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:
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!