Worth a Visit in Kansas: Mushroom Rock State Park

200 Horsethief Rd., Marquette, Kansas The effects of wind erosion are widespread in the Great Plains but nowhere more apparent

Mushroom Rock State Park, Kansas
Wind-sculpted sandstone rocks that look like mushrooms once served as guideposts for Native Americans and early pioneers.

200 Horsethief Rd., Marquette, Kansas

The effects of wind erosion are widespread in the Great Plains but nowhere more apparent than at this five-acre site.

These persistent and sometimes violently swirling winds have gradually shaved away the ground of soft sandstone, leaving small islands of resistant sandstone and gradually sculpting them into huge, dramatic mushroom shapes.

The two largest are approximately 25 feet tall, with caps about 15 feet wide. These rocks once served as meeting places and landmarks for Native Americans and early pioneers, such as Kit Carson and John C. Fremont.

A gentle brook meanders through the area, shaded by trees. North of the brook you’ll find some man-made art—a rock carving of a U.S. flag with 15 stripes—done by a child as he stopped on his daily walk home. The small park has picnic tables. A few miles to the south are the two areas of the popular Kanopolis State Park. The extensive recreational facilities in its more than 22,000 acres include swimming, boating, and fishing on Kanopolis Lake, as well as many land-based activities, such as hiking and horseback riding.

Both parks open year-round. Admission charged for Kanopolis.

www.kdwp.state.ks.us

(785) 546-2565

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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