Osawatomie to Herington, Kansas
The Flint Hills Nature Trail is a rails-to-trails project that extends 117-miles from Osawatomie to
Herington, Kansas in the right-of-way of the former Missouri Pacific Railroad (MoPac). The trail will
connect six counties including Miami, Franklin, Osage, Lyon and Morris and pass through numerous
communities along the way. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and Kanza
Rails to Trails Conservancy (KRTC) selected the design team of CFS Engineers and RDG Planning and
Design to lead the planning and design of the improvements, which will be completed in segments as
funds become available.
Development of the trail will encourage outdoor recreation and provide safer routes for pedestrians,
bicyclists and equestrians. Several segments of the trail are unimproved or closed, but long range plans
call for improvements along the entire length.
Signature Bridge Project
As part of the Flint Hills Nature Trail project, the KDWPT hopes to transform four utilitarian bridges into
“signature bridges” to provide users with a unique trail experience that also conveys the meaning of the
land that the trail passes through. The CFS and RDG team has developed concepts for the bridges, with
renderings that will be used to raise private contributions for construction.
For complete information on the signature bridge portion of the project, and to leave comments on
specific bridge locations and designs, please go to the following link: http://rdgusa.com/flint-hills/.
KDWPT has contracted with APAC-Kansas, Shears Division to complete the first phase of construction
(Phase I-A) along the Flint Hills Nature Trail. The first phase will extend from Colorado Road to Iowa
Terrace in Franklin County. Construction activities will occur entirely within the current Flint Hills Nature
Trail right-of-way and the nearly $1.2M project will include clearing, gravel surfacing, bridge railing and
A significant element of the project is learning and understanding public opinions about development of
the trail using a series of community workshops. The first series of workshops were held in February
and April of 2014 to discuss Phase IA improvements. The workshop format was employed to allow
visitors to learn about the trail planning and design and to talk one-on-one with design team members.
Additional workshops are planned as the project moves forward.