Letter: Trail boost

August 10, 2013


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.


Ken Lassman 4 years, 9 months ago

I did some poking around and found a website devoted to information about this trails network: http://kanzatrails.org/

I didn't realize that the Landon trail that goes from Topeka south to the Flint Hills Trail also goes to the west edge of the Clinton Wildlife area. That means that you could take the bike path out to Clinton, take the shore/trails out to the SW finger of Clinton where the Wildlife Area hooks up with the Landon Trail, and head all the way out to the Flint Hills. Pretty amazing!

Wouldn't it be cool to figure a way to connect up to the Flint Hills trail by going due south? I suppose you could use the old 59, which would take you to Ottawa where you could connect up with the Flint Hills Trail there, too.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

Thank goodness for federal transportation enhancement grants.

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