Best Hikes Ever: Turkey Trail, KS

Snag views of swaying prairie grass stretching to the horizon.
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Snag views of swaying prairie grass stretching to the horizon.

| BEST HIKES EVER HOME |

Kansas always gets short shrift—even locals make the drive to the Rockies for a wilderness fix. But soak up ubiquitous prairie sun on the nearly five-mile (one-way) Turkey Trail through 108,000-acre Cimarron National Grassland, and you’ll enjoy unique rewards. Struck by apocalyptic drought and sky-darkening Dust Bowl storms during the 1930s, this landscape is now a natural wonder of sand-sage and shortgrass prairie as far as the eye can see. Hike or bike the trail, which winds along the cottonwood-lined Cimarron River, rolling through elk habitat and wildflower blooms like purple silky prairie clover and sweet sand verbena (peaks August to November).

Maps USGS quads Elkhart North, Wilburton, Elhart NE, and Rolla NW

Contact (719) 553-1400; fs.fed.us/r2/psicc/cim