A December 2003 trip
to Tallgrass Prairie Preserve by meadowlark
Quote: A recent addition to the National Park System, this 11,000-acre gem in the Flint Hills of central-eastern Kansas preserves the natural beauty of the Tallgrass Prairie ecosystem that once covered the central United States.
Attraction | "1--Z Bar/Spring Hill Ranch"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 10, 2003
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
Strong City, Kansas
Attraction | "2--The Barn"
The barn was used to shelter farm animals, equipment, and food for the animals during the winter months. The first owner, Stephen Jones, had 200 pigs, 30 horses, 8 milking cows, and 4 mules along with the hundreds of cattle that were left to graze on the ranch grounds.
Today the barn is used for the "Little Barn on the Prairie" exhibit and the information station from May to October. During the winter, the information station is on the back porch of the house near the gift shops. It is not possible to see the exhibit in the winter, but the doors are left open so you can get a good view inside. Even today, the size is very impressive.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 10, 2003
Attraction | "3 -- The Chicken Coop and Carriage House"
The chicken house is probably one of the nicest chicken homes in the world since it is made out of limestone (which would keep the temperatures moderate in both extreme cold and heat) with a sod roof. A sod roof here means that if you look on top of the structure, you see a mound of soil with grass growing on it. In front of the coop is an old-fashioned gas pump, which is fun for children and was probably once used to fill up ranch equipment.
The carriage house, with its large white doors and slanted roof, was not open when we were there, but clearly provided shelter for the rancher's mode of transportation.
From the carriage house, you walk up the path to the main house.
Attraction | "4 -- The Limestone Mansion"
Attraction | "5 -- "The Vital Necessities" exhibit"
Attraction | "6 -- Cistern and Ice House"
Attraction | "7 -- "Discover the Prairie""
Attraction | "Stop -- 8 Prairie Overlook"
Attraction | "Southwind Nature Trail"