The One Place In Kansas That Looks Like Something From Middle Earth

You have read the books, seen the movies, and consider yourself to be the ultimate J. R. R. Tolkien fan… but have you had the opportunity to visit Middle Earth? No? Don’t fret, my precious; consider this to be your official invitation, as Kansas is home to this one place that looks like something from the iconic novels:

We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nominate/

Located 5 miles northwest of Independence, Elk City State Park is a unique 857-acre park that boasts limestone bluffs and canyons, rock overhangs, woodlands, and a 4,500-acre reservoir of the same name. Because of its diverse landscape and ecosystem, we find this gem of a state park to be Middle Earth-esque and can’t help but keep our eyes peeled for Gollum in both the caves and at the banks of the Elk City Reservoir! In order to get the most out of your epic quest through this fantasy land, we recommend walking along the 15-mile Elk River Hiking Trail, which was named both an 8 Wonders of Kansas Geography finalist AND the best hike to take in Kansas by Backpacker Magazine.

For even more Kansas nature, check out these 10 Incredible Hikes Under 5 Miles Everyone In Kansas Should Take!