Timon of Athens, 2012-04-09 12:12:44
I know that many people have been down this corridor and the elevation map I am preparing lets me know that it is fairly flat.


What’s the scenery like?
Are there any services of note near the trail?
I suspect that the terrain is most like the Ottawa/Princeton run, is this correct?
Anybody else preparing for a PST120?

kretzmeier, 2012-04-14 14:16:13
I have walked only parts of it. I would say your Ottawa/Princeton comparison is a good one. As you have probably seen on your elevation work there is only about 50 feet of elevation change over the distance. The highest point is probably adjacent to what was called Sinclair Curve on the old highway, proximate to the underpass. Between this area and Iola back to the north, the trail gets close to one of the first settlements (1855)in Allen County, a town called Cofachique. The settlement has long been abandoned. The current Iola Trailhead at Mile 109 ends at Cofachique Park which was named after the settlement. I believe you will find much of the trail south of the overpass on to Humboldt to be tree lined, open to strong breezes, but nothing like the open territory near mile 94. It will be a couple of weeks yet before I will be able to get out on the trail, but hope to make the Iola Ottawa Iola round trip by mid-May. It’s always a two day event for me. The burned bridge at Iola has not yet been repaired, however the snow fences are down and it appears people are passing over it. No paving yet on the Iola extension. 04-14-12.
my_bicycle_saved_me, 2012-04-20 10:42:15

Trying to get a picture of when the full course through Humboldt is scheduled to be completed. Can you fill in the blanks in my understanding?

The Iola story posted on 4/9 says “construction of the 1.5 miles of the Prairie Spirit Trail Extension within the city limits of Iola is ahead of schedule.” – but I’m not sure what the schedule is/was or when they think this will be done. The 6.3 miles from Bassett to Humboldt is, to my understanding, under construction – but are you aware of any planned timeline for its completion? Another story, also posted 4/9 (the Allen County one) refers to the Sunflower grant covering 4.5 miles of the (I think Humboldt) part of the trail, and I get the impression from that article that the final 1.5 miles is still being negotiated.

Is any portion of this additional ~8ish miles actually navigable by bike now? Or is it off limits?

Sorry for my inability to put the pieces together, just trying to understand what their planned timeline is, if there IS a stated one…

RE your question, I’m doing my first Ottawa-Iola (or further if possible)-Ottawa trip in late May, but it’s a two-day affair. Not yet in the shape to do a 120-mile ride.

Timon of Athens, 2012-04-22 12:23:52

Here’s the best I can do.

The extension within Iola between the parks was partly funded by stimulus money and should be complete within the next few weeks. It extends the trail about 1.1 miles from Chofachique Park to Riverside Park. This is nice because the trail now ends right by a big parking lot with a public pool and showers.

Continuing the trail to Humboldt is a work in progress. The funding is being developed (mainly by Thrive Allen County) and partially there. As far as I know, no work has been scheduled. However, as far as I have seen the right-of-way is not blocked and the roadbed looks passable by a hydrid or mountain bike. If anyone know differently, I how that they post to the thread. I haven’t had time to contact Trent, the trail manager, but feel free.

Hope this helps.

JD_Shawnee, 2012-05-18 08:24:12
Set out to ride part of the PST Thursday. But my late start from home caused me to pass on it at the last minute since I would return late evening. So I checked the extension work in Iola instead.

Looks to me like the trail has been road-graded from the end-of-trail barricade/sign at the State-Street Cofachique park down to the north end of Riverside Park, about a mile further south past Madison Street. Much of the ballast rock in this 1-mile section has been wind-rowed to the sides of the corridor, leaving a flat but fairly rough trail surface in between them. This graded section has also been paved over a street or two. Could it be ready for limestone screenings, or pavement like at the north side? ?

I couldn’t see any development further south than that. The rest of the corridor south of Iola looks untouched to me. But it also looks well-treed and probably suitable for hiking or mountain biking as mentioned by others already. Chow.

Note: This is an archived copy of an old forum thread, maintained for posterity. For the latest discussions, check out our new forums!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.