The Kansas Byways Program has grown by one with the addition of the newly- designated Land and Sky Scenic Byway in northwest Kansas.
Land and Sky is the 12th Kansas byway to receive official designation from the Kansas Department of Transportation. The byway covers parts of Wallace, Sherman and Cheyenne counties.
”We are excited to extend the byway program into northwest Kansas with the Land and Sky Scenic Byway,” said Mike King, Kansas Transportation Secretary and Director of the Kansas Turnpike.” The state designation will create greater awareness of the agricultural significance and scenic beauty of this area for visitors and spur interest in the communities along the route.”
The 88-mile route on K-27 begins in Wallace County in Sharon Springs, runs north through Goodland in Sherman County, and ends in Cheyenne County north of St. Francis at the Kansas/Nebraska border. Travelers along the byway have the opportunity to experience the Wallace Branch of the Great Western Cattle Trail, scale the highest point in Kansas at Mount Sunflower and explore the deep canyons and rugged landscape of the Arikaree Breaks. The byway is also the only one in the state that focuses on agriculture and features thousands of acres of rotating crops, livestock and wildlife along the route.
“With its unique land formations and strong agricultural roots, we feel the Land and Sky Scenic Byway can help tell the story of agriculture to an increasingly urbanized nation,” Secretary King said. “Those driving along the byway will be able to see where some of their food is grown and maybe better understand the work of Kansas farmers and ranchers.”
The state designation will result in the placement of route markers along the byway, inclusion in the Kansas Byways Guide, a page on the Kansas Byways website at www.ksbyways.com andpromotion on the Kansas Byways Facebook and Pinterest pages.
The byway communities are also eligible for grant applications to enhance the route for visitors.
Local team members who worked on the byway application process include Helen Dobbs of St. Francis, Jayne Pearce of Wallace and Donna Price and Roxie Yonkey of Goodland. The group also received assistance from the Cheyenne, Sherman and Wallace county commissioners and numerous committee members from the area.
The Kansas Byways program, a cooperative partnership of the KDOT; Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; Kansas State Historical Society; and local grassroots teams, identifies scenic and historic routes in the state and preserves, enhances and promotes the routes. For additional information, contact Scott Shields, Kansas Byways Coordinator, at 785-296-0853, or Sue Stringer, Kansas Byways Manager, at 800-684-6966.