Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: May 27, 2014

Kansas Trail News for May 27, 2014, via Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy:

Kanopolis State Park Trails Featured In Midwest Living

The June issue of Midwest Living lists 13 great hikes in the Midwest and the first ones they list are the ones in Kanopolis State Park with a large photograph:

“Kanopolis State Park, Marquette, Kansas. Glimpses of the American Southwest emerge via sandstone canyons and bluffs in this remote state park in central Kansas. Start on the Buffalo Track Canyon Nature Trail at Trailhead C, and follow it 0.75 miles through a flower-filled meadow, where you’ll pick up the Horsethief Canyon Trail. On that looping 5.5-mile hike, you rock-hop across Buffalo creek, pass caves and climb over sandstone slabs to a stunning view of the prairie below.”

Home On The Range Cabin Renovation Complete

The Home on the Range cabin renovation is now complete. The 1875 cabin is on the homestead of Dr. Brewster Higley who wrote the lyrics in 1871 to the state song. A re-dedication will be this October. A trail around the old homestead is being developed. Learn more at Kansas.com.

Sunflower Santa Fe Trail Featured In Rails to Trails Magazine

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy magazine Rails to Trails features the Sunflower Santa Fe Trail which stretches between Marion and McPherson. Read online.

Missouri Poised To Integrate Biking, Walking In Transportation Funding

“The Missouri Senate passed a historic transportation funding proposal by a vote of 22 to 10. If adopted by Missouri voters in November, it will be the first time in Missouri history to completely integrate bicycling, walking, transit, and other modes of transportation alongside roads and highways in Missouri’s state transportation funding system.

The transportation program will be funded from a transportation sales tax of ¾ cent. It includes language specifically listing bicycling and walking as transportation modes that can be funded with the new MoDOT, city, and county transportation funds the tax will generate.

That will become law, and bicycling and walking will be enshrined in the Missouri Constitution, if the transportation funding proposal is approved by Missouri voters in November 2014.”

New Rails-With-Trails Report Released

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has issued a new report on Rails-WITH-Trails. There are now 188 trails in 42 states that include mileage along active rail lines. These include the Kansas’ Sunflower SF Trail and Whistle Stop Trail in Elkhart, Kansas.

Trail Running Popularity Increases

The sport of trail running is continuing to increase in popularity. It provides a technical challenge since runners have to navigate roots and rocks, but they also get to enjoy the scenery. Trail Runner Magazine featured two Lawrence trails for trail running: the Kaw River Trails and Clinton Lake’s North Shore Trail. These are some of the best mountain biking trails in the Midwest.

Interpretative Signs On Rail-Trails

Henry Fortunato, Director of Public Affairs for the Kansas City, MO Public Library and a Humanities adjunct professor at KU is promoting what he calls “Applied Humanities”. On such idea is to have his students prepare interpretative signs for rail-trails to increase awareness of historic and natural features and boost trail use. Since many of the state’s rail-trails are not particularly scenic, other methods for increasing trail attractiveness include interpretative signs. Rail-trails that might have interpretative sign projects include the Burroughs Creek/Haskell Trail in Lawrence, the Prairie Spirit Trail, and the Flint Hills Nature Trail.

Sweden’s Vision Zero Program

The Swedish Parliament adopted in 1997 a program to work toward a goal of no loss of life concerning pedestrians and cyclists. Now, New York City is adopting this program. http://www.visionzeroinitiative.com/en/Concept/

Wilderness Act Celebrates 50 Years

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act, the landmark conservation bill that created a way for Americans to protect their most pristine wildlands for future generations. The 1964 Wilderness Act, written by The Wilderness Society’s Howard Zahniser, created the National Wilderness Preservation System, which protects nearly 110 million acres of wilderness areas from coast to coast.

Key language in the Act:

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

“An area of wilderness is further defined to mean an area of underdeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions.”

Some of the more famous wilderness areas include Death Valley, Frank Church-River of No Return, Selway-Bitterroot, Bob Marshall, Olympic, Sequoia-Kings, Buffalo National River, Canyon, John Muir, Teton, Gila, and Pecos National Wilderness Areas. There are eight National Wilderness Areas in Missouri, including Piney Creek Wilderness.

“This anniversary is a wonderful chance to celebrate all that’s been achieved for wilderness in the past 50 years and remind Americans of all that we can achieve in the next 50.”


“The 2014 Farm Bill, which became law in February, contains important new provisions that provide more opportunities for land conservation in Kansas. Many of the former Farm Bill conservation programs have been rolled into a new program called the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. The ACEP will provide up to 50% of the purchase price for a land trust’s purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on qualified agricultural land. For grasslands of special significance (Flint Hills and Smoky Hills), the ACEP may provide up to 75% of the conservation easement purchase price. Congress has appropriated $2 billion to support Farm Bill conservation programs over the next 5 years. We’re excited about these new programs and we look forward to helping Kansas landowners utilize ACEP to protect the land they love.“ (Notes from the Prairie, E-news from the Kansas Land Trust, Vol 2, nos 1 + 2, May, 2014)

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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