Walking Distance to Historical Downtown Wilson, Kansas
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Things to do & Restaurants


Things to do

In just a few minutes' drive, you can be swimming, biking/hiking the extensive trails or fishing and boating on the cleanest lake in Kansas! Try all there is to do in Ellsworth, KS.

Wilson Lake

Several boat ramps provide easy access to Wilson Lake in the north-central part of the state, 5 miles south of Wilson. The lake has 9,000 surface acres and 100 miles of shoreline providing an outdoor paradise for fishing, boating, sightseeing and swimming. For anglers preferring to fish from the bank will find camping areas and plenty of primitive areas with easy access. Many of these same areas work well for launch of small craft like canoes, kayaks and car-topper boats.

Fishing enthusiasts are drawn here to pursue largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, white crappie, walleye, bluegill, redear sunfish, white bass, white perch and striped bass at Wilson Lake in Kansas.
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Cheyenne Bottoms

Over the course of the year, more bird species are seen at Cheyenne Bottoms than anywhere else in Kansas. To date, at least 330 species have been observed at Cheyenne Bottoms.

Although white tailed deer and some waterfowl may be seen at Cheyenne Bottoms throughout the year, the majority of the birds at the wetlands change with the seasons. In the winter there are eagles and other species, with a larger bird population during mild winters. In the spring, over a half million ducks & geese,
and thousands of other birds like sandhill and whooping cranes, pass through the bottoms. In early summer the marsh is visited by ten of thousands of shorebirds. In the fall, a quarter million or more birds stop at Cheyenne Bottoms on their journey

Migrating ducks & cranes usually reach peak numbers in late March & early April; migrating shorebird numbers usually peak in late April to late May. The autumn migration has lower numbers and they are spread over a longer period of time. Cheyenne Bottoms and the Kansas Wetlands Education Center (kansastravel.org)

The Moab of the Midwest

This is the only Epic trail between the steamy Ozarks and the majestic Rockies, the frigid North Dakota Badlands and the blistering desert of Big Bend on the Rio Grande. Switchgrass is smack dab in the middle of Kansas, on the shores of the States most beautiful lake! With almost 25 miles in well-groomed stacked loops and lots of options for shorter rides, there is something for every level of rider.

Although the trail has a wild and remote feel, you're never far from a bailout back to the trailhead. At various points throughout the trail system, you can shorten the Epic route by taking one of the 12 'cutoffs'. Plan on 2-5 hrs depending on your skills and how much sightseeing you might want to do.

This route has some technically difficult sections within all the main loops (except EZ). Most of this trail is moderate to easy, but there are several short rocky sections, deep sand, arduous climbs, exposed high cliffs and ledges, and sharp drops. Most technical sections are short. Dismount and walk through any section thats beyond your skill level.

Switchgrass Epic Mountain Bike Trail Mountain Bike Trail, Russell, Kansas (mtbproject.com)
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Fort Harker Guardhouse Museum - Kanopolis, Kansas

The Fort Harker Guardhouse Museum Complex in Kanopolis, Kansas is operated by the Ellsworth County Historical Society. Four buildings have been preserved from the fort which operated from 1866 to 1873. When we visited the museum in winter, only one them, the restored Guard House was open to the public. At other times, the commanding officers quarters and one of the two junior officers quarters, which are a few blocks away, may also be open. All four of the buildings are constructed from native Dakota sandstone.

The original guard house houses a small museum Click here for more information.
State Parks

Wilson State Park, Wilson, Kansas
(6 Mins away)

Kanopolis Reservoir, State Park, And Smoky Hill Wildlife Area (42 Min)

Scenic Drives

Post Rock Scenic Byway
(3 Mins away)

Prairie Trial Scenic Byway
(22 Mins away)

Wetlands and Wildlife Scenic Byway
(39 Mins away)

Fort Hays State Historic Site
1472 HWY 183 ALT
HAYS, KS 67601-9212
(45 Minutes away)

Looking to see some of Kansas' native animals? Try one of the hikes near Wilson, KS. You might be able to see white-tailed deer, foxes, groundhogs, fox squirrels, skunks, bats and more!

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Places to eat

Enjoy a homemade kolache or an old-fashioned fountain treat at Grandmas, grab a quick bite at the summer favorite- Snack Shack, or fill up on comfort food like fried chicken, mashed potatoes and homemade pies which are all truly ‘Made from Scratch'! For a more upscale dining experience, visit the beautiful and historic Midland Hotel for drinks and dinner. Taste all that Ellsworth, KS has to offer!

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Midland Railroad Hotel

414 26th Street * Wilson, KS 67490
Phone: (785) 658-2284
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Snack Shack

186 Old Highway 40 Wilson, KS 67490
(785) 658-2600