Guided Konza Hikes
Come along for an immersive experience into the Flint Hills. Learn about the geological features of the Flint Hills, observe the native plant species, and see how fire helps contribute to the management of this ecosystem.
Thanks to the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation, we will be transporting visitors in our new 15-passenger van from the Discovery Center to the Konza Prairie Biological Station.
Sunday, September 25, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. - This is an introductory hike through the lowlands of the Konza Prairie. This approximately one mile hike will allow the Flint Hills Discovery Center guide to introduce what the trails will look like, allow you to consider your ability level and preparedness for future hikes, and to take in the beauty of the Flint Hills. We will not complete the full Nature Trail hike.
Wednesday, October 12, 4:30-7:30 p.m. - Enjoy a beautiful Kansas sunset hike along The Nature Trail (2.6 miles). We will walk The Nature Trail counterclockwise! This will allow us to reach the top of the hill at the time of sunset. We will be experiencing steep descents, uneven footing, and narrow pathways.
Sunday, October 23, 1-4 p.m. - Enjoy the changes in the fall foliage and weather along The Nature Trail (2.6 miles). Join us for an afternoon walk around The Nature Trail. We will be experiencing some steep climbs to enjoy the sights at the top of the trail before heading down through the lowlands of the prairie.
Each hike offers a different experience, and we would gladly welcome you to attend each one with us!
Cost for each hike is $8 for FHDC members (adult and child) and $10 for non-members (adult and child), which includes the $2 per person suggested Nature Trail donation.
- Registrants will receive a full refund if we cancel the program. We may need to cancel for heavy rain, storm warnings, or heavy winds.
- A full refund is granted if request to withdraw/cancel is received one week (seven days) prior to the start date; partial refund when requested between one week and at least 48 hours prior to the start date; and no refund is granted if the request is less than 48 hours in advance or failing to show. Participant withdrawals/rental cancelations must be received during business hours.
Spots are limited. Pre-registration is required online for all participants, including children, by 5 p.m. the day prior to the hike. Click here to register.
Please wear appropriate clothing, including closed-toed shoes that are comfortable for hiking moderately rough terrain. If your hike is during the day, we recommend wearing sunscreen.
Times include travel both ways.
Guided Konza Hikes Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the terrain and distance like?
- Enjoy a moderate hike with occasional steep climbs, uneven footing, and narrow pathways. To protect the trail and hikers, the trail is occasionally closed during wet conditions or controlled burning. If the trail is closed due to unforeseen circumstances (extreme weather, damage, burning, etc.), we will notify you of the closure and refund your registration.
Is it appropriate for children?
- Yes! Bringing children to the tallgrass prairie to increase their understanding of this remarkable ecosystem and instilling a sense of place and pride in their environment is a goal of the Konza Environmental Education Program and the Discovery Center.
- The trails are not stroller friendly. Please see the information above about the terrain and exertion expectation of each hike to make the best judgement for your child(ren).
- If your child needs a car seat to travel, please feel free to register and caravan or join us at the trailhead as we are unable to accommodate anything larger than a booster seat in our van.
- There is a porta-potty at the trail head and a second one near the Hokanson Homestead area. Otherwise, there are no bathroom facilities.
- Bring your own water and snacks.
- The only trash cans are at the trail head and at the composting toilet (at the Hokanson Homestead - about 1/2 way on The Nature Trail).
- Always remain on designated roads and trails.
- Collection or removal of flowers, rocks, feathers, or other materials from the Konza Prairie is not allowed.
- No pets are allowed.
- Trails are not wheelchair or stroller friendly.
What is the Konza Prairie?
- Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS) is a 3,487-hectare native tallgrass prairie preserve jointly owned by The Nature Conservancy and Kansas State University. The vast majority of Konza Prairie, and the surrounding landscape, has not been plowed and retains its native characteristics.
- KPBS is primarily a university-operated research facility and is private property, so most of the site is off limits to the public. However, because KPBS and The Nature Conservancy (the landowner) feels that it is important to provide a venue for the public to learn about the endangered tallgrass ecosystem, there are publicly accessible hiking trails available from dawn to dusk, weather and trail conditions permitting.