Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway
When you think of Kansas, what pops into your mind? Prairie? Wheat? Dorothy? The Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway will forever reshape your image of this part of the "Sunflower State." This 77-mile Byway connects two of the world's most significant natural wetlands-Cheyenne Bottoms and the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. More than 60,000 acres of wetlands host millions of migrating birds each year, including waterfowl, shorebirds, even whooping cranes. No wonder this region has been named one of the Eight Wonders of Kansas.
But the Byway offers far more than beautiful wetlands and birds. Along your trek, you'll see native stone buildings, underground tunnels, metal street art, WPA art and bridges, an operating flour mill, a stretch of the Santa Fe Trail, a raptor center, and more. So grab a Byway map, slip in the audioguide, and discover our extraordinary corner of the planet.
The Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway traverses Barton, Reno, and Stafford counties, connecting the communities of Claflin, Ellinwood, Great Bend, Hoisington, Hudson, St. John, and Stafford. Partners include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, the Kansas Department of Transportation, and The Nature Conservancy.
Motion and Change
Along the Byway, you'll encounter landscapes and communities filled with stories of motion and change. You're entering a region etched with the memory of vast bison herds, a land of stunning bird migrations, of wild winds and weather, and of richly layered human history. Welcome!
Kansas Scenic Byway System
The Kansas Scenic Byways Program was formed to identify and designate scenic roadways in Kansas that possess outstanding natural, social, cultural and/or economic values. The program is a cooperative effort among private citizens, local groups, local governments and state government agencies. Some Kansas Scenic Byways, like the Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway, receive additional recognition as National Scenic Byways, as described below.
The National Scenic Byway System
Established in 1991, the National Scenic Byway Program recognizes certain roads as National Scenic Byways based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities. National Scenic Byways are special routes offering travelers access to the beautiful scenery and cultural and natural riches of our country.