There are lot of great ways to enjoy the Prairie Spirit and Southwind Rail Trail, but what better way than with camping, live music, food vendors, and a beer garden? Oh, and of course – cycling!
Props to Thrive Allen County for driving a grassroots effort to promote healthy living and a vibrant trails community in Allen County. Saddle up your bike and head out to Iola September 12 and 13th to join the fun at the annual Portland Alley Pedalfest.
They’ve got a Family Fun Ride as well 25, 50, 75, and 100 mile rides – sign up at EventBrite.
Prairie Spirit Trail
This mural is near the Old Depot Museum in Ottawa, which is the northern trailhead for the Prairie Spirit Trail. It runs for 50 miles from Ottawa to Iola where it links with the Southwind Rail Trail for another 6 miles or so from Iola to Humboldt.
For those who voted for the Flint Hills Nature Trail, well, I guess that could be argued as the right answer as well. The still in progress Flint Hills Nature Trail runs east – west, and it passes through Ottawa, though its route doesn’t take you past this trail mural in Ottawa.
The Prairie Spirit Trail is completely finished and in good condition, with an easy grade and wide path perfect for cyclists, equestrians, or runners, and after heading through Ottawa, the trail takes you through the Flint Hills. If you’re on the trail in the morning or evening, you’ll be under shade, and there are bathrooms and trail stops along the way as you head through or past the towns of Princeton, Richmond, Garnett, Welda, Colony, Carlyle, Iola, Bassett, and Humboldt.
If you go:
Daily passes are $3.50 and can be purchased in at self-pay stations at the Ottawa, Princeton, Richmond, Garnett, Welda, Carlyle, and Iola trailheads. Annual-use permits are $12.50 and can be purchased in Garnett and Ottawa.