prai-rie n. 1. A large open area of grassland.
Prairie Creek Greenway astounded me! Visiting from Southern California, I envisioned a flat ride along a meandering stream on a grass covered prairie. However, to my surprise, Platte City and Prairie Creek Greenway are within rolling, tree covered, scenic hills, and once away from the creek, the path is anything but flat. There are lots of hills, many of them steep, to get your heart pumping. Thank goodness these two senior citizens were able to activate their Swytch pedal assists as needed!
The ride through the greenway is hilly where it leaves the creek, but it is mostly enclosed within the shade of woodlands which kept us cool on an eighty degree afternoon in early October. The sound of birds, squirrels, crickets, and the creek add to the joy of this ride. Lots of curves, bridges, and a park-like setting make it fun to bicycle.
Be sure to discover the waterfall at a U-shaped pullout, most definitely the highlight of the ride for me! (That and seeing my first beautiful red cardinal in the wild! We don't have those in California)
The trail was especially popular with locals who, for the most part, were walking it. We encountered only two other bicyclists.
A couple of spurs take you along main roads and into upscale neighborhoods which the local residents must surely appreciate, but don't bother with them if you're there for the solitude of the greenway. Speaking of spurs, first timers will certainly want to utilize the Trail Link app to stay on course.
Also, be alert for a couple of spots where the trees have done a number on the asphalt with their roots. My wife was actually sent off the trail by protruding roots!
All in all, I'm confident the fine citizens of Platte City know what a gem of a greenway trail system they have, and it's certainly worth spending an hour or two for a couple of out-of-towners or out-of-state explorers like us!