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Find the top rated atv trails in Salina, 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.
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!
Felt like riding a cobblestone road. I have great shocks on my mountain bike too.
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.
This trail has lots of shade trees which is perfect on hot sunny days! Great distance for a group to bike. Scenic and well marked! Will bike there again !
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.
I ran a short out and back--getting on the trail near 7th and Lincoln in Ottawa. It was a bit muddy in a few places, but otherwise not too bad. They had just replaced one of the bridges and looked like they were going to add side rails. I crossed two other bridges with no sides. The portion I was on looked like it might have some shade in the summer.
My wife and I did a S24O (sub-24-hour-overnighter) from Admire to Pomona Lake and back (~30 miles one-way - 60 miles round-trip) over Columbus Day weekend 2016. We stayed at Vassar State Park which has a nice shower house with running water, plumbing, electricity, and a laundromat. It is also right on the lake. Osage City is a nice midpoint stop over with a nearby Casey's and Sonic just a block or two off of the trail.
I would recommend diverting to the south of the trail a block or two in Osage City due to the active railroad, an unmaintained bridge, and an apparent private property dispute/temper-tantrum. The active railroad is the only signed feature, and that's with a do-not-pass barricade and sign. The railroad that crosses the trail is NOT at-grade, and will require an exceptionally expertly-timed bunny hop in loose ballast or a dismount and lift.
I rode a Surly Big Dummy with 26"x2.15+" width tires and my wife rode a Salsa Vaya with 700x40mm tires. We both had flats, although mine may have been due to an improperly tightened valve stem. Hers may have been a pinch flat, as there was no evident thorn or debris nearby or caught in the tire.
This segment of the trail (Admire to Pomona Lake) looks to have had limestone screenings laid down at some point in the past, but does not experience enough travel to keep the grass down. The trail is bumpy and muddy with loose ballast, pot holes, and washouts in sections. There are a few low-hanging branches to dodge, also.
All this being said, my wife and I rode the trail with one longtail bike plus rider plus camping equipment probably verging on 280-300 lbs mark, while my wife was on somewhat narrow 40mm wide tires with her camping gear, and we only had to dismount once due to a broad and deep mud hole.
If you're used to riding perfectly groomed limestone trails, or asphalt and concrete and don't know how to change a flat and aren't used to riding 10-15 miles on gravel and/or minimum maintenance roads, and can't carry more than a couple of water bottles, this portion may not be for you.
If you regularly mountain bike or ride gravel, and know how to change a tube, and are prepared to NOT have water spigots every 2-5 miles, this is a fun segment, particularly for a quick bikepacking overnighter. . .
Pomona Lake's Vassar State Park is close to the trail and has a laundromat and showerhouse with plumbing and electricity and a motel and restaurant nearby.
Osage City is right on the trail with a Casey's and Sonic in plain view at one intersection.
Run tubeless or with tire liners. Have a hand tire pump handy.
Pack extra water. . .Osage City (~15 miles) is the first place with clean water access between Admire and Pomona Lake that would appear to be readily and regularly handy unless you want to knock on doors.
On September 15, 2016 I rode both parts of the trail from Lindsborg south and from McPherson north on a Cyclocross bike and found the trial in great shape especially on the Lindsborg side. The ride from the Lindsborg trail head is a beautiful one with lots of shade and from McPherson a wonderful ride through mostly farm land with lots of sunflowers along the trail. There is some crop waste on much of the trial on the McPherson side but nothing that caused any problems to ride or walk through. While it is a shame there is a 5 mile piece missing in the middle of the trail it is a short jog from the trail ends to old US 81 highway so a nice 12.5 mile ride one way is still available.
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