Governor Laura Kelly today visited Mile Zero of the Flint Hills Trail in Osawatomie to help cut the ribbon on recent improvements, including a new two-mile portion of the trail and a parking lot near the Karl E. Cole Sports Complex.
The enhancements will improve trail access for pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians who want to enjoy outdoor recreational opportunities in Miami County.
“Public access to trails, parks, and other greenspaces plays a key role in growing economic development opportunities, promoting healthier lifestyles, and improving quality-of-life for Kansans statewide,” Governor Kelly said. “I commend the City of Osawatomie and the local Flint Hills Trail Taskforce for their work to boost visitor turnout at trails and other greenspaces in their community.”
Governor Kelly was joined by Brad Loveless, Secretary for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, and David Toland, Secretary for the Kansas Department of Commerce.
“It’s undeniable that Flint Hills Trail is among one of the most unique trails in the nation, and part of what makes this trail so special is the valuable relationships that have formed as a result of its use,” Secretary Loveless said. “Flint Hills Trail has brought together Kansas landowners, counties, and trail users for a common purpose, adding incredible value to the communities and businesses this trail touches along the way.”
In 2018, the City of Osawatomie established the Flint Hills Trail Taskforce to complete a new portion of the trail from John Brown Highway to a designated trailhead near the sports complex, where this morning’s ribbon cutting took place. The trail extension and a new parking lot marked the completion of Phase One of this project. Phase Two will include an informational kiosk and a restroom center for trail users.
“I served for 18 years as the Executive Director of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association, and improving access to outdoor recreation and park programs has always been a priority of mine,” Governor Kelly said. “My administration will continue to stand beside communities across Kansas to help support the outdoor activities and tourism opportunities that make Kansas a better place to work, live, and raise a family.”
About the Flint Hills Trail:
The 117-mile Flint Hills Trail State Park stretches from Osawatomie to Herington and passes through five counties and several communities along the way. The trail is built on an old rail corridor and is the seventh-longest rail-trail in America. The Flint Hills Trail generally follows the Santa Fe National Historic Trail route and was designated a State Park in 2018.
The below photos are available for media use: