For I don’t know how long, we’ve had on our family “to-do” list a ride on the Prairie Spirit Trail, a 52-mile stretch of rail bed in Kansas converted for use by cyclists, runners and walkers. It rolls past farm fields, through dot-on-the-map towns, and over streams and county roads.
Years ago, I rode Missouri’s Katy Trail with my mom on a couple of occasions and was eager for the chance to see my home state of Kansas from a rail-trail perspective. Earlier this summer, on National Trails Day, my two sons (ages 15 and 11) and I finally got our chance.
It turned out to be a perfect ride: Running north and south between Ottawa and Iola, the trail offers easy grades for hikers and bikers. There is no traffic with which to contend, and we could ride at our own pace, stop when we needed and explore when something caught our interest.
Before going, we visited the Bike Prairie Spirit website, the premier resource for the trail that describes in linear fashion the towns along it, points of interest, distance between stops, and amenities necessary to cyclists such as water, food and restrooms.
It’s great to see the Prairie Spirit Trail in the news. Thanks, Andra!