Kansas Off The Beaten Path

  • Been serving food since 1857
    Been serving food since 1857
    by BruceDunning
  • Kaw Mission to teach Indians the American way
    Kaw Mission to teach Indians the...
    by BruceDunning
  • Typical matel cut pieces
    Typical matel cut pieces
    by BruceDunning

Kansas Off The Beaten Path

  • Museums / Theatres / Galleries

    Wichita Off The Beaten Path

    The Coleman Museum and Showroom is on St. Francis Street a short distance North of Douglas near Central. The museum portion is small. It is a set of glass cases with items and photos in one corner of the show room. The rest of the place is a store where you can buy discounted Coleman products. Coleman makes great kerosene lanterns and camping...

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  • Parks

    Wichita Off The Beaten Path

    Becky and I went to the Wichita Greyhound Park to watch the dogs run. It is a big nice facility. No photos are allowed inside so I took this one of Becky in the parking lot next to a bronze greyhound. She is holding her form book and her winnings. We watched 5 races and Becky picked the winner 3 of the 5 races. I lost every single bet I made....

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  • Douglas

    Wichita Off The Beaten Path

    On Douglas between Century II and Old town are statues like this for about three blocks. All different kinds of statues. I've included pictures here of a few and left it for you to find some others on your own when you are there.

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  • Downtown Area

    Wichita Off The Beaten Path

    Wichita has miles of walking sidewalks, bike trails and most seem to go next to our rivers. Many outlooks exist to stop, sit, watch the birds or just look at the river. Here is one of those bridge/outlooks for pedestrians.

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  • Science/Nature Centers

    Wichita Off The Beaten Path

    Omnisphere and Science Center has hands on science exhibits and a planetarium. It is mostly a place for kids but I'll have to admit I had fun there and got my self some neat toys at their shop. It is located next door to the Historical Museum at 220 S. Main Street. It is another of the places in Wichita that is closed on Mondays.

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  • Rockwall climbing

    Wichita Off The Beaten Path

    This place is a little out side of Wichita but for now I will include it on this page. The tall building has been taken over for use by the Kansas Cliff Climbers Club. They have bolted rocks to the out side of it and practice climbing here. It is along K-15 between Wichita and Derby.

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  • Arkansas River Area

    Wichita Off The Beaten Path

    In the heart of down town Wichita is our newest hotel, the Hyatt Hotel. It is located right off the Arkansas River (which you must watch out when the river goes over its banks and covers the sidewalk). They have a nice water fountain that you can walk by and sit and enjoy for awhile.

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  • BIG BRUTUS

    ONE OF THE 8 WONDERS OF KANSAS COMMERCEIn the 1960s, coal mining was a major source of income in southeastern Kansas. They just scraped the dirt and rocks off of the coal deposits and scooped it out from the surface. Big Brutus was brought in to handle the job of removing the "overburden" layered above the coal. Its giant scoop could bring out 150...

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  • Post Rock Scenic Byway

    On a recent autumn weekend, I led a group of retired friends on a two-day outing of north central Kansas. One of the areas that most surprised and delighted my co-travelers was the Post Rock Scenic Byway running from the old Czech settlement past Lake Wilson to Lucas, the Grassroots Art Capital. Almost unanimously, they commented on their surprise...

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  • The Vieux (or Vermillion) Crossing

    Sharp-eyed travelers in north east sections of Kansas will see numerous signs indicating that you are on or crossing the route of the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails. These were the cross-country routes used by settlers headed for new settlements in the American west. Occasionally you will find a more significant trail location such as a...

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  • Monument Rocks & Castle Rock, Gove...

    ONE OF THE 8 WONDERS OF KANSAS!Monument Rocks (western Gove County and sometimes referred to as the Chalk Pyramids) and Castle Rock (eastern Gove County) rise starkly from the gentle rolling prairie of western Kansas. These ancient chalk beds have yielded significant fossil finds dating to the Cretaceous period of geologic history, about 80 million...

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  • Pillsbury Crossing

    Located in a scenic area of the northern Flint Hills in Riley County, Pillsbury Crossing is a natural, flat rock crossing on Deep Creek, named after one of the area's early (1855) settlers. It had long been used by pre-settlement white explorers and travelers, and of course plains Indians before that.It is now a very popular recreation spot when...

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  • Cimarron National Grasslands

    No county was more severely effected by the devastating Dust Bowl years than Morton County in the very southwestern corner of Kansas. Barely a decade after farmers had begun growing wheat in the desolate region, drought and unwise cultivation and cattle grazing practices turned the land into a sea of blowing sand. Congress bought out the bankrupt...

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  • The Waterfalls at Chase State Fishing...

    These waterfalls are so off-the-beaten-path that few Kansans know they exist, even folks from the nearby town of Cottonwood Falls. The park with its clear blue lake is popular with fishermen, bird-watchers, and photographers aware of these falls (an usual sight in Kansas).The man-made lake and falls are located in the Flint Hills of Chase County,...

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  • Get Your Kicks on Route 66!

    Get your kicks on Route 66, but not for long. The legendary, iconic old Chicago to LA highway passed through Kansas, but only for 13 miles between the Missouri and Oklahoma borders. Route 66 fanciers tend to agree that this short stretch is one of the best preserved pieces of the entire highway.My photos were taken in the Baxter Springs, Kansas,...

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  • Rock City

    The road signs you see in central Kansas advertising Rock City give the impression that Rock City is little more than one of your typical, schlocky, roadside tourist traps. I am pleased to report that it is more than that. In fact this site is significant enough to be designated a National Natural Landmark.Surrounded by the rolling, expansive...

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  • Mushroom Rocks State Park

    A rarely visited and peaceful spot on the prairie. Kansas' smallest state park, only five acres, contains a number of these mushroom-shaped concretions - sandstone and sedimentary rock held together by natural concrete. Picnic tables and restrooms, no water or other services.

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  • Alcove Spring on the Oregon Trail

    Emigrants on the trail destined for Oregon wrote of this spot's beauty and serenity. A few contemplated ending their journey here, only six days after crossing into Kansas Territory. Some groups, including the ill-fated Donner-Reed Party, had to camp here for several days after rains swelled the nearby Big Blue River beyond its banks making it...

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  • The Gerth Cabin

    Built in 1856 by Valentin Gerth, the first European settler in Anderson County, this log cabin is now restored and located in the tiny village of Greeley, Kansas.

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  • Big Basin

    Although you drive through it, Big Basin is truly off the beaten path. It was formed thousands of years ago by collapsing gypsum and salt formations several hundred feet below the surface.It may not seem like much, but it does boast to have the most striking butte/mesa topography unlike any other in Kansas.

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  • The Arikaree Breaks

    In the far northwestern corner of the state in Cheyenne County, near the Colorado and Nebraska state lines is a remarkable site few Kansans have visited, or are even aware of - the Arikaree Breaks. The remote and rugged landscape of the Arikaree Breaks includes canyons and ravines, wildlife and plant life far different from that seen in most areas...

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  • The Clements Stone Bridge

    Stone has always been available in huge quantities in Chase County. So when it came time to build a bridge across the Cottonwood River south of Clements, it was natural to construct it of that commodity. This 127 foot long double arch bridge (no longer open to auto traffic) was built it 1886 or 1888, depending on your source of information, and is...

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  • St. Benedict, Kansas

    This tiny, rural village in Nemaha County boasts one of the most beautiful interiors of the state's churches. St. Benedict is near Seneca in the northeast part of Kansas.

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  • Sedan, Kansas

    A small town in southeastern Kansas located in hill country. Follow the yellow brick road past art and antique stores to a museum dedicated to world famous clown, Emmett Kelly. Take a shady stroll through Hollow Park. Visit the 8,000 acre Red Buffalo Ranch owned by newsman Bill Kurtis. Sedan is one of the state's most charming little towns. My...

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  • Big Basin Prairie Preserve & St. Jacob's...

    In the grasslands about an hour to the south of Dodge City lies an area of interest - the Big Basin Prairie Preserve. The basin itself is about a mile in diameter and about 100 feet deep, and was caused by the disintegration of mineral deposits. American Bison (buffalo) roam the rugged grounds. Particularly surprising is the existence of St....

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  • Castle in the Park

    If you have the time you should try to stay at the luxurous Castle in Riverside Park. Yes, it looks like a castle and folks from all over come to relax within this Bed and Breakfast. The main building, "the Castle" has 20 rooms and the adjoining quarters that houses the office has 10 rooms. All of these rooms are decorated with a different theme....

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  • World's Largest Ball of Twine

    If you've ever seen the Chevy Chase movie, "Family Vacation," you may understand why taking my grandchildren to see the Worlds Largest Ball of Twine while on a cross-country road trip was an absolute thrill. Frank Stoeber started the twine ball on his farm in in 1953, and by 1957 it weighed 5,000 lbs. and stood 8-feet-tall. Stoeber gave his prized...

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  • Dutch-style Windmill at Smith Center

    In the small county ceat town of Smith Center, you will find an authentic Dutch-style windmill which was once harnassed the wind to grind grain in northern Kansas. The mill, built in the 1870s is now inactive and is preserved in Wagner Park.When I stopped by here on a summer week-day afternoon no one was around, but the mill was still interesting...

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  • Home on the Range

    One of the most popular songs in American history, and the personal favorite of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was inspired by a nagging woman - or at least by the absence of one. Dr. Brewster M. Higley, a physician from Ohio, lost his first three wives to either illness or injury. Then he married the widow McPherson, and she turned out to be an...

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  • Battle of Black Jack Monument

    Several miles east of Baldwin City is a monument that reminds us that the Civil War was being fought in Kansas three years before the attack on Fort Sumter and any declaration of war. This monument reads: Battle of Black Jack. First battle between free and slave states fought on these grounds June 2 1858.*Wondering about Black Jack? That refers to...

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  • Asylum Bridge

    A few hundred feet down the road from the Historical Markers, the road turned both left and right at the gates to a large Hospital set in spacious grounds. The road to the left interested me because it was entirely paved with very old-looking red bricks, and a sign posted beside it said 'Road Closed'. That was like waving a red flag at a bull, so I...

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  • State Hospital

    As I looked up on the hillside of the distant State Hospital, I could see many figures dressed in white moving erratically among the tall trees growing on the hillside. From the whoops and shouts, I guessed that they must be playing some sort of game and seemed to be having a good time of it. That was when I finally figured out that this was a...

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  • Mystery Markers

    About an hour after I had left the Kansas City area, I pulled off Highway 169 at a sign that said this is where I could divert onto the less-travelled Highway 7. It turned out to be near the small village of Osawatomie. I very quickly came across this pretty scene at the top of a small knoll, with a large white sign saying 'Historic Memorial...

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  • Kansas isn't completely flat.

    This is known as the "Badlands" of Kansas. It's an area that is famous for the fossils that the earth yields here. These are called the Monument Rocks or the "Chalk Pyramids."Many of the Cretaceous Period fossils that were found here are part of the collection at the Sternberg Museum in Hays, Kansas.Directions - take US highway 83 about 22 miles...

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  • Falls on the Elk River

    The early map-makers who labeled the central plains "The Great American Desert" missed some of the out of the way places in Kansas like this spot at tiny Elk Falls. Many who live in the state are not aware of quiet, secluded and peaceful spots like this.

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  • Beecher Bible and Rifle Church,...

    The Beecher Bible and Rifle Colony from Connecticut settled this area in 1856, and helped make Kansas a free state. The church, dedicated in May, 1862, was made of native stone and funded primarily with contributions from New Haven, Connecticut.When the Connecticut-Kansas company was preparing to leave for Kansas, Henry Ward Beecher, a famous...

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  • Historic Dutch Mill and Museum, Wamego,...

    Thhis historic old Dutch Mill and Museum complex is located in a 20 acre City Park filled with fountains and statues in the small town of Wamego, Kansas. Here one can watch wheat being ground into flour. Also at the museum you will find:Abigail "The Lady of the Plains Buffalo."First Pottawatomi County Post OfficeHorse Drawn BuggyLate 1800's General...

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  • Stand on Mount Sunflower!

    This is the second one that I did on my trip. Maybe it was a secondary goal of mine?This is the highest point in Kansas and stands at 4039 feet high. Like every State high point that I have visited (latest count is three) you can find a register at the top where you can sign your name and write little comments. It's also nice to consider that you...

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  • Careful during rainy season

    This is a backway back home, but as you can see it is very flooded from rains the night before. It was not a very smart idea to drive through this in a mini, but it's already been done! (And successfully at that!)More picture of the flooding in the final chapters

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  • A museum with an obscene name

    Somewhere in Western Kansas there is a sign beside Interstate 70 saying 'Fick Museum'. Well, for all people who know German: The 'Fick Museum' is nothing vulgar or sexual. It´s an interesting geological museum named after its founder - who was Mr. Fick. Probably most of you non-German speakers now wonder what´s so strange about the name 'Fick...

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  • The new And Improved! LIBRARY!...

    The new And Improved! LIBRARY! Marion opened a new library and has a neat look! It's the old railroad depot. The picture is from the early 1900's.

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  • Marion Park because it's a...

    Marion Park because it's a wonderful park and it has a spring and a hiking trail. It's in Marion right off hwy 56.The Park has changed since the picture. the picture is from the early 1900's.

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  • Marion Lake! A nice lake with...

    Marion Lake! A nice lake with the state record Kentucky Bass caught there. Fishing, water skiing, and boating are things done there. You get there by the county road in Marion in the east part of the county road.

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  • Something that all visitors to...

    Something that all visitors to Kansas should look into is some of the smaller towns activities. I come from a small town and ever year we have a celebration for the local train company. The whole community comes to enjoy quality time together. If you want to get out of the big city and still have something to do, try the little towns.

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  • THIS PIC SHOWS THE 'TOP'...

    THIS PIC SHOWS THE 'TOP' ILLUMINATED BY MY HEADLIGHTS. I WANTED TO RUN THE CAR'S HEATER, BUT COULDN'T DO IT WITHOUT THE CURSED DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS COMING ON! WHAT A CRUMMY 'SAFETY' FEATURE!

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Kansas Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Kansas off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Kansas sightseeing.
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