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Your best bet is to contact the local police department (there’s a list here), or call the KDWPT at 785-448-6767.
I’d like to see cities provide marked locations for overnight parking, but I’m not sure if any do. In general, they’re fine with it, as long as they know about it.
My understanding is that pets are welcome, though they must be leased, and are not permitted in trail buildings or structures.
See also: Pets on the Prairie Spirit Trail for additional information.
Yes, in general. Immediately after rain/snow, the surface may be soft, but other than than skinny tires usually work fine.
In Iola, the Regency Inn and Americas Best Value Inn are both located adjacent to the Prairie Spirit Trail.
Here are a few quick routes:
- Garnett-Westphalia — about 40 miles
- Garnett-Emerald — about 37.5 miles
- Garnett-Goodrich-Centerville — about 40.5 miles, with just over a mile of gravel road
By the way, a good resource for planning routes is the collection of Kansas County Maps, which show which roads are paved vs. unpaved.
Good question! According to http://ksoutdoors.com/State-Parks/Locations/Prairie-Spirit-Trail:
A separate per-person trail pass is required to use the trail for persons 16 years of age and over, except in the city limits of Iola, Garnett and Ottawa. $3.50 self-issue day permits are available at trailheads. Annual permits are available for $12.15 where KDWPT licenses and permits are sold.
So yes, it’s a per-person fee, and not a per-bike fee. There are self-pay envelopes at most of the trailheads; just fill in the info (bring a pen if you can, as these often disappear), put your money in the envelope, and drop it in the lock-box, keeping the tear-off portion as a receipt.
This is likely the wrong end of the Prairie Spirit Trail for you, but here’s the route that I recently took from Clinton to Iola, over two days. Camped at the Osage Prairie RV Park in Nevada. The stretch between Nevada and Appleton City is fairly long with few services, but the route otherwise has fairly well-spaced options for restocking on food and drink. Mostly flat, with a few hills near Uniontown KS. There is about 2-3 miles of gravel road just south of La Due, otherwise all paved, with low-to-moderate traffic levels, and decent shoulders where there is traffic.
Alternately, here’s a route between Ottawa and Clinton, via the Flint Hills Nature Trail: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/9284291
Camping at La Cygne City Park, or Linn County Park. There *may* be construction on MO-18 west of Clinton. I saw “road closed” signs when I was riding that way, but don’t know precisely where the road is closed…
No suggestions, but thanks for posting this. Looks reasonable.
Myself and a friend are planning a trip on the Katy in a few weeks, riding east-to-west from St Louis area. Still working out the logistics, but we’ll probably be camping most nights to save money.
Thanks especially for mention of the Katy Bike Rental shuttle service; that may prove helpful.
According to Jason Holbert on Facebook: “It’s surprisingly good. I biked the entire thing Monday-Tuesday this week, Humboldt included. It’s not even soft. Saw several guys from KDWP working on it, too.”
In general, immediately after a rain (or a snow melt), the trail is going to be soft, and bike tires will create ruts. After a day or so of sun and/or wind, the surface firms up very quickly. It hasn’t rained much in a while, so it should be good to go!
@J-rider, road bikes typically do fine. I ride a bike with 28mm tires on it often, and that’s no problem. My friend rides the trail with 23mm tires, and it works.
As Timon said, the trail can be soft after rain (or snow), and narrow tires tend to cut into the surface, not only making it hard to maintain momentum, but creating ruts that will eventually dry out and create a bumpy surface. So that situation should be avoided if possible.