Audubon of Kansas has published a new travel guide featuring the state's Flint Hills and Chautauqua Hills.
The Tallgrass Prairie Parkway Wildlife and Natural Heritage Trail Guide defines the best areas for wildlife viewing, bird-watching, nature photography, wildflower appreciation, canoeing, trail hiking and horseback riding.
The publication also highlights the area's ranching legacy, rural communities and historic and scenic attractions.
The Flint Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma feature the only remaining area in North America with extensive tallgrass prairie.
The Prairie Parkway, designated by the Kansas Legislature in 1967, is the featured route across most of the Tallgrass Trail.
It runs south from the Pony Express Station in Washington County, past the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Chase County, to the Little House On the Prairie site near Independence.
Audubon of Kansas designed the trails project (the first of four planned for the state) to appeal to a broad segment of Kansans, as well as visitors.
The guide reveals often overlooked natural treasures, such as the 233-acre pristine property surrounding Alcove Spring in Marshall County, the 65-acre Oregon Trail Nature Park in Pottawatomie County and the Kaw Nation's 158-acre Allegoawaho Memorial Heritage Park near Council Grove.
A second publication featuring central Kansas will be available in September. It will highlight two of the state's wetlands of international importance - Cheyenne Bottoms, near Great Bend, and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, near Stafford - as well as the Smoky Hills and Red Hills regions of the state.
The Tallgrass Prairie Wildlife and Natural Heritage Trail Guide is available free at visitor centers and other locations throughout the state, or it can be ordered from Audubon of Kansas, Box 156, Manhattan 66505-0156.