The Landon Nature Trail
The Landon Nature Trail is under rapid development on nearly 40 miles of the former Missouri-Pacific Railroad. The Landon Trail is a particularly scenic recreational trail stretching from the popular Shunga Trail in Topeka to the Clinton Wildlife Area and Pomona Lake. In the North this remarkable trail follows picturesque Camp Creek with its clear, rushing water and wooded oak-hickory covered hills which provide a shady tree canopy for trail users. It should also be noted that the nature trail passes by two wetlands teeming with waterfowl, native tall grass prairie blooming with wildflowers and two lovely waterfalls. In fact, the land surrounding the Swissvale Waterfall lies within the corridor and can be turned into a picnic area. The Landon Trail is the only trail in America which connects and crosses both historic national trails -- the Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon Trail. It crosses the Union Ferry Branch of Oregon Trail at SE 42nd in Topeka and Santa Fe Nat'l Historic Trail north of US 56 north of Overbrook. Very few trails in the Midwest offer the variety of scenery provided by the Landon Nature Trail. It is an exceptional public asset available to everyone in the Sunflower State. Visitors are invited to come out and enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, running, horseback riding, and experience some of the most breathtaking scenery in the midwest.
The Landon Nature Trail is a wonderful place to walk the dog and pursue a healthy lifestyle for the whole family. The route also comprises the major north-south artery of the Topeka City Trail System. The facility is being developed and managed by local volunteers as part of the Kanza Rail Trails Conservancy, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. The Landon is supported primarily by community donations and grants. The only publicly funded portion is the section inside the Topeka city limits, which is leased by the city. This project is a fantastic example of community spirit. One major reason why rail-trails are so user friendly is the same reason they were good for trains. The pathway is wide with gradual changes in elevation and gentle curves. These attributes make the Landon great for visitors from young ages to the most seasoned trail veterans. The surface inside Topeka is being made of concrete and outside of town is crushed limestone. Both types are good for many uses. The gradual curves of the Landon provide great visibility of other visitors who are moving toward you. Bicyclers have more time and distance to react and alert horseback riders or hikers they may be passing. It allows parents to keep an eye on the kids easier. The crushed limestone will support wheelchairs when it is dry. Motorized wheelchairs are allowed on the trail.