EXPLORE THE AREA
Whether you’re looking to explore the past or blaze a trail for a new adventure, the Flint Hills has something for everyone. From lakes and waterfalls to historic courthouses and trails, you are sure to find something to pique your interest. Shop antiques till your heart’s content, hunt wild turkey and deer, zip around the lake with a speed boat, and enjoy a night under the stars on the prairie. All this awaits you in the Flint Hills of Kansas!
A Splash of a Good time:
Northeast Kansas Waterfalls Tour
Depart the Historic Elgin Hotel for your waterfall adventure!
From 3rd Street, take a left on Main St and travel east to Cedar. Turn left and travel north to Highway 56. Turn right and take 56 east to the roundabout. Take the 2nd exit and travel east on Highway150 to Highway 50. Turn left at 50 and travel .5 mile to Elmdale. Take a right on Main Street (also known as Lake Rd and Middle Creek Rd). Travel 3 miles until you see the entrance to Chase State Fishing Lake and Wildlife Area on your right. Follow the gravel road .3 miles to the dam on the north side of Chase Fishing Lake. Park along the road and walk east the length of the dam. Turn left and follow the rough trail along the shallow spillway from the lake.
The walk and climb are moderately difficult and hiking shoes are recommended.
From the Chase State Lake, turn right on Lake Rd. Travel 3.2 miles into Cottonwood Falls and take a left on Broadway to the bridge entrance.
From the Cottonwood Falls bridge, travel back to Main St and take a left. At 177, take a left and travel approximately 11 miles to Highway 50. Take a right and follow Highway 50 for 25.5 miles to YY Rd. Take a left and travel north to 290 Rd. Turn left and follow 290 Rd for 2 miles to Z Rd. After a couple of miles, Z Rd will turn into 400 Rd. Cross over the dam and take the first right at Kahola Rd. The waterfall will be on your right along the Kahola Creek.
Lake Kahola Waterfall is formed by the spillway, just north of the dam and east of the bridge & lake. Ideally, permission to access the falls should be obtained by contacting the Kahola Homeowner’s Association. A waiver of Liability form should be filled out by each visitor to the lake and filed with the Caretaker prior to accessing the property. We did not gain permission prior to visiting and were not bothered by anyone.
Follow Kahola Rd east along the creek to S400 Rd. Continue north on S400 Rd to DD Ave. Take a right on DD Rd and travel 2 miles to Dunlap Rd. Turn left on Dunlap Rd and travel north 11 miles, continuing on Walnut St into Council Grove. Turn right on 5th St and then left on Main. Take Main to Highway 177 and turn left. Follow 177 north for 35 miles. Just before entering Manhattan, turn right on Deep Creek Rd. Follow Deep Creek Rd (which turns into Pillsbury Crossing Rd) for 6 miles. Turn right at Pillsbury Crossing Lane and you will run into Pillsbury Crossing.
Return to Highway 177 and turn left. Travel south for 6.5 miles to I-70 W. Follow I-70 W to exit 295, Highway 77 and turn left. Drive south 6 miles on Highway 77. Turn right (west) on State Lake Road. Drive about 2,000 feet to the sign that says “Geary State Lake” on your left. Turn into the park, drive over the top of the hill and off onto the unimproved road to your right. Park at the northeast end of the lake and walk about a quarter of a mile across the dam.
As you approach the far end of the dam, you may hear the water falling in the woods off to your right. Just across the dam, there is a narrow path to the right worn by other travelers. It is a short walk to the falls, but the footing is irregular with occasional steep spots.
Return to the Historic Elgin Hotel by turning right and traveling south on Highway 77 for 39 miles. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit. After 1 mile, turn right on 190th and travel west for 3 miles. Turn right at 3rd St.
A Splash of a Good time:
Northwest Kansas Waterfalls Tour
Travel north on 360th to Diamond Rd and take a left. Continue onto Deer Rd for 5 miles. Turn right on KS-4 E and travel east for 4 miles. At KS-15 N, take a left and head north for 16 miles. Just before you enter Abilene, turn east (right) on 2000 Avenue, then south a few hundred yards on Hawk Road to 1935 Lane. Turn left onto 1935 Lane and follow this across a wooden, one lane bridge. Park to the left of this bridge.
Destination #3: Markley Dam Waterfall in Minneapolis
The Solomon River in Minneapolis was dammed for the Jackman Roller Mills in the 1800s. Markley Dam can be seen to the west from the K-106 (Mill Street) Bridge. While in the area, visit Rock City State Park.
A Splash of a Good time:
Southeast Kansas Waterfalls
During high water, the waterfall at Eureka Lake, north of Eureka, is one of the most impressive in the state. So far, I have only been able to visit the falls when there was just a trickle of water.
Eureka Lake Falls is a few hundred feet down Bachelor Creek, which is fed by the spillway from 259 acre Eureka City Lake.
Fall River Falls is just north of US Highway 54 on the west side of
Eureka. This photo was taken in September when the water going over the falls was about a low as it gets. During high water in the spring, the drop can largely disappear.
Destination #5: Flint Road Falls in Longton
Flint Road Falls is a lovely natural falls located on Hitchen Creek just
north of Flint Road (County 366 Road), 2.6 miles west of Longton Cemetery. This photo was taken from the bridge over Hitchen Creek.
Destination #5: Longton Dam Falls in Longton
Longton Dam Falls is located on the south side of Longton on the Elk River. To visit the falls, drive to the water plant at the south end of Delaware Street and walk south to the river. The two rut leading to the water is very muddy in wet weather. It is hard to get down to the river edge.
Historic Kansas Tour
Tour the Historic Elgin Hotel
Tour the Father Kapaun Museum & St. Nepomucene Church in Pilsen, KS
Visit the Marion Historical Museum in Marion, KS
Check out the Marion County Courthouse in Marion, KS
Eat at Chef’s Plate at Parlour 1886 in Marion, KS
Tour the Chase County Courthouse & Jail in Cottonwood Falls, KS
Visit the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve to learn about the history of the prairie and take a hike or tram ride to see the free-roaming buffalo
Tour the Adobe Museum in Hillsboro, KS
Tour the William F. Schaeffler House in Hillsboro, KS
The Presidential Tour:
Exploring Eisenhower’s Hometown of Abilene
Depart the Historic Elgin Hotel
Heritage Center Museum Tour
Lunch at Amanda’s Bakery & Bistro
Eisenhower Library & Museum
Seelye Mansion Tour
Smoky Valley Train Ride
Dinner Train or Dinner at Mr. K’s Farmhouse Restaurant
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