Little Jerusalem State Park
September 20-21, 2021
Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park is Kansas' newest state park. You will be impressed by the stark beauty of these rock formations, spires, and cliffs. All meals are included in this tour of Little Jerusalem and Ellis County's historic churches.
Day 1: Our first stop is in Ness City for a tour of their historical bank. The bank is a three-story stone building known as the "Skyscraper of the Plains" and has been asserted to be the most elegant building of West Central Kansas. Lunch is served in this historic building. This afternoon we visit Kansas’ newest state park, Little Jerusalem Badlands! The largest Niobrara Chalk formation in Kansas hides like a giant treasure in a valley. The park encompasses 220 acres of dramatic chalk rock formations and 100 foot-tall spires and cliffs. We walk to a couple of overlooks as our guide explains this dramatic landscape. It’s an incredible sight to see. After a full afternoon at Little Jerusalem, we head to Hays for our overnight stay. This evening we eat dinner with entertainment provided by a local musician. (L, D)
Day 2: The first churches in Ellis County were built during the late 1870s and 1880s. The majority of these were small wooden frame structures that later were replaced by larger and more impressive limestone rock churches. We visit a few of these beautiful historic churches, each giving us a glimpse into the area’s history and an understanding of the strong religious values of the early settlers. The Roman Catholic influence, artistic gothic style, and beautiful stained glass are the most dominant features, yet each church is unique in its own way. Each church has a local guide who shares history and stories. Lunch is in Hays before returning to Yoder. (B, L)