After learning about the Flint Hills Nature Trail bike path, I got six people from Prairie Fire and facebook together to go explore it. I scoffed at the website’s claim that the path was unrideable west of Council Grove. That’s just for regular people, I thought, and promptly planned the entire first day to cover that section. It turns out that this section is entirely unrideable. The vegetation is dense and thorny, the terrain is rough, and there really isn’t any semblance of a path at all. I am confident that it will some day be an excellent trail, but for now it should be attempted only by those that truly enjoy pain. We did find an abandoned grain elevator to play on for a while. But after about 8 very hard miles, one bike got a flat tire and called off the journey for the day. We camped that night at the Santa Fe Recreational Area on Council Grove Lake.
Sunday morning, after a hearty breakfast in the Hays House and being joined by more bikers, we hit the more developed section of the trail. The 25 miles between Council Grove and Admire include some of the best scenery of the Flint Hills that I’ve found. It really feels like you’re in a remote section of Kansas and gives you a feel of how the landscape looked long ago. Half way through the ride we got off of the bikes for a hike in the prairie before continuing on. Some of us explored the desolate and eerie town of Admire while the others retrieved the cars.
The Flint Hills Nature Trail goes from the city of Council Grove to Vassar. Go to http://www.kanzatrails.org/flint-hills-nature-trail for more details on planning a trip.