Kansas Trail News for November 18, 2013, via Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy:
Iola Trails To Connect With Southwind Rail Trail
Thrive Allen County has applied for a grant to build a trail from the Southwind Rail Trail to a low water bridge on Elm Creek that is a fishing area. The 1/4-mile trail will be built on an abandoned railroad spur just south of the historic railroad bridge. Currently, the fishing area is isolated from the rest of Iola and is only accessible via a busy highway. The new side trail will enable community residents to travel to the fishing area safely away from traffic. This makes the project especially important for Iola’s children and young adults.
Another side trail called the MOPAC Trail is also being built on an abandoned railroad bed which follows the Coon Creek Canal from the Southwind Rail Trail to downtown Iola. Special signs will point trail users to facilities in downtown Iola.
Plus, with Iola Rotary Club grant money, and the talent and equipment of local volunteers, the picnic shelter on the Southwind Rail Trail is now complete. It will be an Oasis for walkers and bikers for many years to come.
Finally, the City of Iola recently approved having their staff work with Thrive Allen County to study the feasibility of a trail on top of the levee at Riverside Park. This levee is a loop that links to the Southwind Rail Trail in two places. Length of the proposed trail is about one mile.
The Southwind Rail Trail division of Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy maintains and manages the trail. Thrive and its partners built the Southwind Rail Trail in just one year which is a record for a Kansas rails-to-trails project.
Mary Hanson Leaves Position At National Park Service
Mary Hanson has left her position as Outdoor Recreation Planner with the Omaha regional office of the National Park Service to work for her husband. She was responsible for helping many trail groups in Kansas, including helping SRTC prepare the new State Rail-Trails Plan. She will be sorely missed.
Emporia State Article On Rail-Trails
The Center for Great Plains Studies at Emporia State University emails out articles on topics of interest to Kansas K-12 teachers which they may use in a school lesson. The fall 2013 edition of Tales Out of School features Kansas rail-trails. See: http://www.emporia.edu/
Salida, Colorado: A Bikable Colorado Town
The town of Salida, Colorado (pop. 5,500) in the Collegiate Peaks District two hours southwest of Colorado Springs is very bikable and many residents do in fact bike around town. There are two short rail-trails and not a lot of traffic except during peak tourism season and it is flat. There are three bike shops. Many residents don’t even lock their bikes and if a bike does go missing, it can usually be found somewhere else in the small town.
Marquette Pioneer Trail Dedication
The Marquette Pioneer Trail was dedicated on Saturday October 26, 2013. The City added a nature trail along a dry creek in the east part of town which merges into the Marquette Pioneer Trail.
Fred Peterson, Marquette City Clerk, reports that the “City also changed the configuration of the trail. The trail now runs from the black top at 6th Avenue going west to a point just east of the metal grain elevators and then goes south on the nature trail to 5th Street and then west 4 blocks to Jackson Street and then north 2 blocks to 6th Street and then west 2 blocks on 6th Street and then north past the rodeo grounds and then west again on the railroad bed to 4th Avenue. Total length is 2.6 miles.”
The asphalt millings seem to be working well as a trail surface.
Progress On The Sunflower Santa Fe Trail
The Sunflower Santa Fe Trail east of Galva has been bladed. So when the Galva Friends of the Trail finished with their work day on Nov 16th this one-mile section is now ready for the limestone screening to be hauled in and the trail segment completed. When finished there will be two miles east and west of Galva. “In McPherson County, the Meadowlark Trail is a rail trail project that runs 12 miles from Hess Park, in McPherson, to the Valkommen Trail in Lindsborg. Currently the first four miles north of McPherson are finished, and the trail is passable in primitive condition for two miles south of Lindsborg. The trail also crosses the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway in Lindsborg.” (Source: Kansas! Magazine, Winter 2013).
Redbud Trail Update
David Levy with the group developing the Redbud Trail between Augusta and Andover reports the following:
“We wrapped up the season with our fourth work day on the trail two weeks ago. We have had solid attendance each work day, about 20-25 people. Also, we just took delivery of some signs that we will be putting up in Andover where major roads cross the trail. We used grant money from the Central Kansas Community Foundation to pay for the signs, and the City of Andover is going to put them up for us. The goal of the signs is to promote awareness of the Redbud Trail in Andover and hopefully increase usage.”
Home On The Range Cabin Nature Trail
The 1872 cabin of Dr. Brewster Higley, author of the famous folk song “Home on the Range”, has been restored: “A massive restoration of the cabin, including the loft, was completed in July…Work continues on the development of a nature trail that will be finished in time for the cabin’s re-dedication during a three-day celebration on October 3-5, 2014.” Information can be found at thehomeontherange.com (Source: Kansas! Magazine, Winter 2013)