Current Conditions

Alerts

Danger

  • Alert 1 , Severity ,danger ,, Bison are in Breeding Season A reminder that bison are going about their normal life cycle. A raised tail is a warning sign and the animal may charge or give chase. Please give a wide distance, at least 100 yards. You can also hike around Windmill Pasture.

Caution

  • Alert 1 , Severity ,caution ,, Fall Prescribed Fire Season at the Preserve The preserve is in its fall prescribed fire season. Some hiking trails may be temporarily closed. Please call ahead at 620-273-8494 (hit 0) to assure trail availability. For your safety please don't cross barriers or go into closed areas.
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  • Alert 2 , Severity ,caution ,, Bison Are Wild Animals A reminder that bison are wild animals and will defend themselves if feeling threatened. A raised tail is a warning sign and the animal may charge or give chase. Please give a wide distance, at least 100 yards. You can also hike around Windmill Pasture.
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Please be aware of current conditions when making your plans to visit the preserve.
HISTORIC HOUSE, BARN, OUTBUILDINGS, AND SCHOOL (during summer season), ARE NOW OPEN!!!!
Bison - Windmill Pasture is home to the preserve's bison herd. You are welcome to hike in this area, but please stay on the trails and use caution in their vicinity. Do not attempt to pet or come in close contact with the bison, even if they approach you. These are wild animals and will charge or defend themselves when feeling threatened. Allow at least 125 yards between you and the herd. A tour map is available for download here. The Davis Trail and lower portion of the Prairie Fire Loop Trail can be used to reach the Scenic Overlook without hiking through the bison pasture.
Visitor Opportunities - Self-guiding tours of the historic ranch building complex grounds are available daily via brochure and cell phone tour. Tour numbers are posted on waysides around the historic buildings. The Lower Fox Creek one-room schoolhouse can be visited by either hiking the Southwind Nature Trail or by driving to the location. School will reopen in May, but can be viewed through the windows in off season.

Bus Tours - Bus tours are available from the last Saturday in April through the last Sunday in October. During bus tour season, sign up for a daily bus tour at 11 a.m. On weekends with available staffing, bus tours will be at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wet road conditions or staffing availability are the only reasons a tour may be cancelled. Please call ahead to the ranger desk to check on tour availability (620-273-8494 hit 0). If a tour must be cancelled, you will be given a call the morning of the tour. Use of private vehicles on the trails/tour road is not allowed.
As you travel to or from the park, a nice scenic drive along the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway on highway K-177 is also an option to see the prairie landscape from your car. There is a pull over scenic overlook area south of Cottonwood Falls with interpretive waysides that explain the tallgrass prairie. The byway takes you through the heart of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem of the Kansas Flint Hills.

Trails - Walking or touring the grounds of the historic structures remains open 24 hours and offers great opportunities for night sky viewing. Hiking or foot access along the over 40 miles of trails is the only means of access at this time. The historic routes that make up the trail system follow the old ranch roads, of which none were developed or designated for accessibility. However, some of the trails are a little easier than others to traverse.
The Bottomland Nature Trail has the most gentle of slopes found in the preserve. Inquire at the Visitor Center for trail conditions to self-evaluate individual motorized devices such as wheelchair or electric carts to address accessibility needs, understanding that none of the trails/gravel roads meet ADA requirements at this time.

Last updated: July 19, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2480B KS Hwy 177
Strong City, KS 66869

Phone:

(620) 273-8494 xhit 0

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