This is a great time of year in Kansas as the weather is comfortable to be outside exercising and the trees are changing colors, as well as there are still some fall flowers showing colors along the trail. The trail is in good shape and is open from Ottawa to Iola.
Currently, all restroom facilities are open and water is available at all rest areas except Carlyle. We will begin to winterize and close our facilities on October 31, 2013. Richmond will be the first facility shut down for winterizing and maintenance. The rest room will be closed on Oct 31st, and the water to the outside fountain will be shut off on November 4th. We will then shut water off at all other facilities and begin closing other restrooms for the winter through the first two weeks of November. We will close Princeton and Carlyle last, as they are the busiest restrooms. Restrooms in the Depot in Garnett and at the Depot Museum in Ottawa will remain open through the winter.
For those who may not be aware, The Southwind Trail was opened this past year and you can now continue south from Iola to Humboldt on the same rail corridor from the southern terminus of the Prairie Spirit Trail. For those who have visited the Trail before, this is an opportunity to extend your ride and see some new areas.
For the runners out there, there will be a 50 Mile and 50 Kilometer run on October 26, 2013 http://marathons.ahotu.com/race/prairie-spirit-trail-fall-classic-50k-ultra-race , as well as plans for a 50 and 100 mile Ultra Marathon again in March of 2014, http://prairiespirit100.com/the-event/ . We had an interesting initial run in March of 2013 with a run that really tested participants due to a little taste of Kansas winter- you know, rain… then ice… covered by heavy snow and arctic winds- but participants loved it and loved the trail…… they were there to run 50 or 100 miles during a single event so they were looking forward to an extreme outdoor experience.
For those wanting a safe but slightly spooky event for the kids, the Friends of the Prairie Spirit Trail will have the “Happy Haunted Trail” on Halloween night in Garnett at the Depot. Candy for the kids and snacks for adults as well as a safe place for the kids to go through the Historic Santa Fe Depot after it has been given a holiday appropriate makeover. This has been a significant event in the past years and it offers a nice activity which is appropriate for even the youngest of children.
See you on the trail,
Manager, Prairie Spirit Trail State Park