Bicycling in the Chase County Flint Hills can be a fantastic experience for avid cyclists. Wide open vistas, hundreds of miles of gravel and low maintenance roads, and less than 4 people per square mile. Expect wildlife ranging from the simple Skink to the majestic American Bald Eagle.
Beware however, the Flint Hills is not an “easy” ride. Some roads have very large rocks which can be difficult for some riders and bicycles. There are many rolling hills that can offer challenges to any cyclist. In addition, the weather can be extreme and quickly severe during certain times of the year. We recommend that cyclists ride a Cyclo-cross or Mountain Bike. Proper protection such as helmets, gloves, and extra tubes are a must for anyone venturing off into the Flint Hills. Also take plenty of food and water as there are very few places in which to restock those items.
Prepare yourself; the sunsets are breath taking.
A safe way to experience the Flint Hills for the first time are group rides that leave from High Gear Bike Shop in nearby Emporia. They can provide valuable information, supplies and equipment, and ride times.
If you’re a hardcore cyclist looking for a real challenge, try the world famous Dirty Kanza 200 bike race. The “DK” begins and ends in Emporia, Kansas and is an all gravel road race that covers 200 miles of the Flint Hills in a single day! It has become the premier gravel grinder race in the world hosting racers from 47 states and 6 countries, totaling over 1200 racers for 2014. Truly an event to experience!
Enjoy your time in Chase County on your bike as you ride alongside the best that Kansas has to offer in wide open spaces and unspoiled nature. Please contact the Chase County Chamber of Commerce if you have any questions regarding cycling in the Flint Hills. Maps and contact information are available upon request.
"We enjoyed every moment of our stay in this truly special place . . . after getting unpacked, we took a walk into the historic part of [Cottonwood Falls] to catch the most beautiful pink light reflected off of the courthouse . . . There must be something very special about this place, because moments later, my special man asked me to marry him! It was easy to say yes!"
Escape from New York
"Our brief holiday was idyllic...The people were friendly and the setting was restful."
Will return every year
"Second visit to Cottonwood Falls... This year I brought one of my daughters and her 2 children. The five of us had an enchanting time – Riversuite dinner on the bridge – Symphony on the Prairie and Folk Life Festival activities and of course the turtles on the bridge – so comfortable here!"
Can’t wait to visit again
"Had wonderful evening in the town listening to the live music and meeting the locals – all that after a wonderful hike on the prairie. Something tells us we will be back!! ...Cozy place to stay!"
Perfect place to escape
"Wonderful weekend in a comfortable relaxing place. We loved all the nature we experienced. The beautiful Flint Hills on our hikes, the wide variety of birds seen while sitting on the patio, the fox family out past the time building, and rocking on the porch [of our guesthouse] enjoying the chimes."
Love from California
"Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! We spent hours just porchin’ on the rocking chairs [at the LarkInn Guesthouses] listening to the prairie winds and rain on the tin roof. Great place for a 'City Slicker'"
Lovely weekend getaway
"What a perfect stay. We could walk to Friday night music or just hang out ... and watch the world go by."
"We are touring the US and Canada for 7 weeks and this was a lovely spot to draw breath and relax before we hit the road again."
"A picture perfect day in The flint Hills. We rode horses at a nearby ranch. The horses were 'fresh' in the morning but by afternoon, horses and riders settled in for a relaxing ride. Thanks for creating such a wonderful place to stay during our visit."
Pictures don’t do the Flint Hills justice
"...we went for a scenic hike through the nature preserve, and later drove out to Flying W for a horse trail ride. Pictures do NOT do any of it justice. I guess we will just have to come back to relive it all again!!"