williekck, 2010-08-28 09:53:35
One day ride on 8/27/2010

Iola – Stayed overnight at the Best Western. Retro style motel that is adequate for a one night stay. Clean – Limited breakfast that opens at 6 AM for those who like to start early. Best thing about it, is that the southern terminus of the trail is right at its doorstep

Trail is paved about a mile in Iola. Road crossings are well marked all along the trail. The first fee box I found was at Carlyle. I did not see any in Iola, but may have missed it. Trail is generally uphill all the way to Colony. Not much – but noticeable to an old man like me.

Colony – Stopped at diner to buy some Gatorade but they did not have any. Nice lady offered me some cold water. Coke machines outside of diner has cold soft drinks for 50 cents.

Welda – At the Welda detour I just went around the barricade and stayed on the trail until I came to the construction. There is a little cutoff just before the construction that gets you onto the alternate detour. It is really rough but you are only on it for about a quarter mile. I turned off at the first road going west and found the trail about a quarter mile west. Never did see the Welda trailhead. Make sure you have water because it did not appear to be anywhere to buy it.

Garnett – Good paved section through Garnett. Old train station has good bathrooms. It appeared to be a museum, but there was nobody around. Interesting old photos inside. Ate lunch at Denise diner. All you can eat buffett for $7.99 on Fridays less 50 cents for the over 60’s. Fried chicken, fried catfish, fried shrimp, fried okra – all the stuff I like. Ice cream and cake for dessert. Sign says they will be closed on Mondays, and will close every day at 2 PM.

Garnett to Richmond – Enjoyed the downhill that runs about half way to Richmond, but you pay for it the last half when it is all uphill. It started getting hot so I stopped at the Richmond trailhead and had my wife come and pick me up.

Overall impressions – Enjoyable ride. Have ridden the Katy Trail a couple of times and the Prairie Spirit is just as good. The surface is a little deep in spots – not packed down – and there are a few ruts but it is mostly in good shape. There are mile markers along the way. The first one I saw at Iola was mile 108 and the one at Richmond was about mile 74.

I started at the south end of the trail to take advantage of a forecasted south wind, but it mostly did not materialize.

There is a pretty good tree canopy over most of the trail but it seemed to be running out as I got close to Richmond.

This is a good website – Thanks to whoever is in charge.

Timon of Athens, 2010-08-28 09:59:43
Willie,

First of all, thank you for the kind words. They are appreciated.

About that detour at Welda, I have found that while heading north you can be a rebel and go all the way through the tunnel. Walk or carry your bike about 50 yards over some rough dirt and you are back on the trail. Too bad you didn’t find the trail at Welda, I checked the water there about two weeks ago and it was running.

Timon

jcover, 2010-08-29 14:47:02
Several years ago when I was younger and Welda marked the end of the trail, I used to go east at the trailhead on 1000 road and purchase candy bars and drinks at a shop called old school house antiques. It may not still be open but it’s worth checking out if you’re in downtown Welda. See you on the trail.
Timon of Athens, 2010-08-29 14:50:13
It’s still there. I just have never seen it open. I will check into next time I am there to see if I can find hours. If they still have drinks and snacks, I’ll add a page for them here. Garnett to Colony is a long slog without provisions.

Timon

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