The preserve is L-shaped with two highways intersecting south of the preserve at Strong City. US Highway 50 runs from east to west south of the boundary. Kansas Highway 177 bisects the preserve running form north to south. Forty miles of hiking trails run through the preserve with marked distance between numbered limestone markers. Trailheads are located centrally at the visitor center and schoolhouse, at the southern and eastern boundaries. Icons depict amenities, trail types, bison pastures, catch-and-release fishing, and dog friendly zones. A QR code for park publications is in the corner.
In the central area, the 2-mile Southwind Nature Trail loops North of the visitor center connecting with the schoolhouse. The 3-mile Scenic Overlook Trail starts from the visitor center heading west through markers 13, 14, 15, and north just past marker 23. Marker 14 enters Windmill Pasture where bison reside. Marker 15 connects with the Ranch Legacy Trail inside Windmill Pasture heading south. The 2.3-mile Davis Trail connects the southeast corner of the Prairie Fire Loop at marker 33 to the Scenic Overlook Trail. The Davis Trail includes a connection at marker 34 with the .3-mile Schoolhouse Spur heading east to the schoolhouse. Marker 35 on the Davis Trail is just north of marker 14, .5 miles from the visitor center.
In the northwest, the 5.5-mile Prairie Fire Loop extends north, bisected by the east-west Gas House Cutoff. From the Scenic Overlook running clockwise northwest to markers 23, 24, to a bowtie-shaped intersection at marker 25. The loop continues east to marker 28 and southeast to 32 and 33. The Gas House Cutoff stretches 1.3 miles between markers 24 and 32. Marker 33 splits, west to the Scenic Overlook and south along the Davis Trail. Northwest of the bowtie intersection, through markers 25 and 26, West Branch Trail extends 1 mile to marker 27. Northeast from the bowtie intersection of markers 28 and 29, the trail heads .3 miles northeast to Palmer Creek Loop. The 1.8-mile loop splits at marker 30 to rejoin at marker 31 at the northeast corner.
In the southwest area, the Ranch Legacy Trail runs from the visitor center 2.2 miles south, west to marker 22, northwest to marker 16. Heading north to marker 15, Ranch Legacy Trail connects with the Scenic Overlook Trail 1.2-miles from the visitor center. The Crusher Hill Loop spurs south from a triangular intersection of markers 16, 17, and 22. South from the triangle, marker 18 begins a 2.2-mile loop heading west, counter-clockwise, with markers 19 through 21 in respective corners.
In the south central area, the 1.5-mile Bottomland Nature Trail forms a figure-8 north from the trailhead parking lot. At marker 51 it connects with the 6-mile Fox Creek Trail heading north. Fox Creek Trail has a series of narrow loops with markers 51 through 63. The Z-Bar Spur connects at marker 59 heading west a half mile to the visitor center, crossing Kansas Highway 177.
In the southeast area, Lantry Lane runs .3 miles north through Strong City to Two-Section trailhead at marker 64, crossing US Highway 50. The trail runs .7 miles north to marker 65, continuing east for 2.3 miles. Two Section Trail ends at the U Road parking lot on the eastern boundary.
Click on the image to the left for access to the park's interpretive podcast collection, where you'll find short audio programs and transcripts about the nature, history, and culture of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and the Kansas Flint Hills region.