‘Thankfully the trails were open’: Kansas family visits National Park during government shutdown


The Klarmann family enjoying a walk along one fo the trails at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Strong City. 

“We planned this trip two weeks ago to sort of hang out with family before the holidays so we could enjoy nature together,” said Joshua Klarmann. 

A planned trip that was almost interrupted.   

“When we realized the government shutdown was happening, we were just trying to keep track of the website and what they were saying and whether the trails were open,” said Nikki Klarmann. “Because for us it wasn’t about the visitors center it was about going on the trails and seeing the buffalo.” 

The hiking trails are open but the Visitor’s Center, guided tours and the historic buildings are all closed. 

The National Park Service posted a notice on the property. In it, the NPS says “It is unable to fully staff the park” and that “it’s not feasible to close all of the park.” It then goes on to say “anyone visiting the park during this period of federal government shutdown is at the Visitor’s sole risk.” 

The park posted a status Saturday morning on its Facebook page stating some areas are accessible but could change without notice. 

“Thankfully the trails were still open,” said Nikki. 

Allowing the Klarmann family’s trip to go as planned. 

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