Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: April 8, 2014

Kansas Trail News for April 8, 2014, via Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy:

Switchgrass Trail At Wilson Lake

“The only trail system in Kansas to be labeled an ‘Epic’ trail by the International Mountain Bicycling Assn., the Switchgrass Trail is a 21-mile set of loops that takes in really cool geologic formations and almost always has a great view of Wilson Lake (near Russell) to look at as well. The trail itself is suitable for all levels of experience, and there are only a few really technical sections. This is the best trail system in Central Kansas for sure.” –-Kansas Outdoors Magazine, 2014.

Overbrook Trailhead Dedication May 10

There will be a dedication of the Overbrook Trailhead of the Landon Trail on Saturday May 10 at 10:00 am at the south Maple St. (main street) trailhead. After the ribbon-cutting, there will be a bike ride/walk on the trail segment. A side trail could be built from the trail section to the Overbrook Cemetery where Santa Fe Trail ruts may be seen. The Landon Trail is the only rail-trail in America that links the Oregon Trail with the Santa Fe Trail. The trailhead and trail segment were partially funded by the Lattner Family Foundation. Come join in the fun!

Lawrence Trail To Open In May

The new Outside for a Better Inside Trail at the Sandra J. Shaw Community Health Park will open in May in central Lawrence. The trail will be a concrete recreational path that circles around a lovely lake. It will link Burcham Park which lies along the Kaw River with re-created wetlands, the old stone 1870s Waldruff Brewery building and a ball park north of Lawrence Memorial Hospital. There is also a log cabin near the lake built after 1930 and a small private zoo which operated on the site from c. 1937 until the 1951 flood. The path for the eight-foot-wide trail is now over 2/3 done. Once the trail is complete, the land will be deeded over to the City. This will be a great community asset. Thanks are due to Bert Nash which will donate the land and John McGrew whose group Outside for a Better Inside, who raised the funds for the trail. Westar’s Green Team is also planning to build a gazebo that will overlook the lake. A trail dedication is tentatively scheduled for May 2.

Rock Chalk Park Trails Masterplan Approved

The Lawrence City Commission is poised to adopt a Trail Master Plan for the new Rock Chalk Park in northwest Lawrence. The trails will be constructed and maintained by the project contractor as part of the development agreement for the site. The total trail system will be over five miles. About 3.3 miles of scenic trails will be constructed in the wooded area north and west of the recreation center. They will be constructed of crushed asphalt. Further, a City of Lawrence staff memo states: There are nearly 2 miles of 10-foot wide concrete shared use paths on the site (blue & purple lines). These paths have multiple connecting points to the nature trails and will provide some very nice paved loops on the site for walkers and family fitness outings. These paths will also provide bicycle and pedestrian access to the Rock Chalk Park facilities from neighboring residential areas. These paths will connect to existing shared use paths along George Williams Way, which connects to 6th street and Overland Drive paths. They will also provide connectivity to the SLT path that circles the City’s west and south sides.

Sunflower Santa Fe Trail Progresses

Joye Walker of Central Kansas Conservancy reports that on March 14 the “last load of limestone was brought in to the Sunflower Santa Fe Trail east of Galva. The limestone starts at the little bridge just outside of the city limits on the trail and goes to the mile road. Tuesday it was bladed and is needing rain to pack it more. Presently there are no signs up yet, but please go out and enjoy this new section on trail!!! Special Thanks goes to the McPherson County Community Foundation, Williams Energy, The Mowbray Metric group, the Central Kansas Conservancy and an anonymous donor. When more funds are available limestone will be purchased to go from the bridge to the east edge of Galva.” Now, there are now two miles of screenings down in and around Galva and four miles going north from McPherson on the Meadowlark Trail.

Topeka Landon Trail Segment To Open

Bill Lucero with the Kaw Valley Bicycle Club reports that Shawnee County Parks is planning to install within the next few weeks a crushed limestone on the section of the Landon Nature Trail between SE 45th and SE 51th where Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy has a crushed limestone surface. This will enable trail users to go travel 13 miles from the trailhead at 17th& Monroe all the way to the Clinton Wildlife Area. A dedication for this new section will be held in May.

Southwind Rail Trail Has Facebook Page

The 6.5-mile Southwind Rail Trail which connects with the Prairie Spirit Trail in Iola now has a Facebook page.

Design Workshop Public Meeting For Flint Hills Trail Set

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy have scheduled another meeting to allow citizens to offer input and ideas on the development of the Flint Hills Nature Trail. The meeting in Osage City will be 5-7:30 p.m. April 21, at the Osage City community building, 517 S. First St. It is open to the public and comments are being actively solicited at the design workshop meetings.

Prairie Sunset Trail May Be Extended East To Wichita

According to newspaper reports, efforts are underway to extend the Prairie Sunset Trail east from 167th west of Wichita into Wichita at 119th on an undeveloped out-of-service railbanked rail corridor. This would make for a 12-mile rail-trail and enable Wichita residents to travel safely to Goddard and Garden Plain. City Council member Jeff Blubaugh wants to see the trail extended east through his city council district.

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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