Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: June 2017

Kansas Trail News for June 2017, via Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy (also available as PDF):

Rush the Rails Set for Oct. 7 on Flint Hills Nature Trail

Rush the Rails will be a major event on the Flint Hills Nature Trail this October 7. Participants will be able to run, pedal, jog, walk, or scoot in an unbelievable adventure on one of Kansas’ best outdoor resources. You and your family can travel on any portion of or all of the trail between Osawatomie and Council Grove. For now, mark your calendars for Saturday, Oct. 7th and plan to join in one-of-a-kind Kansas adventure! Check out the Rush the Rails FB page for details or the website: www.rushtherails.com

Up to 1,000 participants are expected for the event which is being organized by Dirty Kanza Productions, the folks who produce the famous Dirty Kanza bike ride through the Flint Hills. The purpose of Rush the Rails is to acquaint the public with the trail and serve as a soft opening of the trail.


Woman Walks Kansas City, South to North

According to a recent article in the KC Star (5/13/17) Maggie Finefrock, 64, on Labor Day weekend, 2015, walked the length of Kansas City primarily using existing recreational paths such as the Blue River Trail, Trolley Trail, Riverfront Heritage Trail and Line Creek Linear Path. The 42-mile journey took three days. There are short gaps between the trails which could be bridged at some point to allow for a continuous north-south trail. The planned Rock Island Trail from Pleasant Hill to the Truman Sports Complex will also be another North-South option.

Prairie Sunset Trail Continues to Make Progress

Ruth Holiday with Prairie Travelers which is building and maintaining the Prairie Sunset Trail stretching 12 miles from Wichita to Garden Plain reports that on a summer day over 70 trail users travel on the trail which has ten bridges, a tunnel, and a covered bridge. The organization is working with the City of Wichita to build a low-water crossing on Cowskin Creek (the City removed the trestle in 2005). This will allow the trail to be extended to Hoover Road, making for a total of 15 miles. They are also asking the City to deck the Big Ditch Bridge to connect the trail eastward. Thanks to a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation they have printed a new brochure. They have also applied for a Doppelt Family Grant to apply additional limestone on six of the eight original miles.

Free Bike Sharing Program Established in Iola

The Allen County Bike Share Program is now up and running in Iola. The bikes were purchased through Iola’s new bike store Velo+. Under the program anyone can use a bike by presenting an ID at either Thrive Allen County office or WaveFire Games located on the square in downtown Iola. The Iola vicinity has four rail-trails, including the popular Southwind Rail Trail.


Update on Meadowlark Trail

Michele Cullen with Central Kansas Conservancy (CKC) which is building the Meadowlark Trail stretching 13 miles between Lindsborg and McPherson reports that the district judge Marilyn M. Wilder is about to issue a clarification on her previous positive ruling in favor of CKC that the organization has a clear right to build and maintain a trail within the corridor. CKC had to bring a quiet title action in district court last year because adjacent landowners were refusing to allow volunteers to build a five-mile section of the federally-railbanked rail corridor. However, the judge’s decision is likely to be appealed by landowners and the appeals process will take one to two years. Meanwhile, CKC continues to maintain the undisputed, developed portion of the trail and even enhances it with things like a covered bridge. CKC is able to get youth groups to help with maintenance and there is an informal project coordinator. Support in Lindsborg is continuing to grow.

Majestic Tree Saved by City of Lawrence

The Lawrence City Commission is poised to approve spending $58,000 to purchase a lot containing a bur oak tree which could be 200 years old. The tree is 73 feet in height and 8 feet in diameter. The tract will be added to Brook Creek Park in far east Lawrence. The tree is similar in size to three ancient trees in Council Grove:

  • Historic Bur Oak (1694) — Located at Baker’s Market at 115 E. Main in Council Grove. The original grove of trees for which the town was named was a mile in width and contained a variety of species.
  • Historic Bur Oak (1773) — Located east of the city park shelter houses in Council Grove.
  • Historic Bur Oak (1776) — Located in Custer Elm Park where George Armstrong Custer liked to camp. In 1869, he purchased 120 acres surrounding the park.

Shunga Trail Extension to Open in West Topeka

A new section of the popular Shunga Trail will be dedicated June 22 in west Topeka. The trail segment goes from SW Fairlawn Rd. to SW 29th St. The 13-mile Shunga Trail intersects with the Landon Nature Trail at a bicycle roundabout near 20th & Kansas Ave.




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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