Timon of Athens, 2012-06-21 12:10:14
I am currently planning an excursion from Bushong to Osawatomie along the Flint Hills Nature Trail. The main problem right now is the gap in trail construction between Vassar and Ottawa. Since this trip will most likely detour along Hwy 68, I thought I would check out the short extension to the west of Ottawa.

I left the Ottawa Depot and crossed the river. If you stop and look hard enough from the bridge, you can see your endpoint to the west. The ridable trail construction ends at the bridge on the north bank. Past that is very large and very loose rocks from the railbed. You might try it with a mountain bike ( I didn’t with my hybrid) but I think that you will come away disappointed. After crossing the river turn right at the first street. You will run directly into the trail after about 3 blocks.

The improved section is starting to firm up nicely. I rode in the morning after a late night thunderstorm. The trail was a bit grabby, but very ridable. It was slightly loose but a few more rains and a nice summer bake should take care of it.

Scenery-wise there were some nice athletic parks, a cemetery and some very nice wooded cover before the arrival at the bridge over the river. It will make a nice introduction to Ottawa when riding in from the west. The bridge had a nice cement surface to ride on. However, there are no rails as of yet. Stop if you are going to sight-see. Also, the bridge has become a stop for local aerosol artists. Nothing shocking but pretty pedestrian. If you are going to vandalize at least be interesting. I don’t care who you “heart.”

All and all, well worth adding 2 miles to your trip with an out and back.

JD_Shawnee, 2012-09-12 08:05:57
On Tues, I rode west on 1st-street to check out this bridge mentioned by Sam the Man Timons. However, a large fallen oak tree lies across the trail and its corridor next to the ball fields there. So I turned back to check it out later. Detouring around this tree could have been difficult for me.

Other FHNT-East news. This eastern section is still well-packed all the way to the John Brown Hwy at Osawatomie. Some sizeable cracks are in the trail, but they were easy to avoid. Nice ride! The corridor still has a few wild-flowers with some golden rod, sun flowers, and thistle. But the main floral color is now green.

The rocky side ramps at the road crossing 1-mile west of JB-Hwy no longer exist. The trail is now graded directly down to this road on both sides of it. No need to walk the bikes anymore.

Also, the Soft Rock Cafe/Gift Shop in Rantoul appears to be closed. Its hours-signs are gone too. I rested a bit in the JB Memorial Park in Osawatomie. It has a pavilion and public restrooms. Man, it’s good to be on a trail again. The PST is next! Can’t wait.

JD_Shawnee, 2012-10-14 14:33:29
Fallen Tree
On my last PST ride, I drove west over to athletic fields in Ottawa to see if the fallen oak tree still laid across the FHNT trail corridor toward the bridge. It did. However, I also noticed an access point to the trail from a service road about 100-yd further west of this blockage. One can probably detour around this tree by getting to that service road on the north side of the athletic fields.

Whistle Stop
Also, my wife and I stopped at the Whistle Stop Café in Osawatomie for a late lunch this weekend while on another trip. This café is located about 3-blocks south of Main on 6th Street. They advertise a daily buffet, which we tried, $7.29.

We found their broasted/fried chicken and thick smoked chops to be hot and tasty that day. Their real mashed potatoes w/white-gravy were delicious not to mention their peach-cobbler topped with soft ice-cream. Basically, it has two service bars, one for the soups/salads, and one for the meats, several veggies, pasta, and dessert.

We also noticed locals being served sizeable meals straight from the kitchen, eg, chicken fried steak, burgers/fries, and big breakfast plates. I’ll try one of those breakfasts first chance. Meanwhile, any FHNT users from the west who find themselves hungry at the John Brown Hwy just west of Osawatomie might find it worthwhile to ride the paved 2.5-miles into the old downtown for chow. Wow.

Note: This is an archived copy of an old forum thread, maintained for posterity. For the latest discussions, check out our new forums!

Leave a Reply