Glacial Hills Scenic Byway
The Glacial Hills Scenic Byway begins at the intersection of K-7 and K-92 in Leavenworth, Kansas, and extends 63 miles north/south through the Glacial Hills of northeast Kansas. It traverses Atchison, Doniphan and Leavenworth Counties and visits the communities of Atchison, Leavenworth, Troy and White Cloud along the route.
These towns represent the earliest days of pioneer settlement of Kansas along the Missouri River. The Lewis and Clark Expedition camped on July 4, 1804 along a creek near what is now Atchison on their trip west and celebrated the first 4th of July west of the Mississippi River. They stopped near present-day Leavenworth on September 14, 1806 on the return trip, where Lewis collected a specimen of Raccoon Grape, his last botanical collection of the journey. The Glacial Hills Scenic Byway is the official route of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial celebration in Kansas.
Architectural heritage abounds along the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway. Driving tours showcasing historic structures are available in Atchison, Leavenworth and Fort Leavenworth. A self-guided walking tour is available in White Cloud. Historic barn tours are also available in Doniphan County. Historic sites abound including the Atchison County Historical Society Museum in the Santa Fe Depot, National Fred Harvey Museum, Victorian Carroll Mansion and Museum, Fort Leavenworth, and the Native American Heritage Museum.
Glaciers once covered the northeast corner of Kansas. When the glaciers receded north, they left behind a unique, scenic landscape of rolling, wooded hills and valleys with clear, running streams. Watch for pink boulders! These are made of Sioux quartzite scraped from the mountains of Minnesota and left here by the glaciers. Often people will use these for decoration around their driveways. Along the Missouri River near White Cloud are towering river bluffs of loess, a unique soil type found nowhere else in Kansas. An overlook in White Cloud affords views of four states: Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa.
Wildlife abounds along the Missouri River and can be viewed at Benedictine Bottoms, a natural wildlife area northeast of Atchison as well as at Warnock Lake in Atchison, Weston Bend bottomlands near Leavenworth and Atchison State Fishing Lake. Just to the south you will also find Wyandotte County Lake and Leavenworth State Fishing Lake.
For more information, contact the Kansas Scenic Byways
Download the brochure for the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway by clicking here.
Questions or comments about Natural Kansas may be directed to
Questions or comments about Natural Kansas may be directed to Jim Mason