National Parks in Kansas

Prairies, plains and trails await in the Midwest.

The national parks in Kansas provide more than 98,000 visitors annually the opportunity to look back at settlement history, learn about a landmark court decision on education and explore prairie lands.

Brown v. Board of Education


Larry W. Smith

National Historic Site, Topeka, KS

In the state's capital city of Topeka, you can visit the site of the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education, which ended legal segregation of public schools in 1954. Plan a field trip to the historic Monroe School building where you can learn more about the iconic U.S. Supreme Court decision and its role in our country's civil rights history. Get more info to plan your trip >>


National Historic Trail, KS and CA, CO, ID, MO, NE, NV, OR, UT, WY

Walk where over 250,000 emigrants walked before you on the California National Historic Trail. In one of the greatest mass migrations in American history during the 1840s and 1850s, emigrants traveled the fields and farmlands of California, leaving 1,000 miles of trail ruts and traces across 10 states. Learn about historical spots along the trail and other details for planning your trip >>

Fort Larned


Walter Bibikow

National Historic Site, Larned, KS 

Fort Larned is a well-preserved army post along the Santa Fe Trail from the 1860s and 1870s that offers a window into the history of the Indian Wars era. The fort sheltered troops who were called Guardians of the Santa Fe Trail. Read up on available educational programs and tours >>

Fort Scott


Archive Photos

National Historic Site, Fort Scott, KS

Built in 1842, Fort Scott played various roles in the tumultus years of the mid-1800s including the Civil War. It served as one of a line of forts from Minnesota to Louisiana where soldiers helped to enforce the promise of a "permanent Indian frontier," keeping the peace between white settlers, native peoples and relocated Eastern tribes. Fort Scott was later at the center of "Bleeding Kansas," an era defined by the violence and turmoil that resulted from disagreements over the issue of slavery. Today, visitors can see interpretive exhibits, period furnishings and living history programs that include soldiers drilling on horseback and artillery demonstrations. Find out what else you can do and see at Fort Scott >>

Lewis & Clark

National Historic Trail, KS and ID, IL, IA, MO, MT, NE, ND, OR, SD, WA

Retrace the steps of great early explorers on the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail. Along the 3,700 miles of trails, there are more than 100 sites along the way that help tell the story of explorers before you. Map your trip >>


Kevin Stewart


National Historic Site, Nicodemus, KS

After the Civil War, formerly enslaved African Americans traveled from Kentucky to the "promised land" of Kansas to establish communities and live freely. Nicodemus is the oldest and only remainging black settlement west of the Mississippi River. Plan your visit to five historic buildings of Nicodemus that represent the five pillars of the African-American communities: religion, education, home ownership, business and civic government >>


National Historic Trail, KS and ID, MO, NE, OR, WA, WY

Follow the trails that early American settlers in search of gold, religion and land took during the western migration of the mid-1800s. Before you visit, search names of ancestors  to find any letters, maps, journals or other historical documents on a website developed by The Oregon-California Trails Association called Paper Trails. Across 2,000 miles and six states, the Oregon National Historic Trail has over 150 places to see along the way. Browse significant spots in Kansas to plan your trip >>

Pony Express

National Historic Trail, KS and CA, CO, MO, NE, NV, UT, WY


James Steinberg

Do you ever get annoyed when someone doesn't reply to your text message or email within 10 minutes? Imagine waiting 10 days. That's how long it took the mail carriers on the Pony Express system to deliver messages from Missouri to California using their relay system. Find out more about the historic trail >>

Santa Fe

National Historic Trail, KS and CO, MO, NM, OK

Explore trails across the grasslands of Kansas that past pioneers, their wagons and oxen traveled before you. Check out museums, landmarks, campgrounds and more along the way. Plan your trip >>

Tallgrass Prairie

National Preserve, Strong City, KS

Escape to nearly 11,000 acres of solitude and breathtaking views on the Tallgrass Prairie where you can go backcountry hiking, take self-guided house and barn tours and observe diverse wildlife. The preserve protects a nationally significant remnant of the once vast tallgrass prairie and its cultural resources. Learn more about the prairie and how to plan your visit >>

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