Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: March 25, 2010

Kansas Trail News for March 25, 2010 from Sunflower Recreational Trails:

Number Of Rail-Trails Continues To Grow

The Spring/Summer 2010 edition of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy magazine reports that there are now 1,631 rail-trails in America and over 19,462 open rail-trail miles. Also, there are at least 727 new rails-to-trails projects underway. In Kansas there are approximately 17 rail-trails and with over 138 miles developed and open. Most of these are under five miles in length. There are at least 26 rails-to-trails projects and several proposed rails-with-trails projects.

South Hutchinson Nature Trail

The City of South Hutchinson railbanked the 2.9 mile former BNSF rail line in 2004 and later converted it into a nature trail reports Public Works Director Paul Hiebert. The chat-surfaced trail stretches from US 50 north to W. Morgan (near the Arkansas River). He expects to deck the railroad bridge in the near future. The South Hutchinson Nature Trail is just one of several recreational trails in the Hutchinson area.

Trail Advocate Bicycles On

Trail advocate Mike Mingenback, 63, died from an apparent heart attack in late October riding his bicycle on the Arizona Canal Bike Path in Phoenix in October. In 2001 Mingenback was instrumental in reorganizing the Kansas Horseman Foundation (renamed Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy in 2003). In fact he was the first president of the revitalized organization which is developing the Flint Hills and Landon Nature Trails. At least Mike died doing what he loved. See an excerpt from a Great Bend Tribune obituary below:

The task of finding happiness and seeing love in all things came easy for Michael Keith Mingenback. The recumbent bicyclist, whose mission and purpose on Earth was to marvel at the mystery in all things, spent his retirement crisscrossing North America on treks where he explored the beauty of British Columbia to the wonders of Washington, D.C.

From Yosemite to New York to Niagara, Mike made hundreds of friends along his way. Commandeering his motor home and collection of bicycles to places yet undiscovered, Mike created tales of wanderlust, always encouraging those in his wake to make their own way and listen to their hearts, too. Not only did he fulfill his desire to see and do — he helped others believe, build upon and follow the beauty of their dreams. (Nov. 2, 2009)

Overbrook Trail

A new trail circling the new eight-acre Overbrook City Lake and Jones Park is getting lots of use. The trail was built with federal funds from the National Recreational Trails Program allocated by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. Such funds may also be used to build a connecting trail four blocks south past Santa Fe Trail ruts to the Landon Nature Trail. The Board of Directors of Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy recently created an Overbrook Division which stretches from 141st Street (2 miles north of US 56) south to Lomax (on the Flint Hills Nature Trail and west of Pomona town). The division will develop and maintain this trail segment. It is expected that Karl Umscheid, who is on the Overbrook Recreation Commission, will be the new division superintendent.

Kansas Trail NewsKansas Trail News is published monthly by Clark H. Coan, Public Information Specialist for Sunflower Recreational Trails, P.O. Box 44-2043, Lawrence, KS 66044, 785-842-3458. Reprinted with permission. If you have any trail news you’d like to share, please contact us.

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About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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