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Rock City, Minneapolis

#5 of 13 in Nature in Kansas
Rock City is a park located on hillsides overlooking the Solomon River in Ottawa County, Kansas. It is 3.6 miles south of Minneapolis, Kansas and just over 0.5 mile west of Kansas highway K-106 and the Minneapolis City County Airport on Ivy Road. In a patch of prairie about 500 meters (1600 feet) long and 40 meters (130 feet) wide, Rock City contains three clusters of large spherical boulders. These three clusters contain a total of 200 spherical boulders. It has been designated as a National Natural Landmark.The park, owned by a non-profit corporation, has a visitor center and picnic tables. A small admission fee, which is used to maintain this park, is charged.The remarkable size and spherical shape of these rock formation was first noted by Bell. Later, these boulders were either noted or described by Gould, Landes, Shaffer, Ward, and Swineford. Shaffer was the first person to map the distribution of these boulders at Rock City and investigate their petrography in detail.Physical characteristicsThe large spherical boulders in Rock City are giant calcite-cemented concretions, typically called "cannonball concretions" because of their shape. They range in diameter from 3 to 6 meters (10 to 20 feet) with the average diameter being 3.6 meters (12 feet). These concretions lie 2 to 8 meters (6.6 to 26 feet) apart. Similar giant calcite-cemented concretions have also been found in a quartzite quarry within Lincoln County and in exposures of the similar age sandstones in Utah and Wyoming.
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72 reviews
  • I really loved this little park, but found the rocks to be so odd. These rocks at Rock City are so unique in the way they are formed, looks, and their location. The park itself is easy to find, there ...  more »
  • neat to see these rocks out in the middle of nowhere. you can see the entire park within 10 minutes but still a nice little pit stop if your passing through minneapolis.  more »
  • I had driven by the signs for Rock City for 20 years. Was bored on the way up from Texas a couple of years ago and finally stopped. Glad I did. This place is really cool. I love the different rock for...  more »

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