I was pleasantly surprised by my recent trip to Fort Scott, Kansas. There’s a lot to see and do in this small historic town, and all the great attractions are free!
My site isn’t called Broke Girl Abroad for nothing. I’m always looking to save money on any trip, and Fort Scott made it easy. Here’s my list of the 5 best free things to do in Fort Scott!
5 Best Free Things to do in Fort Scott
1. Fort Scott National Historic Site
While this 1840s military fort never actually saw battle, it did serve as an important supply base for the Union Army during the Civil War. Today, visitors to this site (operated by the National Park Service) can view a variety of protected structures, including four officers’ barracks, a hospital, guardhouse, post headquarters, quartermaster stables, a bake shop and more.
Tours operate daily at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. I went on one and throughly enjoyed the park ranger’s insight!
2. Gordon Parks Museum
Located inside Fort Scott Community College, the Gordon Parks Museum provides a remarkable look at the iconic photographer’s career.
You’ll get to see his most famous photos, including a signed print “American Gothic, Ella Watson,” as well as mementos from the set of his films and items from his childhood.
3. Gunn Park
If you’d like to continue on the trail of Gordon Parks, pay a visit to Gunn Park. It’s a beautiful and quiet public park used for scenes in Parks’s movie “The Learning Tree.”
4. Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes
Maybe the most delightful aspect of the Lowell Milken Center (yes, that Lowell Milken behind the Milken Educator Awards) is how the discoveries of these unsung heroes came about.
Oftentimes, students would be researching a class assignment and stumble upon amazing feats of courage by unknown people. Those students would then make the effort to recognize the person behind the heroic acts. The Milken Center now rewards students and their findings through the Discovery Award.
You’ll come across quite a few stories covering several different time periods and leave with a bit of a brighter view of the world.
5. Rock Creek Waterfall
Rock Creek Waterfall is about. a10 minute drive outside of downtown Fort Scott. Be careful as you arrive, one of the “entrances” is private property (you’ll see a sign).
There’s a grassy area to park your car, then you’ll journey down a gravely road until you hear the sound of rushing water. Rock Creek Waterfall is surprisingly hidden from immediate view, making it a wonderfully immersive visit.
Feel free to follow the trail onward if you’d like, or have a picnic near the waterfall.
I can’t believe all of these fun spots are completely free to visit! Have to been to any free attractions in Fort Scott? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
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