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A collection of pleasant nature trails at the natural history museum.


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Map Key

1.8

Miles

3.0

KM

Loop

2,038' 621 m

High

2,021' 616 m

Low

44' 14 m

Up

44' 14 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (1°)

2%

Max Grade (1°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · River/Creek · Spring · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Easy trail. Sometimes the museum has nature classes for children.

Open sunrise to sunset.

Overview

A nice and easy collection of trails that wanders over 22 acres adjacent to the Sternberg Museum of Natural History. The trails are pretty easy, but there are a few slight grades and roots in the mix.

Description

With so many closely-set trails, there are many ways to navigate the area. One option is to follow the Prairie Crossing Trail from the gazebo to Cottonwood Cove Loop, where a thick grove of trees shrouds the trail. From there, follow the Chetolah Trail as it parallels Chetolah Creek through trees and shrubs.

Take a quick jaunt over the simple and flat Oxbow Loop. There are a few benches, constructed as an Eagle Scout project, that make a nice relaxing setting. Oxbow Loop nicely exits onto Monument Meadow Trail which briefly winds through fields of native grasses and flowers.

Turn right on Prairie Crossing Trail and then a right onto the Cactus Ridge Trail. You'll find plenty of prickly pear cactus here and nice views of the nearby trails. Turn left on Chetolah Trail toward the Amphitheater Trail for a quick diversion that ends just a little ways from where the hike started.

Flora & Fauna

There are lots of native wildflowers that bloom, especially in the spring. Sunflowers are abundant in late summer and early fall. As far as animals; you'll see mostly turtles, frogs, and maybe a baby snake.

Contacts

Shared By:

Juno Ogle

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#3290

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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Photos

Chainsaw-art and welcome sign located at the parking lot.
Dec 26, 2016 near Hays, KS
A sculpture representing a buffalo on the Prairie Crossing Trail.
Dec 26, 2016 near Hays, KS

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Check-Ins

Feb 11, 2023
Jennifer Schmidtberger
Beautiful, wonderful trails! It was my dog and I's first time. Thoroughly enjoyed it! — 1h 30m
Jun 2, 2019
Christopher Davisson
May 6, 2017
Juno Ogle
Much of Chetolah Trail is pretty muddy and has a lot of debris from recent high water in the creek. 1.1mi
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