The Kansas grasslands are at their best right now, even after a hot, dry summer. Short days are shutting down seasonal growth, and the native grasses are tawny. Sumac puts a red haze through the distant landscape, and fall wildflowers bring colorful accents here and there.
Maxwell Game Reserve north of Canton is a great place to view the fall prairie, where buffalo graze and elk bugle in their autumn mating ritual. Flowers are numerous there, with the brilliant yellows of goldenrods and sunflowers contrasting with the sky blue of pitcher sage and the fuschia of gayfeathers.
Down on the creek, silver maples are tingeing color against the blue fall water. It’s a great place to see the Kansas landscape as it might have been a hundred years ago.
Drive through this beautiful grassland from now through October for an autumn delight. Evening is best, when wildlife feeds on the prairie, often near the roads. Climb the observation tower and take in the beauty on a grander scale. Or better yet, bring your camper and enjoy the fall evenings at the state fishing lake campsites within the area.