Two Kansas trails receive national designations

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Flint Hills Trail and Prairie Spirit Trail state parks recently received America’s highest trails honor when they were designated National Recreational Trails by the National Park Service. Both state park trails are operated by KDWPT’s Parks Division.

“This is significant, not only for those parks and our state parks system, but for the state of Kansas,” said Linda Lanterman, KDWPT’s Parks Division director. “This is going to draw valuable attention to two great state parks and all they have to offer. And, ultimately, help the local economies that are developing along those trails. This is a big deal.”

The designation brings no monetary prize, but the parks can now use signage that denotes their high quality. The trails will also get special recognition on some maps of America’s trails. Both the Flint Hills Trail and Prairie Spirit Trail are built along abandoned railroad lines and required a tremendous amount of private labor to become reality.

The 117-mile Flint Hills Trail reaches from near Osawatomie to Herington, passing through landscapes that vary from steep, heavily timbered ridges to the Tallgrass Prairie of the Flint Hills.

Prairie Spirit Trail stretches 51 miles from Ottawa to Iola, and also crosses a wide range of scenic topography. The two trails intersect in Ottawa.

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