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Glacial Hills Scenic Byway

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Kansas Scenic BywayOnce the area was entirely covered by glaciers, leaving behind a scenic landscape of rolling, wooded hills, sharp-edged bluffs, and clear running streams.





GlacialHillsBywayMap.gif (277x275 -- 16459 bytes)In early 2003, the 63-mile stretch of Highway K-7 between Leavenworth and White Cloud was designated by the State of Kansas as the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway. The area was once covered with glaciers, leaving behind a scenic landscape of rolling, wooded hills, rock-strewn soil and valleys with clear, running streams.


Beginning at the intersection of K-7 and K-92 in Leavenworth, the byway traverses Leavenworth, Atchison and Doniphan Counties along the same path that Lewis and Clark traveled over two hundred years ago. Roughly paralleling the Missouri River, the byway has also been designated by the National Park Service as the official route of the Lewis and Clark Trail.


The Glacial Hills Scenic Byway will take you through rolling hills, rich farmland and across Missouri River bluffs between Leavenworth and the Kansas/Nebraska border.  Representing the earliest days of pioneer settlement along the Missouri River, you will pass through four communities, which are rich in history and provide a number of attractions. 


Architectural heritage abounds in Leavenworth, Atchison, Troy and White Cloud, show casing many historic structures. Driving tours are available in Leavenworth, and Fort Leavenworth, a walking tour in White Cloud, and a historic barn tour in Troy.


Along the way, you will discover impressive views of the Missouri River, historic barns, abundant railroad history, and numerous museums and sites associated with Lewis and Clark, Buffalo Bill Cody, Amelia Earhart, and Abraham Lincoln’s 1859 campaign tour through Kansas Territory.


Leavenworth, Kansas


The entrance to Leavenworth and the daunting walls of the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary are at the southern end of the byway. The first settlement in Kansas Territory in 1827, you can tour historic Fort Leavenworth, the oldest active Army post west of the Mississippi River.


While in Leavenworth, you can also take a walking or driving tour of the many historic places in the community. The Historic Wayside Tour features 13 historic sites along the riverfront in the downtown area as well as 6 additional sites that can be reached by car. Maps are available at the Welcome Center North at the corner of Cheyenne & 4th Street, at the Welcome Center South in Ray Miller Park, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau at 518 Shawnee.


The city of Leavenworth has been ranked the number one historic city in the state, June 2001, in the ePodunk Historic Small Towns Index.


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Frontier Army Museum - Reynolds Avenue, Fort Leavenworth. For tour information, call (913) 682-4113, Museum (913) 684-3191, Gift Shop (913) 651-7440. Open Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.; Sunday and Holidays, Noon to 4:00 p.m.; Closed Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving and Easter. Free Admission, Donations Accepted.

Carroll Mansion - 1128 5th Avenue, Leavenworth. The mansion is open May through August, Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Sunday, 1 - 4:30 p.m.; September through April, daily 1 - 4:30 p.m. Closed in January and major holidays. Admission is charged. Operated by the Leavenworth Historical Society, (913)682-7759

First City Museum, 209 Delaware, Leavenworth. The museum is open Thursdays & Fridays Noon - 4:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. For special visits or tours, please call (913) 682-1866 or 800-844-4114.

Historic Wayside Tour - Take a walk back in time to where the West began. Leavenworth, the "First City of Kansas," invites you to step back in time and explore the rich history of Leavenworth by visiting our Historic Wayside Tour. Waysides are interactive displays located throughout Leavenworth that feature unique local artwork depicting images of significant historical people, structures or events associated with the site. Digital technology allows you to hear a recorded narrative with the mere push of a button. There are 13 waysides located in the riverfront downtown area that can be experienced as a walking tour as well as six waysides that can be reached by car. In addition, there are waysides located within the welcome centers at the north and south ends of town.

The National Fred Harvey Museum, at 624 Olive Street. Special arrangements for tours can be made by contacting the museum at (913) 682-1866.

After leaving Leavenworth, you will travel on toward Atchison, where the route has been designated as the Amelia Earhart Memorial Highway. The world-famous aviatrix’ birthplace in Atchison is now a museum.



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Fred Harvey Museum, Kathy Weiser, February, 2003


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