To the editor:
The Kansas Department of Transportation has just awarded a $1.5 million federal transportation enhancement grant to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for the continued development of the Flint Hills Nature Trail which stretches 117 miles between Osawatomie and Herington. Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy, the trail manager, has already developed about 60 miles of the scenic rail-trail using donated funds and volunteers. The conservancy has also recently received a $900,000 federal National Recreational Trails Program grant for the recreational trailm, which will actually be completed by Kansas National Guard. As one of the nation’s premiere trails, it will provide easy access to the Flint Hills thereby allowing visitors to explore the tallgrass prairie at a leisurely pace.
Gov. Sam Brownback recently proposed connecting the trail, which is the seventh longest rail-trail in America, with the famous Katy Trail in Missouri now being extended into Kansas City. Most importantly, the trail will serve as the backbone of an interconnected trail system in the Sunflower State.
Once the Flint Hills, 38-mile Landon and 60-mile Prairie Spirit Trails are complete, there will be a 204-mile interconnecting network of rail-trails in eastern Kansas. There are few regions of this country that can boast of such a trail system, but then there are few parts of the country that have as many available trail corridors, connecting population centers and traversing scenic and historic landscapes.