Dingus Natural Area

Dingus Natural Area
- Photo by Jim Mason

Originally deeded to the Nature Conservancy in 1973, Dingus Natural Area has been managed by the Kansas Ornithological Society since 1975.   There are no trails or roads leading into the site, so it takes some effort to explore the area.

This site includes old growth oak-hickory forest.   The local name for the north-facing slope leading down to Little Sugar Creek is Fern Hill.  The lush understory population of ferns here includes the rare and unusual purple cliff brake.  Woodland wildflowers found here include trilliums, bloodroot, jack-in-the-pulpits and Dutchman's breeches. 

The uplands consist of mature oaks and hickories with a few remnant prairie glades. Visitors may encounter deer, bobcats, squirrels, and birds characteristic of mature woodlands. Birding can be excellent during migrations, with warblers, vireos, tanagers, orioles, and flycatchers abundant. Nesting species include black-capped chickadees, tufted titmice, northern parula warblers, Kentucky warblers, summer tanagers, and several species of woodpeckers. Wild turkeys are also found in the area. In spring great blue herons may be seen flying to a heronry located on private property to the south. During spring and summer an evening visit can be unforgettable. The woods echo with the sounds of whip-poor-wills, chuck-will's-widows, and barred owls. If there has been abundant rain and the roadside ditches hold standing water, the birds are joined by a chorus of amphibians. Vocal amphibians include Blanchard's cricket frogs, western chorus frogs, and gray treefrogs.

Camping icon Camping not allowed.

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Trail icon No developed trails.

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Map of Dingus Natural Area

Directions: From Mound City take K-52 southwest about 3 miles to the top of the hill. Turn right on Lewis Road and go north to 750 Road and then a little west (2 miles total).

Watch for the posted signs on the north side of the road.  There is no parking area, so pull over to the edge of the road to park.

Location in Kansas

Click here for a Google Map of this site.

Ownership: The entity responsible for management of the Dingus Natural Area is the Kansas Ornithological Society.  If you have specific questions about use or management of this site, contact them at (913) 795-2747 166 acres

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