The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
This one-of-a-kind national park celebrates the American prairie
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The Cottonwood River runs through the town of Cottonwood, five miles from the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
Cottonwood Falls’ courthouse is the oldest continuously operated courthouse in Kansas.
About 5,000 head of cattle graze on the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Grazing helps the grasses grow. Bison have been recently introduced.
The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve protects 11,000 acres of natural grassland. Like this father and son, you have to get out into the prairie to really appreciate it.
Residents and tourists gather in front of the Emma Chase Café in Cottonwood Falls each Friday night for a jam session.
Some 500 species of plants grow on the prairie. Numerous types of grasses provide an undulating vista of greens and golds.
Miles of hiking trails get you up close and personal to the prairie, where you can see songbirds, wildflowers and butterflies.
The day's light is always changing the hues of the prairie. At sunset, it glows golden.
Lone trees dotting the prairie indicate natural springs.
In early summer the tallgrasses are knee-high. By October, they can be eight feet high.
The wavyleaf thistle’s spiky bloom is just one of the wildflowers of the prairie.
The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve protects the small percentage of what's left of America's fabled great prairie. To learn about about the park, and how to visit, read Road Trip: Discover a New Kind of National Park.