Kansas Trail News for October 18, 2015, via Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy (also available as PDF):
Katy Trail to be Completed to KC!
Kansas City will be connected to famous Katy Trail within just two years. The 48-mile Rock Island State Trail and a new 17.7-mile rails-WITH-trails path will allow KC residents to travel from the Truman Sports Complex in Northeast Kansas City to the Katy Trail at Windsor. The Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources is overseeing the construction of the Rock Island State Trail rail-trail. The extension will make the Katy Trail about 290 miles in length, stretching from Machens, MO (North of St. Louis) to Northeast Kansas City.
Significantly, Jackson County (Missouri) and the KC Area Transit Authority are wrapping up the purchase of a 17.7-mile rail line stretching from Lees Summit to the Truman Sports Complex. A rails-WITH-trails path will be built within the right-of-way as the rail line may be used for commuter rail service. Construction on the trail can begin in just seven months as $10 million in federal funds have already been allocated. Also, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has announced that he would like to see the 117-mile Flint Hills Nature Trail (which terminates at Osawatomie) be connected with the Katy Trail. It is unclear how this would be accomplished but it could be a combination rails-WITH-trails path (32 miles in a Union Pacific corridor) with a path within a roadway (20 miles on M-58). So, some day trail users may be able to travel 390 miles all the way from Herington, KS to St. Louis!
Sunflower, Kanza to hold Annual Meetings in November
Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy will be holding its annual meeting in Iola on November 7. The meeting will start at 11:00 am at El Charro, a Mexican restaurant. David Toland with Thrive Allen County will be the keynote speaker, and will discuss Allen County’s growing network of trails, including the Lehigh Portland Trails, the Mo-Pac Trail, the Prairie Spirit Trail, and the Southwind Rail Trail.
Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy will hold its annual meeting on November 14 in Ottawa at Smoked Creations. Jeff Bender with KDWPT will be the keynote speaker. Registration begins at 10:30 am. Lunch is $11.00 and RSVP by emailing email@example.com. All trails enthusiasts are invited to attend these meetings. Field trips to area rail-trails will be held after the meetings.
Franklin County Deputies to Patrol Trails on Bikes
The Franklin County Sheriff has announced that deputies will be patrolling both the Flint Hills Nature Trail and Prairie Spirit Trail within the county. The County has recently purchased three bicycles for use by deputies. Safety patrols will be able to help trail users experiencing problems and enforce rules such as the ban on motorized vehicles and shooting. Plus, they will help deter vandalism.
Lawrence to Create 22-mile trail Loop
The City of Lawrence will soon have about 75% of a 22-mile trail loop completed by next July. The trail primarily goes on the outskirts of the city. More than one-half of the loop is composed of a separate multiuse path along the South Lawrence Trafficway. Other components include the Burroughs Creek Trail, Haskell Rail-Trail, a new trail along the Kansas River called the Burcham Park Trail, Outside for a Better Inside Trail and the Baldwin Creek Trail. This trail loop will likely be completed within five more years and is a milestone in urban trail systems in Kansas.
Burcham Park Trail in Lawrence to be completed by December
The Burcham Park Trail in Lawrence will be completed by December 1 according to Mark Hecker with Lawrence Parks and Recreation. The 2/3-mile trail will now be constructed with concrete. Originally, parks and recreation officials thought that asphalt millings would be sufficient for most of the path, but they later decided that due to frequent flooding, it would be better to have a concrete surface.
The path, which will link up with the new Outside for a Better Inside Trail with one trailhead at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, will run to downtown. The Sunflower Foundation provided a $49,775 matching grant (20%) and the City allocated $136,825 from a sales tax reserve fund.
Although this trail is just five blocks from downtown Lawrence, it is worlds away in terms of leaving the hustle and bustle of the city behind for a lush forest along the Kaw River.