The Flint Hills Nature Trail stretches for 117 miles across east-central Kansas, from Osawatomie in the east to Herington in the west, and passes through several communities, including Rantoul, Ottawa, Pomona, Vassar, Osage City, Miller, Admire, Allen, Bushong and Council Grove. The trail passes through five counties: Miami, Franklin, Osage, Lyon and Morris. As its name suggests, the trail crosses the beautiful Flint Hills. The Flint Hills represent one of the last remaining tallgrass prairie ecosystems in the world. It is home to abundant prairie plant and wildlife species, spectacular views, national historic sites and a diverse set of recreational areas. The eastern portions of the route travel alongside the Marais des Cygnes River, between rushing waters and towering bluffs, through rolling farmland and riparian woodlands.
The Flint Hills Nature Trail has more than a dozen trailheads and other access points, some with nearby parking, camping/lodging and other services. A few access points include:
- Osawatomie — Go 2 miles west on John Brown Highway (Parker Avenue) and then north on Indianapolis Road a half-mile.
- Ottawa East — Go 1 mile east on Seventh Street from U.S. 59 (Main Street). The trail begins just past South Mason Street.
- Ottawa West — Go one block west on First Street from U.S. 59 (Main Street) to Walnut Street, where the Flint Hills Nature Trail intersects with the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail. Follow the Flint Hills connector path to Maple Street, where the trail veers off to the right and passes under K-68 Highway. (Parking at Second and Walnut streets.)
- Vassar (Gateway to Lake Pomona) — The trailhead is 1 block south of the Vassar Methodist Church on Croco Road.