Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: February 8, 2013

Kansas Trail News for February 8, 2013 from Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy:

Meadowlark Trail Has Two Miles Of Screenings Down

Joye Walker reports that the 13-mile Meadowlark Trail stretching between McPherson to Lindsborg now has limestone screenings on the first two miles going north from McPherson. This is a milestone for this longtime rails-to-trails project. It will connect with the Välkommen Trail in Lindsborg.

Iola-Humboldt Trail Has New Name

Jay Kretzmeier reports the following: “Update from the South — Most all of the brush and trees have been cleared between Humboldt and Iola. Volunteers have worked almost every Saturday since mid-May. Bridge fencing will soon start. Grading may also be close at hand. While the actual ownership is not theirs, the volunteers have voted to name this section the “Southwind Rail Trail” South denoting its position to the PSRT, Southwind because of those prevailing breezes, and Southwind because this geographic area already has that designation by the Kansas State University Office of Extension. The Iola Rotary Club is applying for a Rotary grant and if funded will build a shelter on the trail somewhere close to the middle. It will also be built with all volunteer labor so that part may take a little longer to finish. I am more enthused each passing week. The bridge over Elm Creek is so unique people may come long distances just to see it. This project seems to be a model project of grant resources, limited government support, and community volunteers coming together. I hope it may serve as an example for other projects across the state.”

Update: David Toland, Executive Director of Thrive Allen County, reports that the rock ballast has been graded 6.5-mile rail corridor and crushed limestone will be installed this spring. The railings on done on the Rock Creek bridge and the remaining bridge will have railings installed soon. It is hoped to have the trail completed by National Trails Day in June. Clark Coan with Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy (which holds the railbanking to the trail corridor) states that “no rail-trail project in Kansas has been completed this fast and is a remarkable feat. The volunteers should be congratulated on their hard work.”

Court Decision On Kansas Reversion Law

John Rosacker with KDOT’s Rail and Freight Unit reports that there has been a court decision that nullifies part of Kansas Railroad Law. Previously all fully abandoned rail corridors reverted to adjoiners, but an appeals court ruled that if the rail corridor was owned in fee simple by the railroad it does not revert. For example, there is a line between McCracken and Healy which has been abandoned and the railroad has filed a release to all claims to the title, but apparently the railroad still owns the corridor. This could impact other rail corridors, especially those acquired through federal land grants.

Big Multi-Site Event Proposed For National Trails Day

A state official has proposed that large multi-site events be held on National Trails Day on the Prairie Spirit Trail, Flint Hills Nature Trail and Landon Nature Trail and other trails to promote the state’s rail-trails. Hundreds of trails enthusiasts would participate in events. One such location could be the intersection of the Prairie Spirit Trail and Flint Hills Trail in Ottawa. It’s even possible that Governor Brownback and his family could walk or ride on a rail-trail.

Contest To Build Trails To Central KC Proposed

Dale Crawford with KanBikeWalk has proposed that Kansas and Missouri enter into a friendly contest to see which state can build connecting trails from the Katy Trail and Flint Hills Nature Trail to central Kansas City, Missouri.

Kaw Heritage Park Improvements Proposed

The Kaw Nation that they had applied for a TE grant to construct huts, a visitor pavilion and establish primitive camping sites at the Al-a-ga-wa-ho Park. The Flint Hills Nature Trail runs through the park, 3.5 miles southeast of Council Grove. This will allow trail users to camp when walking or riding on the 117-mile rail-trail.

Dogs On Leashes On Trails

The general policy for the state’s rail-trails is to require that dogs be on leashes. This policy has been adopted for many reasons: loose dogs can frighten children or horses. Plus, recently a dog was caught in an illegal trap placed within a rail-trail corridor.

Recreational Trails Program Grant Applications

29 applications were submitted for National Recreational Trails Program grants in November. Below are the rail-trail projects:

  • Blue River Rail Trail (6.5 mi.), Marshall Co, $63,050 (additional grants)
  • Katy Hike & Bike Trail, Chanute, $56,000
  • Mo-Pac Trail, Iola, $250,700
  • Flint Hills Nature Trail, Osawatomie-Council Grove, $1,000,000
  • Landon Nature Trail, Richland-Overbrook, $500,000

A total of $4.6 was requested, but only $2 million is available. Those who do not receive funding can apply again next year.

Lodging Along The State’s Trails

Kareen King with Kanza reports that it is possible to rent rooms in private homes (or even rent small houses or cabins) along the Sunflower State’s trails. She is planning to list her house near Osage City and the Flint Hills Nature Trail on http://www.airbnb.com/. Long-distance trail users will be able to find lodging by using this website.

Hiking, Backpacking And Horseback-Riding In The Flint Hills

Check out this new website http://www.flinthillsadventures.com/:

A unique partnership among ranchers, recreation and the hospitality services providers to bring you a brand new, hassle-free vacation and recreation experience in the Kansas Flint Hills. Not your ordinary vacation or recreation experience, Flint Hills Vacations is designed to be valuable — fun, educational and relaxing.

With a single call or email, Flint Hills Vacations organizes your experience of the Flint Hills to satisfy your interests and your budget. So, come and …

  • Walk or hike the Flint Hills as a guest of one of our rancher-members and enjoy the comfort and friendliness of our accommodations member while experiencing the unique cuisine of the Flint Hills
  • Ride your own horse or let us provide you one to experience the Flint Hills from horseback at one or more of our rancher-members’ ranches
  • Enjoy time with our ranchers and learn about how their way of life while enjoying the beautiful outdoors and learning about how they conserve the Flint Hills
  • Watch beautiful sunsets and sunrises over the rolling hills … and bring your telescope to stargaze the beautiful unpolluted night skies
  • Listen to the prairie birds sing and enjoy the beauty of the wild flowers and the tallgrass

We are in the process of bringing you the best, fun-filled, relaxing and educational recreation and vacation experience you have ever had!

Please stay tuned! We shall complete construction soon. Meanwhile, if you need information, send email to info@flinthillsvacations.com.

Pittsburg State Students Building Shelter For Transamerica Bicycle Trail Users

Construction students at two colleges and a high school are spearheading a project to make the southeastern Kansas community of Pittsburg a more welcoming place for hundreds of cross-country bicycle riders who stop in the city each year. Hundreds of riders still stream through Pittsburg each spring and summer as they follow the trail. But the city has no designated camping site, shower or restroom for them, leading those who choose to stop in the city to pitch tents in Lincoln Park and shower at the Pittsburg Aquatic Center or the YMCA if those buildings are open. [read more]

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