Kansas has a wide variety of interesting places to visit. They range from the fossil beds and unusual geological formations such as Rock City, on the High Plains, to the wheel ruts still discernible along the old Santa Fe and Oregon trails, to the many historic sites and buildings found throughout the state.
There are also numerous facilities for outdoor recreation in the state. Nearly every state park and recreation area in Kansas either includes or adjoins a water area, and almost all of them offer facilities for boating, fishing, and swimming. In addition, many of the state-administered park areas also have facilities for picnicking, camping, hiking, and horseback riding. Three national wildlife refuges are administered by the federal government: the Flint Hills refuge in the east, the Kirwin refuge in the north central part of the state, and the Quivira refuge in south central Kansas. Cheyenne Bottoms, near Great Bend, and other wildlife areas are administered by the state.
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka commemorates the landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, which in 1954 overturned racial segregation in the nation’s education systems. The site is located at the Monroe Elementary School, which was attended by Linda Brown whose lawsuit against the school system brought about the supreme court ruling. Other historic sites in Kansas preserve military forts used during the westward expansion. Fort Larned National Historic Site was an outpost established midway along the Santa Fe Trail to protect travelers and mail deliveries.
Its stone buildings are among the best-preserved relics of the western wars with Native Americans. Fort Scott National Historic Site, first established by the United States Army to enforce the peace among settlers and Native Americans, played a role in the Mexican War (1846-1848) and was reopened during the Civil War.
Fort Leavenworth, in northeastern Kansas near Leavenworth, dates from 1827 and is the oldest active U.S. military post west of the Mississippi River. It is the seat of the U.S. Army General Staff College. Fort Riley was established as a cavalry post early in the 1850s. It is also an active post. The first Capitol of Kansas lies within Fort Riley in northeastern Kansas. The building, located at what was then called Pawnee, served very briefly as the seat of the territorial government in July 1855. It is now maintained as a public museum. Also at Fort Riley is the United States Cavalry Museum.
The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve protects another kind of historic resource, the native grasslands that once covered a large portion of the interior of the United States. The preserve, dedicated in 1998, contains 4,409 hectares (10,894 acres) of prairie land located in the Flint Hills area of east-central Kansas. The National Park Service administers the preserve, which is part of the largest tract of tallgrass prairie still remaining on the continent. "Kansas" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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