Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: September 24, 2012

Kansas Trail News for September 24, 2012 from Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy:

State National Recreational Trails Program To Receive $2 Million

The State of Kansas has opted out of the National Recreational Trails Program ostensibly to increase flexibility for funding for the program. These federal funds are administered by the Kansas Dept. of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Originally, $1.3 million was allocated, but now $2 million will be available. Kansas received a total of $12.8 million from 1993 through 2011 in NRTP funds to help pay for 269 trails projects. It is hoped that KDWPT will issue grant guidelines which will allow nonprofits to obtain grants. That is why nonprofits are urged to contact KDWPT now and request that the guidelines: (1) allow nonprofits to qualify; (2) not require expensive engineering studies or standards; (3) not require inclusion of a trail project in a five-year master plan; and, (4) not require that grant recipients come up with the money upfront and then be reimbursed after it is built.

Walnut Valley Metric Bike Ride Sept. 30

The Walnut Valley Metric Bike Ride will be held on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 9:00 am at the Winfield Recreation Center, 624 College St., Winfield. There are 35 and 65 mile routes through scenic Cowley County. Proceeds will go to Prairie Travelers, Inc. which manages the 8-mile Prairie Sunset Trail. Last year approximately $3,000 was raised for the organization.

Ecotourism Steering Committee Created

Governor Sam Brownback has formed a Kansas Ecotourism Steering Committee to help guide ecotourism efforts in Kansas. ”Based on jobs, tourism overall is the third-largest industry in Kansas, and has a total economic impact of more than $5.4 billion. In 2011, more than 790,000 people participated in wildlife-watching activities in Kansas, and made more than $208 million in trip-related purchases .” (Office of the Governor news release Sept. 19, 2012).

Unfortunately, there is not a single trail advocate on the 16-member committee.

Douglas County Supports Agritourism

The Douglas County Commission is poised to adopt this definition of “Agritourism”:

“Agritourism is the intersection of agriculture and tourism, when the public visits rural areas for recreation, education, enjoyment, entertainment, adventure or relaxation. Agritourism uses the rural experience as a tool for economic development.”

The sponsor of the amendment believes it will “allow landowners to bypass site plan proposals for activities like farmers’ markets, small-scale ancillary retail sales, winery tours, event rental or farm stays. Instead there would be areas zoned for such agriculture/tourism activities, and the county codes and planning departments would review their use.”

Flint Hills Trail Run Raises $800

Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy volunteer Darin Schneidewin of Lyndon reports that he organized a run on the Flint Hills Nature Trail from Vassar to Quenemo on August 18 to celebrate his birthday. The $803 raised by 27 runners was donated to KRTC. Also, KRTC director Kareem King of Osage City reports that a nursing home resident who uses a wheelchair closely follows the progress of the FHNT and wants to go on the trail. King plans to take him to a trail segment so he can travel on it. He is very excited about this.

City Of Bushong To Lease Trail Segment

Scott Allen, Vice President of Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy, reports that the City of Bushong is planning to lease the Flint Hills Nature Trail within its city limits. The City plans to mow and otherwise maintain the trail segment plus it may install facilities for trail users. Bushong is located in Lyon County north of Emporia.

Hiking In The Chippewa Hills

Many Kansans have never heard of the scenic and wooded Chippewa Hills which lie six miles west of Ottawa. The hills are high above the Marais Des Cygnes River. Camp Chippewa is nestled in the hills and is a 640-acre United Methodist Church camp (the public can rent it as well). There are various nature trails through the oak-hickory forest on the camp and if one gets permission from the caretaker, one can hike the trails when the camp is not in use. Nearby is the 1839 Chippewa Indian Cemetery. There was a Chippewa and Munsee Reservation in the Chippewa Hills at one time. Directions to the camp: go West on K-68 from Ottawa five miles to Idaho Rd and then go South (Left) for about two miles. Go East (Left) until you reach the caretaker’s house. To reach the cemetery, go south on Idaho Rd. about 1 mile to Labette Rd. Then go East (Left) for ¾ mi; North (Left) on Idaho Terr. for about ½ mile. Where the road turns Right (East) go straight ahead on the dead-end road. The road and cemetery are open to the public. To download a map of the camp (and its nature trails), go to: http://www.kansaseast.org/pages/detail/1082

Kansas Trail NewsKansas Trail News is published 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.

Note from Kansas Cyclist: Sorry for the lateness of this post!

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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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