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Kansas State Parks

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USA Parks
Southeast Kansas Region
Prairie Spirit Trail State Park
Western Meadow Lark ©
Western Meadow Lark
Spring Hike ©
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900 South Main Street
Garnett, Kansas   66032
(lat:38.2766 lon:-95.2407) map location

Phone: 785-448-6767
This linear park is located along a former rail bed between Iola and Ottawa, a distance of 51 miles. The city of Garnett is the midway point, and the park office is located at the Garnett Area Chamber of Commerce building. The Prairie Spirit Trail connects with the 9-mile long Southwind Rail Trail between Humboldt and Iola. Combined, the trails pass through 10 charming rural communities.

The Prairie Spirit Trail offers a peaceful and calm tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of big city life. The trail is a linear park passing through three counties with eight pocket-parks along the way. It is a greenway and travel corridor open to pedestrians and bicyclists that traverses diverse ecosystems including tallgrass prairie, riparian areas, agricultural lands, and communities.

Along rural portions, the trail is a hard packed limestone screening surface. The trail is asphalted through Garnett and Ottawa. The trail averages a minimum of 8 feet wide. It follows the original rail bed of the old Leavenworth, Lawrence and Fort Gibson Railroad. Built in the 1860s, it was the first north-south rail line in Kansas. The grades are moderate, providing easy travel for hikers and cyclists alike.

In October 2020, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the trail has been designated a National Recreation Trail. NRT designation promotes some of our country's highest-caliber trails with the intention of providing recreation access to rural and urban communities, economic development through tourism, and healthy recreation opportunities.

Prairie Spirit Trail State Park is
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Prairie Spirit Trail State Park offers numerous picnic spots along the trail, surrounded by beautiful prairie landscapes and wildlife.
Cycling enthusiasts can enjoy a 51-mile trail, offering both paved and crushed limestone surfaces. Be mindful of weather conditions.

The northern section is urbanized with more amenities while the southern part offers rural landscapes; plan accordingly.

Bikers should be aware that some portions are shared-use paths so caution around pedestrians or equestrians may be necessary.

Remember to carry water as potable sources might not always be available along this long-distance route in Kansas's heartland region.

Be prepared for potential wildlife encounters on your ride through these scenic trails - stay alert at all times!

Please note: there's an annual permit fee for cyclists over 16 years old - ensure you have yours before setting off.

Nighttime biking isn't allowed due to safety concerns; make sure your journey ends by sunset each day!
The park offers birding opportunities along a 51-mile trail. Bird watchers can spot species like cardinals, blue jays, and woodpeckers in the wooded areas of the trail. The open prairie sections are home to birds such as meadowlarks and bobolinks. Wetland regions attract waterfowl including ducks and herons.

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