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Find the top rated atv trails in Emporia, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
Today we rode the Flint Hills Trail from Osawatomie to Ottawa and back. We had a great time and this trail is highly recommended! The trail is a "Rails to Trails" route that follows the Marais des Cygnes river, so it is predominately flat. The gravel surface is packed very light chip, so almost any type of bike will work (we rode gravel bikes). In a few places, the recent heavy rains washed away the light chip top coat and exposed the more coarse RR bed gravel below, but it is not a problem. We did not see any of the thorns etc. mentioned above in posts from previous years. The trail head is a little hard to find, and Google maps did not help. If you find the Osawatomie elementary school and then proceed down that same road about 3/4 mile further, the trail head (with some parking) is on your right. Leaving on the trail from Osawatomie, the first 6 miles are completely shaded by trees arching over the trail. After that the trail is about 1/2 shaded and 1/2 open meadows - so this is a great trail for warm summer days (and should be beautiful in the fall). There are many bridges, views of the river and wide open farmland to see along the way. Today, at 9 miles in, there was about 200 yd where water covered the trail from the big overnight thunderstorms, but this is not normal. There are no drinking water stops along the way - so bring at least 2 good sized bottles per person. There are however farm houses all along, so if you really needed help in an emergency, it is not far away. Ottawa is about 18 miles from Osawatomie and you will know that you are close when you pass under the I-35 bridge (about 2 miles to go). If you want lunch, turn left off the trail at 7th street (it is well marked), go ~1 mile south on 7th and you will hit Main street. Subway is 2 blocks to your left (9th street) on Main, or you can go to downtown and have a variety of food choices. We had a really nice ride today and hope that you can ride this trail soon too!
I rode this trail from 2nd and Golden to 28th and Fairlawn, and BACK today. loved every minute of it, Just the right amount of turns twists, i felt safe and really enjoyed the views while riding!
This is a lovely trail. I camped at Vassar Lake for a few nights and rode sections out and back each day between Council Grove and Osawatomie. Trail conditions were great for a gravel, mountain or touring bike. There are a few rough bridges, and a few patches of ballast or deep sand, but nothing that will ruin your day. My first morning I followed a coyote following a turkey for the better part of a mile. In Ottawa you can also connect to the Prairie Spirit trail, which is also nice.
This trail is not ready for prime-time.
Unlike the R-Ts that I've done (GAP, Katy, Mickelson), there are no dedicated services such as water (cisterns or pumps), bathrooms or portapotties, no mileage signage, not even signs identifying towns at crossroads. Essentially NO SERVICES. I did count four (I think) benches on the 103 miles we rode. Though I have been told this will change quickly since the State has recently taken over the trail, about a quarter of it is virtually impassable due to inappropriate maintenance, if any. That's from about five miles east of Council Grove on and off to Osage City. 2-4 inch ballast rocks are dumped on the trail without grading or filling, no gravel for miles (just dirt jeep trail), no side rails on unimproved bridges (dangerous), grading done in wet weather where the grader tread tracks have become miles of almost-highway rumble strips and, finally, trash heaps along side the trail.. A terrible riding experience. Add to that an approximate three mile detour just west of Ottawa on yucky gravel county roads (not marked on any - including TrailNet - maps, but clearly a long-term function of the trail).
Now, from Osage City east to Osawatomie is from passable to good enough, mostly on the positive side of that spectrum.
BUT, the people we met were all wonderful, great experiences at every interaction. The Cottage House in Council Grove and the Koch Guesthouse (AirBnB) in Osage City were delightful, and Jeff and Yon at the Ottawa Bike Shop were outstandingly - I mean really - helpful.
If you want to do the Flint Hills R-T, do the eastern half or wait till the state at least fixes the surface on the western side. Otherwise, it can be a miserable experience. Either way, once the trail is fixed, it's still a long way from the standards set by the nearby Katy.
I began running along this trail on Friday afternoon on 4/12/2019. The weather was about 52°, sunny, and a bit windy. I found the trail to be difficult to run along. The trail is gravel, but not maintained very well. There was a steady undergrowth about 8” high that blanketed the trail. I found myself dodging bushes and dead, fallen trees lying across the path. In the two miles i ran, there were about three gates. After the fourth, i met a herd of cattle, and that’s when I turned back. Otherwise, the trail is very peaceful. I recommend it for walking or mountain biking. If tou do bike it, be sure to bring an extra tire!
Rode on an unseasonably cool and overcast July day. Trail is in excellent condition. We rode our street bikes. This section is doable for the casual rider and for families. Take water, there are no services. Beautiful ride through the flint hills. Bushong is the high point in this section.
Great ride on a super nice spring day. The trails were in very good condition. The only problem that we encountered was the 2 mile (2.5 mile?) detour that is west of Ottawa. It is on gravel roads, which is no problem for gravel riders. There are also a lot of dogs, most are of no consequence... but be on the lookout for an Ill-tempered pit bull on the west end of the detour. The owner was there and able to contain him so we could pass. This is the only reason I couldn’t give our experience 5 stars. Next
Did a 25 mile out and back east of Council Grove. Overall good condition with a little loose stone. Quiet ride with beautiful views of the working and natural landscape.
Loved this trail. We made it from the start to south of Berryton. It's mostly tree shaded and really pretty; very peaceful, especially after you leave city limits. Concrete for a long while -- great for skating; then crushed stone -- some pitted parts here and there but mostly nice and smooth.
I regularly do 40-50 on this trail. The best part is from Admire to Council Grove, both in terms of scenery and trail conditions. East of Admire has a lot of ballast that will slow you down. If you like solitude and scenery, it's the best trail in KS. If you like amenities, not so much. As for thorns, I use tire liners and have never had a single flat.
My son and I did an overnight leaving from Council Grove, camping at Vassar State Park and back to CG the next day. We had excellent weather and plenty of time to accomplish the 50+ miles in each direction. My bike handled the rough terrain well but my son's tires did not like the many thorns. We exhausted his extra tire and my 6 pack of patches. We even broke into my air mattress repair kit. Either go tubeless or make sure your tires can take a beating. Some very rough patches and THORNS! That aside - beautiful landscape and scenery! Say "hi" to the cows! Also, Vassar State Park is a beautiful camping area. Friendly people, too. Also, stop off in Allen and talk to Paul who runs the auto shop - super friendly and will sell you a coke for 50 cents. You can fill up on his free water, too. Stay a spell and let him tell you about his town. You won't be sorry.
We took a ride from the trailhead at Princeton KS, about 17 miles to Garnett KS, where we ate lunch at a restaurant on the town square, and returned that afternoon. This trail has excellent surface condition, good vegetation control, safe bridges, and nice variety of scenery in open space and deep forest cover. Bathrooms and water available at Princeton, Richmond, and Garnett. Its a nice day trip from Kansas City to get out in the country.
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