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Fort Larned National Historic Site

Fort Larned National Historic Site - BEST Places to PicnicFort Larned NHS
1767 KS Hwy 156
Larned, KS 67550-5357

Phone: Visitor Center
(620) 285-6911

Fort Larned National Historic Site, located six miles west of Larned, Kansas, preserves Fort Larned, which operated from 1859 to 1878.

 Fort Larned was established to protect traffic along the Santa Fe Trail from hostile American Indians, and as an agency for the administration of the Central Plains Indians by the Bureau of Indian Affairs under the terms of the Fort Wise Treaty of 1861.

The fort's service ended as a combination of the tribes' relocation to reservations and the completion of railroads across Kansas that ended the need for the Santa Fe Trail.

Fort Larned was the site of a meeting between General Winfield Scott Hancock and several Cheyenne chiefs on April 12, 1867, in which Hancock intended to impress the Dog Soldier chiefs with his military power. Following that meeting, Hancock, along with George Armstrong Custer and the 7th U.S. Cavalry traveled west of Fort Larned to a combined Cheyenne and Lakota camp, inciting the villagers to flee. Hancock ordered the village burned, beginning a summer of warfare known as Hancock's War. Fort Larned assisted in bringing Hancock's War to an end by supplying the Medicine Lodge Treaty.

With nine historic buildings, the fort survives as one of the best-preserved examples of Indian Wars-period forts. Most of the buildings, including the barracks, commissary, and officers quarters, are furnished to their original appearance.

Fort Larned National Historic Site is open daily, year-round. Admission is free. The park offers several special events throughout the year, living history demonstrations, and ranger-guided tours. Visit National Park Service: Fort Larned National Historic Site for the official park website.

The following units were stationed at Fort Larned during its nineteen years of operation:

  • 1st U.S. Cavalry - 1859
  • 2nd U.S. Infantry - 1859-1863
  • 2nd U.S. Dragoons - 1860-1861
  • 2nd Kansas Volunteer Cavalry - 1862
  • 9th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry - 1862-1864
  • 2nd Colorado Volunteer Cavalry - 1862-1865
  • 9th Battery, Wisconsin Light Artillery - 1862-1865
  • 1st Colorado Volunteer Cavalry - 1862-1864
  • 12th Kansas Volunteer Infantry - 1863
  • McLain’s Independent Colorado Volunteer Battery - 1864
  • 15th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry - 1864-1865
  • 3rd Wisconsin Volunteer Cavalry - 1864
  • 11th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry - 1864-1865
  • 2nd U.S. Volunteer Infantry - 1865-1866
  • 48th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry - 1865
  • 17th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry - 1865
  • 2nd U.S. Cavalry - 1865-1866
  • 13th U.S. Infantry - 1865
  • 3rd U.S. Infantry - 1866-1872
  • 37th U.S. Infantry - 1867
  • 10th U.S. Cavalry - 1867-1869
  • 6th U.S. Infantry - 1871-1872
  • 5th U.S. Infantry - 1872-1874
  • 19th U.S. Infantry - 1874-1878

Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of your visit to Fort Larned!

A picnic area with several picnic shelters, fresh water, shade trees, and restrooms is located at the entrance to Fort Larned National Historic site. The picnic area is only open during the park's open hours

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