Chautauqua Hills—Places to Visit

drawing of outline of this region on Kansas map

Chautauqua Hills--Intro | Chautauqua Hills--Rocks and Minerals
Chautauqua Hills--Places to Visit | Other regions

Download fact sheet on the rocks and minerals of the Chautauqua Hills.

U.S. Highway 160. The characteristic sandstone-capped hills of the region can be seen along a stretch of U.S. Highway 160, between the town of Longton in Elk County and the junction with K-39 in Montgomery County. The sandstones capping the hills along this route are the Tonganoxie Sandstone Member (of the Stranger Formation) and Ireland Sandstone Member (of the Lawrence Formation). Both are the remains of deposits that filled a large, ancient river valley during the Pennsylvanian.

Redbud Trail. One way to get a feel for the beautiful scenery of the region is to drive the Redbud Trail during the annual Redbud Tour. Hosted by the Sedan Area Chamber of Commerce, a mapped route takes visitors through the county, winding through the Chautauqua Hills and the Osage Cuestas. The tour takes place when the redbuds are in full bloom, usually in April. For exact dates and more information, contact the Sedan Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 182, Sedan, KS, 67361 (316) 725-5221.

color photo of rebuds beginning to bloom along riverbank

Redbuds blooming in Chautauqua Hills.

City Park in Sedan. Located just a block from downtown Sedan, The Hollow is a good place to see outcrops of the Ireland Sandstone Member, part of the Lawrence Formation. At the park's entrance is a display of Chautauqua County limestone containing numerous fossils of rugose coral. These corals lived at the bottom of shallow seas during the Pennsylvanian Period.

color photo of horn corals in sandstone slab

Fossiliferous limestone on display at The Hollow in Sedan, Kansas. The majority of the fossils are Pennsylvanian rugose coral.

Sources

Buchanan, Rex C., and McCauley, James R., 1987, Roadside Kansas--A Traveler's Guide to Its Geology and Landmarks: Lawrence, Kansas, University Press of Kansas, 365 p.

Evans, Catherine S., 1988, From Sea to Prairie--A Primer of Kansas Geology: Kansas Geological Survey, Educational Series 6, 60 p.

Schoewe, Walter H., 1949, The Geography of Kansas: Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, v. 52, no. 3, p. 261-333.

Skelton, Lawrence, 1997, Wichita's Building Blocks--A Guide to Building Stones and Geological Features: Kansas Geological Survey, Educational Series 11, 28 p.

Tolsted, Laura L., and Swineford, Ada, revised by Buchanan, Rex C., 1986, Kansas Rocks and Minerals: Kansas Geological Survey, Educational Series 2, 60 p.

Wilson, Frank W., 1978, Kansas Landscapes--A Geologic Diary: Kansas Geological Survey, Educational Series 5, 50 p.

Chautauqua Hills--Intro | Chautauqua Hills--Rocks and Minerals
Chautauqua Hills--Places to Visit | Other regions