I’ve never given Kansas much thought, well, that is until we stopped at Goodland, Kansas to see the world’s largest easel! With that in mind, it occurred to me, as Kurt and I were planning a September trip west, that there actually might be more in Kansas than merely an interstate that takes travelers from Oklahoma to Colorado!
Perusing the internet, we found a plethora of options, among them was Mushroom Rock State Park.
The smallest state park in Kansas, Mushroom Rock spreads out on five acres. The name, Mushroom Rock, is a bit deceiving. There are several of these unique specimens, listed as one of the eight wonders of Kansas, spread throughout the park.
According to the Kansas State Park Website:
Resembling giant mushrooms rising above the horizon, the Dakota formations of Mushroom Rock State Park are the remains of beach sands and sediments of the Cretaceous Period, the interval of geologic time from about 144 to 66 million years ago. Sandstone and sedimentary rock is held together by natural cement. The concretions that make up Mushroom Rocks are cemented calcium carbonate. The largest rock measures 27 feet in diameter.
Many have left their mark on the “trunks”.
These rocks are located on two separate trails on either side of the road. One trail begins right at the parking lot, the other at a bridge across the road from the parking area, which, when crossed, leads hikers through a maze of tall grass….
….past an interestingly ridged rock that has a hole in the middle….
…to a final mushroom!
Mushroom Rock State Park is located about 25 miles southwest of Salina, Kansas. It added a few extra miles to our journey that day, but we both attest that it was worth it!