Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another Kansas Run (Okay, Hike)

I took some more time off and went to Kansas. While there, I was able to do a little running/hiking. If you are ever going through Kansas and have a chance to run the Prairie Spirit Trail (50-60 miles from Ottawa to Iola), or a portion of it, I strongly suggest it. Following is somewhat of a critique as well as some suggestions if you decide to give it a go:

-A lot of the same scenery--could get a little boring, although I enjoyed the beauty of nature and the shade of the trees.

-Bring a lot of water and snacks as there are VERY few chances to fill up.

-There aren't really any mile markings, so I recommend a GPS (also keeps you from getting lost as I almost did...which brings me to my next point)

-A large section of the trail was out, and the detour was a nightmare. I don't know how well it is kept up with, but be sure to check for closings.

-I struggled with a lot with pebbles in my shoes. I didn't mind the terrain (just dirt and gravel) and in the fall I assume the fallen leaves would be even better. But I recommend gators over your shoes to keep the pebbles out.

-I'm not quite sure what the deal is with the permit, but as I can tell you just put $3.50 in an envelope, put the envelope in the box, and then what happens to the money after that,I have no idea...and since I saw just about nobody anywhere, I am curious if anyone would ever get caught not paying. But I recommend you be honorable and put the money in the box.

I think this could be a great trail, but I wish more people knew about it and could raise money to have more work done on it.

Anyways, that is my feeling on the Prairie Spirit Trail--definitely worth the money.

(Update: Several years later, I moved to Iola, KS in a location that is close to this trail.  I have frequented the trail for years, and it has become much better managed and maintained.  I think it continues to grow in attraction and convenience, and I have even competed in ultra distance races on this trail.)

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