Ottawa, KSOttawa is the largest community along the Prairie Spirit Trail, and features numerous restaurants, shops, and lodging options. Most of the amenities are located along Main Street (just a block or so east of the trail).

Ottawa is the county seat of Franklin County. It is located along the Marais des Cygnes River. It has a population of 12,649 (2010).

There are three convenient access points for the trail in town:

  • Old Depot Museum: The northern-most point on the Prairie Spirit Trail, this historic structure served as the passenger depot for the railroad, and how houses the Franklin County historical museum, as well as functioning as a trailhead, with ample parking. Mile marker 58.4.
  • Kanza Park: An Ottawa city park featuring a one-mile hard-surfaced walking trail, exercise stations, and an 18-hole disc golf course. Mile marker 59.9.
  • Ottawa Trailhead: This trailhead is located near the southern end of the city, and features a self-pay permit station, water, picnic tables, and parking. Mile marker 60.6.

Heading south from the Old Depot Museum, the trail crosses the Marais des Cygnes River on the old railroad bridge. Immediately south of the river it intersects the east/west route of the Flint Hills Nature Trail. From there, the trail continues south on city streets (where it is, frankly, very poorly marked), before picking back up again as a discrete path at 5th Street. From there, the paved path heads past Kanza Park and the southern trailhead before heading out of town. South of 23rd Street, the trail is crushed limestone, with a short jog on the barricaded shoulder of US-59 highway as it passes beneath Interstate 35.

Directions South From Ottawa

After riding beneath I-35, the crushed limestone trail has a slight grade upwards towards Princeton. Most of the way is canopied by trees, which provide much-desired shade on hot days. The trail crosses five gravel roads between Ottawa and Princeton with a variety of smoothness of transistions. As you approach John Brown Road, you should be able to see the Princeton Trailhead in front of you.


Services along the Prairie Spirit Trail in Ottawa

PhotoService, Address, PhoneServices
Blue Star CafeBlue Star Cafe
405 North Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Carnegie Cultural CenterCarnegie Cultural Center
515 Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Casey's General StoreCasey's General Store
334 North Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067-1920
Days InnDays Inn
1641 South Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Dietrich CabinDietrich Cabin
5th & Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
El Mezcal Mexican RestaurantEl Mezcal Mexican Restaurant
402 South Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
El SolEl Sol
210 South Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Flint Hills TrailFlint Hills Trail
7th and South Mason Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Franklin County CourthouseFranklin County Courthouse
305 South Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Franklin County Visitor Information CenterFranklin County Visitor Information Center
2011 East Logan Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Kanza ParkKanza Park
216 West 13th Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Keim BakeryKeim Bakery
304 South Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Luigi's Italian RestaurantLuigi's Italian Restaurant
127 South Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Maria's MexicanMaria's Mexican
314 South Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Old Depot MuseumOld Depot Museum
135 West Tecumseh Street, Ottawa, KS 66067-2009
Ottawa Bike and TrailOttawa Bike and Trail
130 South Main Street, Ottawa , KS 66067
Ottawa TrailheadOttawa Trailhead
1775 S. Princeton Circle Dr., Ottawa, KS 66067
Pizza TimePizza Time
208 South Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Pizza VillagePizza Village
330 South Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Poncho's Mexican RestaurantPoncho's Mexican Restaurant
429 South Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
Smoked Creations BBQSmoked Creations BBQ
222 East Logan Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
South Beach CoveSouth Beach Cove
1608 South Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067


Ottawa Photos

  • Early spring along the trail
    Early spring along the trail
  • Old Depot Museum View
    Old Depot Museum View
  • Ready To Ride
    Ready To Ride


More Information About Ottawa