Sam Brownback, currently a US Senator and possibly a future Kansas Governor, is visiting communities throughout the state during the Senate’s two-week recess, and he recently stopped in Emporia, where he discussed the potential to expand tourism in the Flint Hills:
“I think we’ve got a real chance to expand the growth of tourism and recreational access in the Flint Hills,” Brownback said, mentioning biking trails, horseback riding and opportunities for people to get out and enjoy nature. “We’ve seen a step-up increase, and I think if we can become more accessible consistently, I think you’ll see more people come.”
“I think Emporia’s positioning itself as the Front Porch to the Flint Hills is great,” Brownback said. “I think these are excellent activities. We’ve got to grow. We’ve got to create jobs and opportunities or we’re going to lose people, and Emporia’s working hard at doing that.” [read more]
That’s a pretty high-level endorsement of bicycling trails, so let’s hope that leads to trail expansions in the Flint Hills and elsewhere in the state.
Of course, one doesn’t need trails to bicycle in the state. The Flint Hills, like the rest of Kansas, has an excellent network of scenic and low-traffic dirt, gravel, and paved roads, perfect for exploring the beauty of the state.