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Prairie Spirit Rail Trail News

Things are starting to get busy at the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail State Park, with a number of events planned for the near future:

Prairie Spirit Rail Trail State Park Open House on March 9th

The Prairie Spirit Rail Trail State Park will be having an Open House on March 9th, 2013 from 8 am to 12 noon in the City of Iola at the Riverside Park Community Building (600 South State Street).

— David Toland of Thrive Allen County will be giving a power point presentation at 10 am on its variety of community activities, including the Prairie Spirit Trail extension from Cofachique Park to Riverside Park within the City of Iola, and new construction of the Southwind Rail Trail that travels from the City of Iola to the City of Humboldt.

— Kristi Lee from the Franklin County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Mary Lou Ruppert from the Garnett Chamber of Commerce will have information about activities, events, and organizations within the Franklin County and Anderson County areas. The Iola Chamber of Commerce will have information available about the City of Iola and the City of Iola will have a map of the proposed Cottonwood Trail that would travel East from the Prairie Spirit Trail within Iola.

Allen County Hospital will have representatives on hand to take blood pressure and body mass index for a quick health evaluation and what these numbers mean to you.

— The Friends of the Prairie Spirit Trail will provide snacks and information on how you can join the group and get involved in helping the trail.

— No daily use fee will be required to ride on the Prairie Spirit Trail on March 9th.

Any questions about the event can be directed to the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail State Park at 785-448-6767. Information provided by Trail Manager Trent McCown .

Prairie Spirit Trail Garnett

The Historic Railroad Depot along the Prairie Spirit Trail in Garnett, Kansas


Prairie Spirit Trail Ultra Marathon

Prairie Spirit Trail Ultra Marathon 2013There is a new running event happening on the trail this year. The Prairie Spirit Trail 100 & 50 Mile Ultra Races will take place on Saturday, March 23, 2013, starting in Ottawa.

It is hoped that the Ultra Marathon becomes an annual event.


17th Annual Trail Celebration

The Friends of the Prairie Spirit Trail will be having the 17th Annual Trail Celebration on March 27, 2013 in Garnett. This event is an annual fund raiser for trail projects and is hosted in the Garnett Community building, located trail-side in the North Lake Park in Garnett. Activities include silent auction and buffet dinner ($10.00). For more information contact (785) 448-6767


Trail Facility Status

According to the KDWPT: “Trail restrooms in Princeton, Richmond, Welda, Colony and Carlyle have been closed for the season and will reopen in April. Trail restrooms in Garnett, Located in the Adjacent Historic Depot, are open year-round. The Historic Depot Museum, located trail side in Ottawa, will be closed for the months of January and February and will reopen in March.”


Trail Fees

A per-person trail permit is required to ride the Prairie Spirit Trail (except the portions within the city limits of Garnett, Ottawa, and Iola). A $3.50 self-issued day permit is available at trailheads, and annual permits are available for $12.15 online, where KDWPT licenses and permits are sold, and from local vendors in the communities along the trail.

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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]

6 responses to “Prairie Spirit Rail Trail News”

  1. mike says:

    probably worth noting the marathon is a Running, not Cycling event, in case anyone is easily confused as I am 🙂

  2. Randy Rasa says:

    Oops! You’re right. I’ve added that to the post. Thanks, Mike!

  3. mike says:

    Thanks. I think the distance threw me off, thinking century/half-century. Wasn’t sure why they used the word marathon … and when I visited the site I found out!

    That’s a pretty long distance run isn’t it? I guess I hadn’t heard of these 4x marathons before.

    1 mile or 100, it it’s running, I’ll pass 🙂

  4. Randy Rasa says:

    There is an UltraMarathon Cycling Association, so yeah, the word “marathon” doesn’t automatically imply running, I suppose. I’m with you, though: I’m not a big runner. Running 100 miles is really hard to fathom…

  5. Rocky says:

    Ultramarathons have been around forever. In fact, the original run of of Pheidippides (from Sparta to “Marathon”) was actually something like 150 miles ran in two days (there is still a race in Greece today on that same route). Our culture has just heard little about them until recently. The running “industry” as a whole only recently started to embrace them. For example, Runners World magazine only recently got on board as the ultramarathon popularity increased (partly due to best selling books such as Dean Karnazes’ “Ultramarathon Man” and Christopher McDougall’s “Born to Run”)

    I personally became interested in ultramarathons (started training in 2006) because it is was so rare (everyone seemed to be running marathons and so I wanted to train for something more difficult). I also liked the idea that you could slow down, stop competeing, and just push yourself to keep going. The cool thing about ultras is that very few people try to win them. It is just about each individual pushing themselves and encouraging others to do the best they can.

  6. Randy Rasa says:

    Thanks, Rocky! Seems to be similar in a lot of ways to the idea of randonneuring in cycling.