2010-09-07-Flint-Hills-Nature-Trail-EntranceFlint Hills Nature Trail Project

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/.

Phase I-A Improvements

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.

2 Comments » for Flint Hills Nature Trail
  1. Jim hoppa says:

    Have horseback riders looked at the signature bridges
    A lot of horses will spook at large white objects. I
    Think public funds would be better spent on maintenance of the trail etc. . If this money must be spent on art, how
    About trails not open to horses? I would prefer safe bridges with guard rails that look more like original
    Railroad bridges.

    • CFSE says:

      Hi Jim!

      Thank you for your input; your thoughts regarding horses and art are very valuable to us. We have passed on your feedback to our trail planners and those involved with the project.

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