Search Results for: Flint Hills Nature Trail

Federal grant to route $3.8 million toward Flint Hills Nature Trail

A Kansas Department of Transportation administered grant will pump another $3.8 million into an ongoing construction project on the Flint Hills Nature Trail.

KDOT announced Friday afternoon that the trail, a portion of which crosses Osage County east to west, was among 25 transportation initiatives that have been selected for funding through the federal Transportation Alternatives Program.

Eligible projects include facilities for pedestrians and bicycles, scenic or historical highway programs, landscaping and scenic beautification, historic preservation of transportation facilities, conversion of abandoned railway corridors to trails, control or removal of outdoor advertising, archaeological planning and research related to transportation, and the Safe Routes to School program.

The federal request for the Flint Hills Nature Trail project is $3,046,463, KDWPT’s matching portion is $761,616, totaling $3,808,079.

Flint Hills Nature Trail improvement work to continue west of Ottawa

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has contracted with APAC-Kansas, Shears Division to complete improvements along the Flint Hills Nature Trail. The second step of construction (Phase I-B) will extend from Iowa Terrace in Franklin County to Willow Street in the City of Ottawa. Construction activities will occur entirely within the current Flint Hills Nature Trail right-of-way. The $1,288,191 project will include clearing, gravel surfacing, bridge railing, and signing. The start date for construction is planned for January 5, 2016, weather permitting.

Owners of property adjacent to the Phase I-B right of way will also be notified by mail.

Flint Hills Nature Trail design workshops allow public input on proposed signature bridges

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism and Kanza Rails to Trails Conservancy are inviting interested persons to share their thoughts on the design of four signature bridges along the Flint Hills Nature Trail at workshops scheduled for Thursday and Friday in Council Grove and Ottawa.

The bridges are being designed as destinations with artistic and interpretive enhancements to highlight the trail, share important stories or history in the area, and promote tourism and economic growth for nearby communities.

The Flint Hills Nature Trail is a rails-to-trails project that extends 117 miles from Osawatomie to Herington. Development of the trail will encourage outdoor recreation and provide safer routes for pedestrians, bicyclists, and equestrians. The trail will connect six counties and numerous communities along the way.

Flint Hills Nature Trail project to begin

First phase includes a segment in western Franklin County

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has contracted with APAC-Kansas, Shears Division, to complete improvements along the Flint Hills Nature Trail. The first phase of construction (Phase I-A) will extend from Colorado Road to Iowa Terrace in Franklin County, with construction activities occurring entirely within the current Flint Hills Nature Trail right of way.

The $1,194,322 project will include clearing, gravel surfacing, bridge railing, and signing. The start date for construction is planned for Feb. 23, 2015, weather permitting.  

$1.9 million federal grant plots route for Flint Hills Nature Trail’s completion

Near Rantoul, the Flint Hills Nature Trail follows the former rail bed along a wooded hillside beside the Marais des Cygnes River.

A federal grant will plow another $1.9 million into completion of the Flint Hills Nature Trail, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced earlier this week. The new grant will add to last year’s $2.4 million boost to the trail’s development funded by federal and state  grants.

Osage City workshop allows citizen input on Flint Hills Nature Trail development

Interested Osage City citizens and others from the Flint Hills Nature Trail region discuss plans for development of the trail with design team members of CFS Engineers and RDG Planning and Design.

A workshop Monday evening at Osage City’s community building was the last of four held recently to learn public opinions about development of the Flint Hills Nature Trail, which is being supported with $2.4 million in state and federal grants. Attendees were able to learn about trail design and talk with members of the design team of CFS Engineers and RDG Planning and Design.

Flint Hills Nature Trail design workshop at Osage City

TOPEKA – The last of four workshops held to allow citizens to offer input and ideas on the development of the Flint Hills Nature Trails will be held Monday evening at Osage City.

The meeting, scheduled by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy, will be 5-7:30 p.m. April 21, at the Osage City community building, 517 S. First St.

Letter to the Editor: Osage City amid exciting possibilities of Flint Hills Nature Trail

Dear Editor:

We would encourage anyone interested in the growth of Osage City to attend a meeting scheduled to receive public input regarding the development of the Flint Hills Nature Trail.

The meeting in Osage City will be 5-7:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, 2014, at the Osage City Community Building, 517 S. First St.

An extremely popular and successful trail is the Katy Trail in Missouri, which is heavily utilized and draws people from across the United States who go there just to ride the 237-mile trail from end to end. There are tour companies who have developed week-long travel packages specifically for this.

Flint Hills Nature Trail design workshops scheduled at Osage City, Osawatomie

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy have scheduled two more meetings to allow citizens to offer input and ideas on the development of the Flint Hills Nature Trails.

One workshop will be 4:30-6 p.m. March 10, at Memorial Hall, 411 11th St., in Osawatomie.

The meeting in Osage City will be 5-7:30 p.m. April 21, at the Osage City community building, 517 S. First St.

KDWPT schedules Flint Hills Nature Trail design workshops

A recently constructed culvert allows the Flint Hills Nature Trail to pass under state Highway 268 near Vassar. The construction of the culvert, which replaced a former railroad overpass, closed K-268 for about three months last fall.

OTTAWA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy are inviting all interested persons to share their impressions and opinions on the development of the Flint Hills Nature Trails at upcoming design workshops. Two workshops have been scheduled for next week, with at least two more planned in the near future at other locations along the trail. The first workshop will be 5-6:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Ottawa City Hall, 101 S. Hickory St., Ottawa. The following day, Feb. 21, a workshop will be 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the basement of the Morris County Courthouse, 501 W. Main St., Council Grove.

Federal grant sparks $2.4 million investment into Flint Hills Nature Trail

A recent announcement of federal transportation grants may be the light at the end of the trail for volunteers who have worked for years developing the Flint Hills Nature Trail. Earlier this month the Kansas Department of Transportation announced that two of 35 projects included in the federal Transportation Enhancement program will enhance the Flint Hills Nature Trail.

KRTC gains grant for Landon Trail near Overbrook

Landon Trail trailhead at Overbrook, Kan.

TOPEKA, Kan. – The operators of the 38-mile Landon Trail have received a $14,745 grant from the Walter S. & Evan C. Jones Trust, Emporia, Kan. The grant will be used to develop another one-mile section of the trail south of Overbrook, Kan.

Developed by Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy, the scenic recreational trail’s right of way stretches from the Shunga Trail, in Topeka, Kan., to Clinton Wildlife Area, Pomona Lake, and the 117-mile Flint Hills Nature Trail, near Quenemo, Kan.

“We appreciate the support the Jones Trust has shown for developing outdoor recreational opportunities,” said KRTC President Doug Walker. “Kanza is working to create a remarkable recreational trail, which will provide a safe place for families to walk or bicycle away from traffic.”

Currently, the trail is completed for 13 miles from the trailhead at 17th and Monroe streets in Topeka to the Clinton Wildlife Area, and two miles at Overbrook, Kan.

When completed, the trail will be the only recreational trail in the U.S. to link the Oregon National Historic Trail to the Santa Fe National Historic Trail. The trail crosses the Santa Fe Trail north of Overbrook.

Chamber Chatter: Osage City’s first fall festival celebrates local nature trail

Bikers tank up at a refreshment station set up by the Osage City Chamber during Rush the Rails. Photo by Kareen King.

By Jeanette Swarts, Executive Director
Osage City Chamber of Commerce

October 7, 2017, the Osage City Chamber of Commerce hosted the Flint Hills Nature Trail Fall Fest, which also included the Dirty Kanza Promotions Rush the Rails event. The event ran from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., with more than 100 bicycle riders and eight relay teams, traveling through Osage City during the day.

Three starting locations designated the length of the route chosen by the participants: Osawatomie, full distance, 96 miles; Vassar, 54 miles; Admire, 25 miles; finish line was at Council Grove.

Dave Azwell passes out cookies to rejuvenate bikers and hikers.

The Gilday Gas Station was the designated stopping point for the participants coming through Osage City. Nourishing refreshments, drinks and first aid were provided at the stop. The Osage City Kiwanis Club hosted the refreshment area. Dave Azwell, Kathi Webster and Kareen King were great ambassadors for Osage City as they greeted and served the participants. There were numerous activities taking place throughout the Santa Fe Park, Santa Fe Depot and Theels’s vacant lot. The day included business sidewalk sales, a bouncy house, food vendors, ice cream social, children’s activities, craft show, restorative and stretching sessions, and a fine arts display.

Dirty Kanza Promotions plans to make this an annual event, so the Chamber is looking forward to having a bigger and better event for 2018.

Photos thanks to Kareen King.

County commissioners to police local rail trails

A longtime rail trail opponent visited the Osage County commissioners Monday to check their progress on his ideas for revoking the local trail operators’ permit, but also threatened litigation against the commissioners if they did not act on his advice. Also during the meeting, commissioners laid out their plan to inspect the Flint Hills Nature Trail and the Landon Nature Trail and enlist the help of Kansas Farm Bureau to gather complaints about the trails.

Jim Foster, Carbondale, began his discussion saying he had come up with another method of ridding the county of the Landon Nature Trail, a north-south former rail line that is largely undeveloped in Osage County. He said he had contacted the “railroad real estate office” and the Surface Transportation Board to inquire about whether it was possible to cancel the right of way of an abandoned rail line, a duty which he said lies with the county commission.

Citing the railroad’s lack of maintenance of the right of way, he said, “Since the contract is between the railroad and the trail group to maintain their right of way, it would appear that we could pull the railroad right of way and never even have to talk to the trail.”

He suggested the county counselor should “look into it quite a little bit deeper and go from there.”

On Windy Hill: Commissioners plot litigation against derelict trail volunteers

Monday, I sat through a discussion at a meeting of the Osage County commissioners that was similar to that I’ve probably heard at least a dozen times over the last eight years or so. The commissioners met with Jim Foster, longtime Osage County rails-to-trails opponent. Over the years, Jim has confronted commissioners on a regular basis, usually presenting a legal hook or maneuver that he seems to think will convince them to have taxpayers foot the bill for a legal battle against the trail sponsor of the Flint Hills Nature Trail and the Landon Nature Trail, portions of which are in Osage County. The permit holder for those trails is the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy.

What was different about this meeting than those in the past was the commissioners indicated a willingness to spend county taxpayer money to litigate to remove the KRTC’s right to operate the trails in the county. Discussed was whether to sue the KRTC or the railroad or possibly the federal government, as one commissioner says he believes rails-to-trails are theft of land. The rails-to-trails system was established by federal law. The commissioners took no action, though, only to direct the county counselor to further research the cost of litigation of either taking the issue to district court or to the Surface Transportation Board.

KDWPT project helps businesses serve trail users

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is sponsoring a project to help communities and businesses attract and serve visitors to the Flint Hills Nature Trail and the Kansas River National Water Trail. Entrepreneurs and organizations can leverage the trails to grow businesses, create tourism opportunities, attract visitors and boost local economies. The focus of the project is helping businesses wanting to serve trail enthusiasts, but any business seeking assistance is encouraged to take advantage of this coaching opportunity.

Agencies schedule meetings to encourage commerce along Kansas trails

021414-flint-hills-nature-tTOPEKA, Kan. – Entrepreneurs and their communities know the challenge of attracting customers and visitors. Outdoor recreation is booming in Kansas, and the Flint Hills Nature Trail and the Kansas River National Water Trail attract large numbers of enthusiastic trail-goers looking for nearby services and activities. What can be done to attract and serve this market? That’s the central question driving a series of four community meetings to be hosted next week by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), in partnership with USDA Rural Development, NetWork Kansas, the Kansas Small Business Development Centers, Advancing Rural Prosperity and the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship.

The meetings were promised last year as part of part of a larger plan for economic development along the Kansas trails. In June 2013, KDWPT announced it had secured a $170,050 USDA Rural Enterprise grant to help develop businesses in communities along the Flint Hills Nature Trail and the Kansas River Trail corridors. See related story here.

Monarchs visit Osage County on trail to Mexico

Local photographer Kareen King said she hit the “lottery of Monarch butterflies” last week while east of Osage City along the Flint Hills Nature Trail. Here’s a sample of the beautiful sights she captured in photos, as the butterflies briefly rested in Osage County along their annual fall migration to Mexico.

12 miles of Landon Nature Trail now open in Shawnee County

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A new trailhead serves as the gateway to two miles of the Landon Nature Trail near Overbrook.

TOPEKA— Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy has announced that 12 continuous miles of the Landon Nature Trail are now open in Shawnee County. Trail users can now travel from the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site to Tecumseh Road. A 3/4 mile gap between SE 45th Street and SE 51st Street was recently completed by Shawnee County Parks and Recreation.

Trailhead on Landon Nature Trail dedicated Saturday at Overbrook

The Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy has invited area residents and interested trail users to the dedication of the Overbrook Trailhead of the Landon Nature Trail. The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at the south Maple Street trailhead.

Kansas hops aboard rail trail development as boost to tourism industry

Linda Craghead, KDWPT assistant secretary of parks and tourism, speaks to members of KRTC Saturday about rail-trail development in Kansas and how it augments the state’s tourism industry.

OSAGE CITY – Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy held its annual meeting Nov. 23 at the Osage County Senior Center, Osage City, with more than 60 people in attendance. Linda Craghead, Kansas Department Wildlife Parks and Tourism assistant secretary of parks and tourism, was the keynote speaker for the event. She spoke about growth of the tourism industry in Kansas, and how it coincides with the planned development of the Flint Hills Nature Trail with $2.4 million in federal and state grants announced earlier this year.

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