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Bicycling in the State of Kansas on the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail

This is a 33-mile trail that links the communities of Ottawa, Princeton, Richmond, Garnett and Welda. It is paved inside the city limits of Ottawa and Garnett; otherwise the surface is a hard-packed mixture of limestone and calcium chloride. Permits are required outside the city limits. There are permit stations at the trailhead in each town. Contact the Kansas Cepartment of Wildlife & Parks, (785) 448-6767, for further information and/or a map.

This trail is lined with wildflowers. The famous Kansas sunflowers were in full array when we were there in early September. Local trail users say that it’s just as pretty during times when the May apple, Dutchman beeches, Queen Anne’s lace, butterfly milkweed, ox-eye daisies and more are in full bloom.

It’s common to see wildlife along this trail including whitetail deer, quail, cottontail rabbits, great-horned owls and a variety of songbirds. We saw a coyote. He ran through a pasture right beside us and crossed the trail into a cornfield up ahead of us. Copyright 2007, All Rights Reserved