Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, visitors at Prairie Spirit Trail State Park and Flint Hills Trail State Park will no longer be required to purchase trail access permits. The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KWPT) Commission repealed the regulation that requires trail access permits at the Commission’s Nov. 15, 2018 public meeting in Russell in an effort to inspire greater use of the two trails.
“We hope this serves as a great incentive for state park visitors and trail enthusiasts to visit these two truly unique trails,” said Kansas State Parks director Linda Lanterman. “Our state parks have some really phenomenal trails, and I think people are going to be especially surprised by these two in particular.”
More than 50 miles long, Prairie Spirit Trail State Park is a linear park spanning three counties from Ottawa to Iola. Prairie Spirit Trail users can stop and enjoy the local hospitality of 10 rural communities and eight pocket-parks along its path.
The Flint Hills Trail State Park is the longest trail in Kansas and the seventh-longest rail-trail in America, stretching 117 miles. The trail runs east to west, from Osawatomie to Herington, passing through the communities of Rantoul, Ottawa, Pomona, Vassar, Osage City, Miller, Admire, Allen, Bushong, and Council Grove along the way. Flint Hills Trail users may be interested to know the path follows the general route of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail, and forms a component of the coast-to-coast American Discovery Trail.
“Word is beginning to spread about these trails and the people who have visited them know just how unique they are,” said Lanterman. “Whether you just do a stretch of the trail, whether you prefer hiking or biking, I encourage everyone to get out there and see why these trails are worth the trek.”
For more information on Kansas state park trails, visit ksoutdoors.com/Outdoor-Activities.