Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
The 11,000 acre Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Strong City features the Spring Hill Farm and Ranch built in 1881 by cattleman Stephen F. Jones. The ranch was designated a National Historic Landmark in February 1997. Several new trails on the preserve now allow hikers to experience the beauty of the Flint Hills more intimately. Bison have also been reintroduced to the preserve.
There is something about the vast openness of the Flint Hill that frees the soul.
D.W. Wilder, the one-time editor of the Hiawatha World in Kansas wrote in 1884 of the already dwindling prairie in an editorial:
"Whenever you stop on the prairie to lunch or camp, and gaze around, there is a picture such as poet and painter never succeeded in transferring to book or canvas." He lamented that people should have saved a park "ten thousand acres broad — the prairie as came from the hand of God, not a foot or an inch desecrated by 'improvements' and 'cultivation.' It is only a memory now."
It would appear that Wilder's wish is realized with the establishment of the 11,000 acre Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.