Location: AL

Southwind Rail Trail Grand Opening

Southwind Rail TrailThe Southwind Rail Trail held its official grand opening ceremony on June 8th, and there was a nice turn-out, with over 100 people present for the ribbon-cutting, most of whom stayed to walk and ride the train for the very first time.

The Southwind Rail Trail is Kansas’ newest rail-trail, about 6.5 miles between Iola and Humboldt. The Southwind Rail Trail connects to the Prairie Spirit Trail, making for an uninterrupted trail corridor of about 57 miles, or even more, if you connect with the Flint Hills Nature Trail in Ottawa.

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend this event, so have a few photos to share:

Southwind Rail Trail Grand Opening 2013-06

This is a portion of the crowd at the grand opening. The event featured speakers from Iola, Humboldt, Allen County, Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy, and the Sunflower Foundation.

Southwind Rail Trail Elm Creek Bridge 2013-06

This is the Elm Creek Bridge, a wonderful example of the strength and beauty of many of the old railroad bridges in Kansas. The railings are new, and were hand-crafted by a local artisan especially for the trail.

Southwind Rail Trail Riders 2013-06

The surface of the Southwind Rail Trail is one of the smoothest and widest I’ve ever experienced on a rail-trail. Kudos to the volunteers, and Allen County personnel for their outstanding work!

Southwind Rail Trail Rules 2013-06

This sign explains the rules of the trail.

Southwind Rail Trail Humboldt Trailhead 2013-06

At Humboldt, there is a trailhead parking area.

Southwind Rail Trail Elm Creek Bridge 2012-10

For reference, this is a look at the Elm Creek bridge in October 2012. At that time, the corridor had been cleared, but was still very rough in places. It’s amazing how much was accomplished in such a short amount of time.

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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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