Fort Scott in Bourbon County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Tallgrass Prairie Trail
"The immediate site of the post...opens out rapidly to the south in a beautifully undulating prairie."
Assistant Surgeon Joseph K. Barnes, describing the Fort Scott landscape in 1862.
Walk this short trail and imagine "the most magnificent prairie of the country," as the land around Fort Scott was described in 1843.
The trail passes through a small area of tallgrass prairie that the National Park Service is restoring to offer a glimpse of the prairie's former splendor. Prior to restoration, this area had become a residential neighborhood.
Length: About 1/4 mile
Time: About 15 minutes
Surface: Unpaved; uneven footing
A trail brochure identifies some of the plants found along the trail. A healthy, native tallgrass prairie can contain over 1,000 species of vascular plants; some of the more common ones can be seen here.
[Photo captions read]
Park personnel (left) maintain this area using prescribed fire. Historically, wildfires swept the tallgrass prairie, preventing the growth of trees and shrubs. For instance, Fort Scott's Meteorological Register for December 2, 1848, remarked about the "prairie burning at South at night."
In the mid-1800s the land around Fort Scott would have resembled this scene
Erected 1998 by National Park Service.
Location. 37° 50.659′ N, 94° 42.23′ W. Marker is in Fort Scott, Kansas, in Bourbon County. Marker can be reached from Old Fort Boulevard. Touch for map. Marker is on the grounds of Fort Scott National Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Scott KS 66701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Back Yards (a few steps from this marker); Quartermaster Complex (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); "The Crack Post of the Frontier" (about 300 feet away); "But I Can Fire a Pistol" (about 300 feet away); Rank, Privilege, and Officers Row (about 300 feet away); Infantry Life (about 400 feet away); Where Was the Bathroom? (about 400 feet away); "Hardy, Dashing Looking Fellows" (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Scott.
Also see . . .
1. Fort Scott's Tallgrass Prairie. (Submitted on September 25, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. (Submitted on September 25, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Natural Features •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 25, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 685 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 25, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.