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Flint-Hills is a series of hills in eastern Kansas, stretching into north-central Oklahoma, extending from Marshall County in the north to Cowley County, Kansas and Osage County, Oklahoma in the south. Oklahomans generally refer to the same geologic area as the Osage hills. The World Wide Fund for Nature has designated the Flint Hills as an eco-region, distinct from other grasslands of the Great Plains. They were named by explorer Zebulon Pike in 1806 for the cobbles of flint-like chert that glinted throughout the tall prairie grasses. The Flint Hills were created approximately 250 million years ago during the Permian Period, when much of the Midwest was covered with shallow seas. As a result, much of the Flint Hills are composed of limestone and shale with plentiful fossils of prehistoric sea creatures. The area is sparsely populated and contain most of the remaining tallgrass prairie in the world. There are three official tallgrass prairie preserves in the Flint Hills, the largest of which, the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, near Pawhuska, Oklahoma, also boasts one of the largest populations of bison in Oklahoma. The other preserves, both located in Kansas, are the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and the Konza Prairie. In April 2007, National Geographic featured the Flint Hills of Kansas through the lens of photojournalist and Kansas native, Jim Richardson. The Flint Hills Scenic Byway stretches 47.2 miles across the Flint Hills of Kansas on K-177 between Council Grove and Cassoday in east central Kansas. It is a beautiful drive year-round showing off the panoramic vistas of the tallgrass prairie.

Surrounding areas: Arkansas City, Kansas (25.0 mi), Elk Falls, Kansas (27.4 mi), Sedan, Kansas (29.1 mi), El Dorado, Kansas (38.3 mi)


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