Prairie Spirit Rail Trail

category : Recreation

The "Friends of the Prairie Spirit" welcome you to the
first major rail-trail development in the state of Kansas.
The Prairie Spirit Rail Trail offers biking and hiking
enthusiasts, runners, bird watchers and nature lovers a
new Kansas outdoor adventure. From Ottawa to Welda,
the Prairie Spirit Trail is currently more than 33 miles.

Kansas' first rail-trail, converted from two former
railbeds that have been "railbanked", meanders through golden prairies,
quiet woodlands, beautiful lakeside scenery, and travels
through charmingly inviting communities. Upon
completion the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail will span from
Ottawa to Iola and total more than 50 miles. The trail is
operated under the management of the Kansas
Department of Wildlife and Parks. Similarly, the Flint Hills Nature
Trail, an equestrian/hiking/bicycling trail, when completed from
Osawatomie, KS to Herrington, KS, will be a
150-mile trail, one of the longest rail-trails in
the United States. Both trails will intersect in
Ottawa, KS.

The trail outside the communities of Garnett and Ottawa
is of a hard packed surface created by mixing calcium
chloride with limestone screenings. It is 12 feet wide,
varying in some areas. Inside the city limits of Garnett and
Ottawa the surface is asphalt and is adorned with native
landscaping and ornamental lighting.

Built upon a railway bed, the trail grades are very
moderate and most stretches are level making this trail
ideal for maintaining steady speeds on long rides. The trail
passes over several bridges overlooking ponds, creeks,
and the Marais Des Cygnes River. Trailheads providing
amenities such as restrooms and picnic areas are located
in each community along the trail, while rest areas with

bench seating are strategically placed along the trail.


The Prairie Spirit Rail Trail is open during
daylight hours (outside of Garnett and Ottawa
city limits). Special-use permits may be
obtained for group evening rides or night
events from the trail manager. These events
must be approved and planned in advance for
notification of local law enforcement agencies.


Daily permits are $2.50, and can be obtained at any of the
trailheads. Annual permits are $10.50, and can be
purchased at the Garnett Area Chamber of Commerce,
Garnett City Hall, Franklin County Clerk's Office (Ottawa)
and Country Mart in Ottawa.

Come visit us in Ottawa, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Ottawa Community Arts Center

Ottawa Community Arts Council (OCAC), of Ottawa, Kansas , is a non-profit arts organization that has been in existence since 1977. The Ottawa Community Arts Council has been the official arts organization for Ottawa and Franklin County for over 30

Ottawa, KS Arts

Historic Churches

1st Babtist Church (pictured) - Romanesque Revival Style 4th and Hickory

United Methodist Church - 1903 3

Ottawa, KS Historic Churches

Tauy Jones Mansion

Located northeast of Ottawa 2 miles north on U.S. Highway 59 and then east. The home was built in 1862 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

John Tecumseh "Tauy" Jones, honored as the"Founder of Ottawa University"

Ottawa, KS Famous Homes

Dietrich Cabin

Located south of the old Ottawa Carnegie Library in Ottawa's City Park, the Dietrich Cabin stands today as a memorial to a courageous couple, who suffered severe hardships on the Kansas frontier and as a tribute to the hundreds of other early pioneers that settled in Franklin County.

Ottawa, KS Memorials

200 Block of Main

The entire 200 block of Main Street in Ottawa is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's noted for its Victorian architecture.

Ottawa, KS Historic Downtowns

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