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Emporia, Kansas

Emporia, Kansas

Lyon County surrounds Emporia which is known as the "Front Porch to the Flint Hills." Prairie Passage Stone Sculpture reflects Emporia's role as gateway to the Flint Hills, depicting the land, its forces and its people.

One of the distinctive features of the Flint Hills is the mix of farmers and ranchers. Nearly all farmers in the Flint Hills also raise livestock, while nearly all ranchers in the region also raise crops.

In historic times, the two Native American tribes that inhabited the Flint Hills were the Kansas (or Kaw) in the north and the Osage in the south. Early white settlers to the Flint Hills were British, Swedish, Welsh, German, French, Slavic, and Mennonite.

The Exoduster movement in the 1870's resulted in the resettlement of African-American ex-slaves onto small farms, while in the years around the turn of the century Mexicans were brought in by the Santa Fe to work on the railroad. In more recent years refugees from Southeast Asia have moved into the larger Flint Hills towns.

In the spring, the Flint Hills becomes a natural wonderland with the grasses and wildflowers. The barren landscape becames green and lush attracting over 200 kinds of birds including hawks, robins, blue jays, meadowlarks, and eagles. There are 29 kinds of reptiles and amphibians, such as turtles, snakes, and armadillos. There are also 31 species of mammals.

The Tallgrass prairie National Preserve was designed to protect a portion of the largest remaining unbroken tracts of tallgrass prairie left in the world.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

The First Presbyterian Church

Designed by Charles W. Squires and built in 1897. The limestone block construction with multiple towers and large mitered, arched stained glass windows is typical of the Victorian influence. This church is an example of the Richardson Romanesque style.

Emporia, KS Historic Churches

Emporia Center for the Arts

The Emporia Arts Council offices are in a building that was once a car dealership, and has been renovated with volunteer labor. The building also houses exhibits, classes, programs, theatre performances, and premiere performances by renowned artists.

Emporia, KS Arts


Emporia Zoo

The Emporia Zoo houses nearly 400 specimens including vultures and buffalo. One of the country's smallest accredited zoos is home to a variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles. The zoo also features exceptional botanical displays and spectacular holiday lights.

Emporia, KS Zoos

Emporia Flint Hills Tours

A two day tour of Emporia, Cottonwood Falls and Council Grove. Historical Sites, food, shopping and fun are just a few of the things on the agenda. The itinerary is suggested and adaptable for individuals or groups.

Emporia, KS Tours

Things to do near Emporia, KS

McPherson State Fishing Lake (Canton Lake)

46 acres, boating, boat ramps, picnic areas, basic camping, fishing piers, nature trails ...