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“An Interesting Piece of the History of the Old West”

Fort Larned National Historic Site
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Larned
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Fort Larned is located about 7 miles from Larned, Kansas. It played a significant role in westward expansion including conflicts with the Indians of the region. It was located along the Santa Fe Trail. The fort is administered by the National Park Service and the Visitor's Center is in one of the fort's buildings. The visitors' center has restrooms, a book store, a small museum and there is a brief film you can watch about the fort and the factual reasons it was built and manned. Watching the film first will enhance your understanding of the fort and should watch it before going through the buildings of the fort.

Fort Larned consists of the original fort buildings and is not one of those historical forts that have been rebuilt from old plans. It has no walls around the fort and is a series of stone buildings. The buildings create a central square but do not form a wall as there is open space between the buildings. One can go into all areas with open doors . . . which was a large portion of the buildings. All the rooms viewed have appropriate items in them. It was over 100 degrees when we visited and while only the visitors' center was air conditioned the temperatures were not a distraction, possibly due to the stone buildings. In one building with a dirt floor there was a door in the ground with a cell underneath for problem people. On the surface of the dirt floor were some balls and chains for those that didn't need to be thrown in the "hole." Not nice! All the furnishings in the rooms were interesting. You will have learned some things by going through the fort and have a better idea of what it may have been like for the soldiers who manned the fort over the years. When you go through the fort, notice all the small open places in the stone walls that could be used for firing at an enemy with the troops well protected - it makes the absence of walls seem more sensible. While the fort is out of the main stream travel areas, if you go to Kansas, check it out to see if you can fit it into your schedule. If you are interested in the Westward Expansion, this should be an enjoyable stop for you. We saw water in a vending machine but noticed no food.

2  Thank Dalarna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 - 112 of 129 reviews

Reviewed July 2, 2013

This fort protected travelers along the Sante Fe trail. The visitor's center is great with a lot of exhibits, ranging from uniforms to rifles. The rest of the buildings here look exactly like they did more than 100 years ago. The officer's quarters, enlisted barracks, and the General store had authentic furnishings. The jail house was creepy, as the cells were actually under the floor. There is a nice little monument to the fort across the stream.

1  Thank AF_Hiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2013

Our host in Dodge City encouraged us to stop for a visit on our way to Kansas City. Glad we did. Incredibly well preserved cavalry fort from Santa Fe trail days. Knowledgeable staff. Nice film. Interesting exhibits. Little bit of a walk from the parking lot. Lots to see.

2  Thank txhawki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2013

Very authentic fort from the Santa Fe Trail. This fort helped protect travelers along the trail and worked at keeping peace with the Indians. Original buildings as they were 150 years ago.

1  Thank wildcatkent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2013

It is off the beaten path a ways, but a must see!
When you get to the parking area do not be disappointed.
Cross the bridge and be transported back in time to a fully restored fort from the 1860's.
When I was there touring the buildings I was the only person on the grounds.
As I went into an officers quarters I smelled food.
Someone in period costume was making a roast and potatoes on a wood burning stove.
How cool is that?
This is a hands on do not miss place!
Plan on spending two to three hours here.

2  Thank Murphyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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