Page 4–The Geologic Record Vol. 4.2
Spring 1998


A Place to Visit


Alcove Spring


Marshall County,





Springs mark the intersection between human and natural history. There is probably no better example in Kansas than Alcove Spring in southern Marshall County. Water flows from Permian limestone (in the lower right foreground of this photo) into a shallow pool covered with watercress, before making its way to the nearby Big Blue River. Just above the spring is an intermittent waterfall. This was a noted stop along the Oregon Trail; in 1846, traveler George L. Curry wrote that “the water is of the most excellent kind . . ..” In 1951, Survey geologist Walter Schoewe wrote, “Water, pure and cold, issuing from the springs gives rise to a streamlet 3 to 4 feet wide.” Today the spring is part of a publicly accessible park owned by the Alcove Spring Historical Trust. To get there, go 1 mile north of the intersection of Kansas Highway 9 and U.S. Highway 77. Just south of the gypsum plant, turn west, following the road west for about a mile, south about 0.5 mile, then north on East River Road for about 3.25 miles. Park at the trailhead on the east side of the road. The spring is a short hike on a clearly marked trail.

Kansas Geological Survey

1930 Constant Avenue, Campus West

Lawrence, Kansas


(785) 864-3965


Kansas Geological Survey Advisory Council
  • Tom Collinson, Chair, Pittsburg
  • Robert Crangle, Lincoln
  • Dyan Jones, Prairie Village
  • Sheila Leiker-Page, Victoria
  • Jeffrey Mason, Goodland
  • Dennis McKinney, Greensburg
  • Stephen Morris, Hugoton
  • David Nance, Pittsburg
  • Marvin Odgers, Sublette
  • Larry J. Richardson, Wichita
  • John K. Strickler, Manhattan
  • William W. Hambleton, Emeritus Member, Lawrence
  • A. Scott Ritchie, KU Geology Assoc. Rep., Wichita

Director: Lee C. Gerhard
Editors: Liz Brosius, Robert Sawin, Rex Buchanan
Design: Jennifer Sims

The mission of the Kansas Geological Survey, operated by the University of Kansas in connection with its research and service program, is to conduct geological studies and research and to collect, correlate, preserve, and disseminate information leading to a better understanding of the geology of Kansas, with special emphasis on natural resources of economic value, water quality and quantity, and geologic hazards.

The Geology Extension program furthers the mission of the KGS by developing materials, projects, and services that communicate information about the geology of Kansas, the state's earth resources, and the products of the Kansas Geological Survey to the people of the state


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Online February 10, 2003

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