Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: June 16, 2011

Kansas Trail News for June 16, 2011 from Sunflower Recreational Trails:

Chanute’s Katy Trail

The City of Chanute has built a rail-trail on the old KATY line called the KATY Hike/Bike Trail. The Kansas-Missouri-Texas Railway (MK&T and affectionately called the KATY), built in 1870 utilizing a federal land grant, was abandoned in 1969. Trails advocate Frank Janzen reports that the 10-foot-wide asphalt path proceeds north 1.25 miles from the KATY Park on the eastern edge of Chanute. The rock ballast on the old railroad bed is still in place for nearly one-half mile south through the 28-acre park. So, it’s possible the trail could be extended south. Also, another proposal is to extend the KATY Hike/Bike Trail north to Humboldt where it could connect with the Prairie Spirit Trail Southern Extension now under development. Since the KATY line has been abandoned and the land has reverted to the adjacent landowners, conservation easements would have to be obtained from willing donors or sellers.

(See also: The Katy Trail in Kansas — What Could Have Been)

Progress On Landon Trail In Topeka

John Purvis, Landon Trail Division Superintendent, reports that contractors for the City of Topeka, “appear to have all but one bridge rebuilt with concrete decks. They have cleared brush all the way to 45th Street. They are replacing culverts along the way also. It appears that they are well on their way to having the project completed to the south city limit and link up with the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy section near milepost 5.5 north of Herrmans Trailhead, by this fall. It is very exciting and will bring many new visitors to the entire KRTC Trail System.”

Concrete has been poured to 37th Street. The 10-foot-wide path intersects the Shunga Trail at a bicycle roundabout near 20th & Kansas Avenue.

Update On Redbud Trail In Wichita

Construction has begun on a segment of the 10-mile Redbud Trail which stretches through Wichita to Andover with completion scheduled for the summer of 2012. The 2.5-mile trail segment is being built in an out-of-service railroad corridor and will run from the Canal Route to the Wichita State campus passing Wesley Medical Center, MacDonald Golf Course, the Kenmar neighborhood and more.

The city is also finishing its design of a path that will link the Gypsum Creek Trail to the Arkansas River path via Chapin and Garvey parks in south Wichita. It is waiting final approval and funding by KDOT. The three-mile path will link west and east Wichita, allowing cyclists to bypass traffic. Chapin Park is a new park located on a former landfill near the Arkansas River.

Blueways Concept

The National Park Service website provides this definition for “Blueways”:

Water Trails/Blueways: National Park Service Partnerships and Resources

Water trails, or Blueways, embody the nexus between rivers and trails. They provide recreational boating opportunities along a river, lake, canal or coastline; most water trails are managed in public-private partnership with the philosophies of environmental stewardship, environmental education, and accessibility for all users. The NPS has helped communities create water trails nationwide for almost two decades.

Fitness Trails With A Twist

Below is an excerpt from KRPA Today (the magazine for members of the Kansas Recreation and Parks Assn.)

The old fitness trails of the 1970s are getting a new look because of the benefits they provide. Gone are the traditional exercise stations with jumping jacks, sit-ups, and push-ups. Today’s play trails offer interactive exhibits throughout the path. Each station has a theme, coordinating activities, and informational signage. Kids learn about transformation of a butterfly while climbing on a caterpillar, gliding down a wing of the insect, or spinning in a chrysalis.

It’s a concept suitable for the entire family. Each play pocket features critters or local flora and fauna. Kids are encouraged to hang from a spider web, ride on a huge ant, or crawl through honeycombs. The relatively new trend is gaining exposure and interests thanks to the interaction it creates amongst families as they discuss their activities on the path to the next pocket.

The Springfield-Green County Park Board and the Springfield School District in Missouri collaborated on the area’s first play trail. The trail includes several play pockets located along South Creek Trail, which runs through Nathanial Greene/Close Memorial Park.

Six Ways Park Systems Can Promote Health And Wellness

The following is excerpted from Land & People, the magazine of the Trust for Public Land.

Six Ways Park Systems Can Promote Health And Wellness

  1. Provide an abundant variety of part activities and programming.
  2. Reduce auto traffic and other stress factors in parks.
  3. Offer beautiful, well-designed parks and playgrounds with good signage.
  4. Create easily accessible parks close to where people live, work and shop.
  5. Link parks to enhance their use for recreation and nonmotorized transportation.
  6. Maximize health benefits through partnerships with friends-of-park groups, hospitals, foundations, and other municipal agencies.

Source: Fitness Zones to the Medical Mile: How Urban Park Systems Can Best Promote Health and Wellness.

Nebraska’s “Boots, Scoot and Boogie” Program

Mary Hanson, Outdoor Recreation Planner for the National Park Service in Omaha, reports that Nebraska equestrians and others have developed a “Boots, Scoot and Boogie” program. This is an educational program for equestrians to be good neighbors to other trail users. Under the program, equestrians stop whenever they see horse apples (even if not from their own horse) and kick them off to the side with their cowboy boots, climb back into the saddle and ride on down the trail. Fast moving bicyclists often cannot avoid horse apples and do not appreciate running over them though they are mostly hay residue.

New Film About Oregon Trail Released

Peter Bradshaw movie reviewer with The Guardian (UK) says “Michelle Williams stars in a bleak, enigmatic and masterful western about families on the Oregon Trail. Kelly Reichardt’s gaunt, mysterious and superbly calibrated movie about pioneers and the old American west appears to have come from another age – from the early days of Malick or Antonioni.”

To read the whole review of “Meek’s Cutoff” go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/apr/14/meeks-cutoff-review

Kansas Trail NewsKansas Trail News is published monthly by Clark H. Coan, Public Information Specialist for Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy, Inc., 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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