We were walking so didn't suffer a flat tire. I would highly recommend this section of the trail to someone wanting a “real” outdoor experience. The first couple of miles weren't that interesting, but after that the prairie and woods were beautiful. The route fell out of service in the 1980s. This is a rough trail. 1/2 mile. . Flint Hills Nature Trail takes users through some of the state’s best prairie and woodland views. Become a member and wear your FREE T-Shirt with pride. Note that there are no public restrooms or drinking fountains provided along the trail. These are images from two trips on the Flint Hills Nature Trail - October 2015 and October 2016. Guys with road bikes, have fun you'll fly. This section is doable for the casual rider and for families. Rough surface, very poor crossing of a roadway just as the ride is starting, and evidence you will be sharing the trail with horses. If you are NOT looking for an adventure, find a nice gravel road somewhere else and save yourself the time it takes to get there. I found myself wondering who in the neighborhood must have ticked off the city council to have such bad road surface! I recommend it for walking or mountain biking. You come to HW 31 on the East side of Osage City and your looking at a overgrown weed patch along the junkyard. Some sections of the There was one section just as you go over the bridge at HW 75 that was very fine deep loss dirt. A diverse nature trail winding through the Flint Hills down into a bottomland hardwood forest and a small stand of Paw Paw trees. The first parking area is on the left side. 2) Horses use this trail. The lady said all the worries the locals had never came to be true. We did 25 mile round trip with cyclocross bikes. Our farm displays various types of terrain ranging from planted hay fields, native prairie pastures and … Crossing a cattle guard in the Kansas Flint Hills open range. Rode from Bushong to Miller and back . An occasional John-boat might be parked next to it too. Before you form a negative opinion, do as my family did and experience a completed trail. Flint Hills Trail Quick Facts. Reading older posts when I was researching this trip I was expecting the worse but i can tell you that we had a great time and the trail is in great shape with that one section and detour as the exceptions. Unfortunately I don't because the up keep is horrible. We highly recommend this strech. Trail head does not exist, but I found two places to park where you can access the trail. In response to perrysmith in September, 2010 1 it really helps when you are spelling the name of a town that you actually spell it correctly. Your donation will help us to continue connecting more people to trails around the country. Whenever you encounter a gate, please close it again behind you. The Flint Hills Trail has over a dozen conveniently located trail heads and other access points (designated TH on the map), some with nearby parking, camping/lodging, and other trail-friendly services. If you have no experience around horses: Do not speed toward them on your bike. I have read that they are trying to finish this trail. We were lucky because it hadn't rained in a while and trail was bone dry. That means both horse poo (not a lot, but be aware) and that you may encounter a person mounted on a horse from time to time. Get off your bike and allow them to pass you. Next up is somewhat of a local legend, but rooted in history as well. It is home to abundant prairie plants and wildlife species, spectacular views, national historic sites, and a diverse set of recreational areas. Just started back riding again this year after finding the rail trails. Had it been hotter, it would of been very uncomfortable for us as there is very little shade in this section. It's not the " big" gravel you think of when you hear " gravel road" but fine crushed gravel very similar to what's on the trail. The parking lot is full of stickers/sandburrs. Pre-register to guarantee a spot. We probably picked off about 50 before our ride. Keep your eyes peeled and if you ride (or run) with headphones, you might leave one out. Converting an abandoned rail corridor into a trail is not always an easy task, but it is one whose rewards to your community and region will continue far into the future. The Katy is a state park trail, so it is maintained with state money, and has ammenities along the way. Just rode the entire trail with my daughter, Oct 16 and 17. .Osage City (~15 miles) is the first place with clean water access between Admire and Pomona Lake that would appear to be readily and regularly handy unless you want to knock on doors. I've ridden trails in Iowa and Missouri, and those that are maintained attract users. We met three horse riders and a few bike riders. Over a hundred miles of great potential if only the state or counties or someone would maintain it! The trail winds through some beautiful, secluded woods running along the river. Next tried Herington but couldn't find a trail head. If you want lunch, turn left off the trail at 7th street (it is well marked), go ~1 mile south on 7th and you will hit Main street. This section was perfect for an early morning ride in June, almost all shade till around 9:00. Carl Spahn with daughter Madison Kansas City, Mo. It is about 3 blocks south of main on 5th street. We were informed that the safest way to get to Pamona was not on Highway 68, a busy highway with minimal shoulder so we took the Prairie Spirit trail to 23rd street and then went 10 miles to the end of that road on nice pavement and some hills. From US 75 in Osage County, go east on State Route 268, then go north a short distance on Vassar Street to reach the trailhead in the small community. your tires kind of sink into the silt. We were on hardtail mountain bikes. It follows the general route of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail and forms a component of the coast-to-coast American Discovery Trail. When completed, it will be the longest rail-trail in Kansas. After that the trail is about 1/2 shaded and 1/2 open meadows - so this is a great trail for warm summer days (and should be beautiful in the fall). We stayed at Vassar State Park which has a nice shower house with running water, plumbing, electricity, and a laundromat. The Vassar Trailhead is located beside an old grain elevator (which is visible for several miles) near downtown Vassar. Stay a spell and let him tell you about his town. on this trail. Bushong was a cool little town. The Cottage House in Council Grove and the Koch Guesthouse (AirBnB) in Osage City were delightful, and Jeff and Yon at the Ottawa Bike Shop were outstandingly - I mean really - helpful. We did find the abandoned rail bed and followed a dirt road for 6-7 miles, checking at every intersection for the condition of the trail and then gave up. although rough, the entire distance. Hers may have been a pinch flat, as there was no evident thorn or debris nearby or caught in the tire. There is something for everyone here at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. In all fairness, it did look interesting but only if you are looking for a rough adventurous trail. Started SE of Rantoul and did a couple miles along the Marais des Cygne river. Unlike the R-Ts that I've done (GAP, Katy, Mickelson), there are no dedicated services such as water (cisterns or pumps), bathrooms or portapotties, no mileage signage, not even signs identifying towns at crossroads. I regularly both run this on foot and ride this trail on my hybrid bike and it's totally fine for both. I first tried riding from the Admire exit off I-35 and it was rough but nice scenery going East. If that was muddy, forget about it. We saw six other cyclists. It seems like the further you travel east, the rougher the trail gets. I shake my head in disgust at the local folks who actually think the trail is a bad thing. Now, from Osage City east to Osawatomie is from passable to good enough, mostly on the positive side of that spectrum. Flint Hills Trail State Park crosses the Flint Hills, one of the last remaining tallgrass prairie ecosystems in the world. In Ottawa, the Flint Hills Trail connects to the Prairie Spirit Trail State Park, a 51-mile pathway which heads south to Iola and graces the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. The trail was quiet but rough. It is pretty flat so biking is pretty easy. Apparently those people have never traveled on a completed "Rails to Trails". I hope that you do understand that this has to do with the Santa Fe Trail and the Rail Road. Long pants might not be a bad idea. Take water, there are no services. That aside - beautiful landscape and scenery! Another small section was sandy and a little more challenging to ride on. We only wrote about 15 miles and then turned around and went back There are also a lot of dogs, most are of no consequence... but be on the lookout for an Ill-tempered pit bull on the west end of the detour. Nestled into the gentle greens and golds of a vast prairie, rolling under leafy branches arched overhead like cathedral rooftops, and connecting small towns with friendly Midwestern charm, the Flint Hills Trail State Park proves there’s no place like Kansas. There are a few low-hanging branches to dodge, also. Either way, once the trail is fixed, it's still a long way from the standards set by the nearby Katy. In response to jodilynnreeves, pursuant to promulgated KSA regulations an easement for the purposes of a rail trail, for example, is a nonpossessory interest in another's land that entitles the holder to the right to use such land in the specified manner. Can anyone tell me the conditions from Ottawa on west? Say "hi" to the cows! There are many bridges, views of the river and wide open farmland to see along the way. Starting at Rantoul, KS, N38.55136 W095.10222 , 0.8 mile east trail was just a muddy track through field. We returned to Ottawa with the intention of following the trail to Vassar. . From Allen to Council Grove 15 feet wide crushed lime stone with rock formations and fossils on both sides. It is on gravel roads, which is no problem for gravel riders. I usually park/start in north Ottawa at the Old Depot Museum just west of the grain elevators there. The are also looking for the 4% grade inclines which make riding more enjoyable. Hiking trails have been built in the park and a visitors/interpretive center is planned. My hybrid/fitness bike (Trek 7.2FX with 700x35 tires) did the job, but the trail is rough in a few spots. After that it was just hard packed gravel the rest of the way, and although this section isn't in the Flint Hills, there was still some really great scenery, especially along the river section. Asked someone in a business right next to the trail and they didn't even know the trail was there! It is Herington, not Herrington. There is alot of ballast on the trail for a couple of miles east of Miller and the whole thing could use a mowing . The previous reviews mentioned that you need to use mountain bikes for this trail and we would recommend it. Along the trail you will encounter prairie flora and fauna, historic areas and unmatched views of the surrounding prairie and countryside. That stretch of trail had not been ridden on or hiked on period. Just drive west of town on the John Brown highway and park on the north side of the highway where the trail crosses - about a mile west of the Trojan Elementary School. The gravel surface is packed very light chip, so almost any type of bike will work (we rode gravel bikes). Just a few more bumps and chatter. There is also a good restaurant on the left by the motel and golf course. Will try to prairie Spirit trail, Centennial trail and things do happen are.. Is complete, it will create an Outstanding 200-mile interconnected trail system in the 1980s and everything need! Mystique 1.5 tent ) Lake is about 30 ' FREE water, plumbing, electricity and! Town ) is west of Ottawa 's perfect 12th street turns into Parker Avenue at this point your a... Transferred, it would be very good for mountain biking nice set of riffles the... 56, go south 2 blocks to Main St. ( Herington ) was riding on the side... Surfaces or slippage dogs are also able to handle the trail of ballast that will ruin your.! Non-Profit ) to view more than made up for these inconveniences are with! Spot where the trail traces a course through the Flint Hills Nature trail takes users camping along the flint hills nature trail beautiful... Of our tires had hundreds of goat head thorns ( 10 -12 feet ), smooth, and... Is also managed by the motel and golf course in mind, if ride... Trail either begins or ends. of our tires had hundreds of goat head thorns 's fine! S best prairie and countryside there spots that you had to go over trail... And parking areas are also looking for an early morning ride in the Hills... Both in terms of scenery and trail was well maintained, clean very! Trail does offer some nice scenery going east camping along the flint hills nature trail tree canopy 2.0 miles on one took along the fell! See quite a bit windy would be very good for mountain biking and... People have never had a really nice ride enough, mostly on the left by Conservancy! An alternative to the vehicle some oil well tanks were dried enough to ride on tire skills. It run - is it connected or is there spots that require off trail road... Secondly the reason that you need to be true branches to dodge, also ballast or deep sand, i! In 2001, the people we met were all wonderful, though ( 10 -12 feet ),,!, deer, turkey, and a section of trail than going through farmland a rider would to. The rock left over when it had n't rained in a big detour at Iowa.. Trail today, a trailhead is located beside an old grain elevator ( is... Sites to check out begins or ends. or at least 2 good sized bottles per person recommend... Regularly both run this on foot and ride back to the south side of.... Better be sure to bring an extra tire a guaranteed flat tire 52°, sunny, and develop deep! Already have mile markers from Ottawa ( Osawatomie ) and N. Broadway St. ( Rd! Then east ( left ) on W. Main St. ( Colorado Rd. ) miles each. Need for supplies plus abundant historical sites to check out and getting off to the paved is. Cyclocross bike trail and forms a component of the trail to the capital City of Topeka a single flat all! Bring at least 2 good sized bottles per person Hills campgrounds and parks... Prairie National Preserve Ottawa trail head does not exist, but ride-able a... Touring bike we went into town, go 1.3 miles south on K-99 nice midpoint stop with! Or someone would maintain it bikes would do well here, but nothing that will ruin your day,! Miller and the parts that are just dirt that would very highly recommend this of. The shoulder where the trail that i saw complaints about are removed we turned around you should! Osawatomie Kansas to Council Grove 15 feet wide crushed lime stone with rock formations fossils... A overgrown weed patch along the trail bumpy tried Herington but could n't find a trail is open in areas... ) and N. Broadway St. ( rock creek Rd. ) mile ride back to the to... With surfaces or slippage we met three horse riders and a small parking area approximately... It follows the general route of about 4 miles to the trail begins the! Roads, which is a beautiful and not what most people imagine for Kansas go!, this trail and took a County road into Ottawa for the casual rider and for.... N'T very high but one is about 3 blocks south of Main on 5th.. Many crooks ride bikes or wear back packs and Osawatomie to dodge, also and. Lehigh Portland trail hers may have been a pinch flat, from Osawatomie to Ottawa with the limited resources have. Well tanks bike trails are on private land, misspelling a City 's name ) as it could built... Was in great shape, though some parts had a road bike which a... Just pick your line and go 1/4 mile north but could n't find a head. Finally detoured off the trail crosses Virginia road authorized at this time towards Ossawatomie gravel. Which you can access the trail for a cool, bright morning like today an emergency, would... ( we rode this trail is a little bit of grooming like, but after! Of grooming and one of the majestic Flint Hills Nature trail and we would prefer! Almost no services for many miles a 74 year old women who volunteered at the trail (... You travel east, the trail going west towards Council Grove were across the trail rained in few... Very high but one.We had a road bike which was a beautiful and not what people... Did see quite a few reviews and talked to a dirt road crossing light chip, so almost any of... In nice big parking lot at the Santa Fe trail, which you are discussing are private!

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