Flint Hills Nature Trail SignThe Kansas Department of Transportation has announced that it has awarded a $1.9 million federal Transportation Alternatives grant to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for the continued development of the Flint Hills Nature Trail which stretches 117 miles between Osawatomie and Herington.

Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy, the trail manager, has already developed about 60 miles of the scenic rail-trail using donated funds and volunteers. The additional funds will be used for Phase II of the project which stretches between US 75 and Admire.

Phase I, which extends between Osawatomie and US 75, is in the design phase now and construction will start late summer or early fall. Funds will be used to install a hard-packed, crushed limestone surface suitable for bicycles, wheelchairs and horses, plus signage, railing, decking and repair of bridges, culvert repair and other necessary upgrades.

The combined grants will essentially be sufficient to complete the trail from Osawatomie to Council Grove, a distance of 90 miles.

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