Byway Tour

The Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway takes visitors through Barton, Stafford & Reno counties in central Kansas, moving through radiant wetlands exploding with wildlife; prairie vistas with immense blue skies; and seven rural communities shaped by nature and the entrepreneurial spirit. The marshes that anchor this scenic drive, Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, are international treasures nestled in the heart of America.

Hoisington. Stroll Main Street and view the metal banners installed on 62 poles that illustrate the history, wildlife, and birds of the Cheyenne Bottoms Basin. You will also want to tour the Kansas Brick & Tile Plant- 

Cheyenne Bottoms Nature Conservancy Preserve. Grab your binoculars and get ready to spot some of the rarest and most unique birds in the nation on one of the observation towers provided for visitors and birders. 

Claflin. Visit WPA Post Rock Bridges on the National Historic Register, and stand at the Geographic Center of Kansas. 

Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area. Visit the Kansas Wetlands Education Center to view various educational displays, watch small critters in their habitat, and shop for souvenirs at the gift shop.  

Ellinwood. Tour the underground tunnels, shop at the man antique stores. 

Great Bend. Take a GPS Video Tour of Cheyenne Bottoms & the Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway, watch treatment of an injured raptor at the Raptor Center, and shop several unique stores downtown.  

Hudson. Visit the Stafford Co. Flour Mill, and eat at the local favorite Wheatland Cafe. 

Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. A great place for eagle and wildlife watching. 

St. John. See Electricity Work at the St. John Science Museum, walk the town square and view the opera house, courthouse, and fountain. 

Stafford. See wild Whooping Cranes at Quivira, visit the old fashioned soda fountain.

Download a sample Byway itinerary.
Download the Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway brochure here.

Here in Kansas, we pronounce the river's name, "Ar-Kansas." Ask Kansans why, and we might tell you, "Because we don't live in "Kansaw!" We sensibly combine the state's name with the river's most prominent feature - the sweeping "arc" it makes through this Byway region.