north of town on highway 177 you will see this sign on the east side of the road. There is a public land there managed by Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. It is a good spot to see upland game birds, waterfowl, raptors, and small birds of all kinds in one location.
There's a farmers field just west of town on US Highway 50 where you can still see the ruts made by thousands of wagons traversing the prairies a hundred and fifty years ago. Just ask at the visitor's bureau in town for directions.
Drop by the nearby town of Cottonwood Falls to see the oldest and one of the most memorable county court houses in the midwest. It's made entirely of native stone. Easy to find - it's right at the south end of main street.
This Cowboy Jail is in one of the parks in Council Grove. For a small town there are several nice parks in Council Grove.
The Kaw house is near the river walk and the mission. The US government built small houses like this for the Kaw indians to live in.
Madonna of the trail statue is in a park near the junction of 177 and 56 in Council Grove. The statue is dedicated to the pioneer women who crossed the prairies with their children.