For several years now the bicyclers, hikers, runners, bird watchers and other nature lovers have enjoyed this gem in Eastern Kansas, this 50-mile converted railroad is the longest rail trail in Kansas. Spanning from Ottawa to Iola, bikers and walkers can view wildlife, native prairie, rolling hills and fertile farmland. The trailhead in Ottawa begins at the Old Depot Museum, a restored 1888 Santa Fe Depot. The trail’s hard-packed limestone surface is suitable for foot traffic, bicycles, and wheelchairs. Portions of the trail inside city limits are paved asphalt adorned with ornamental lighting and landscaping. For the safety of trail users, it is routinely patrolled by Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks and local law enforcement. The trail is open during daylight hours, and special permits may be obtained for group night rides or other events.
Trail Permits: A per-person trail permit is required for persons 16 years and older to use the trail outside the city limits of Garnett and Ottawa. Persons using the trail within the city limits of Garnett and Ottawa may do so free of charge. The cities of Garnett and Ottawa maintain the trail with their respective city boundaries. This maintenance is provided in exchange for usage of the trail within those boundaries at no charge.
Self-pay daily permits are $3.50 per day and may be purchased at self-pay stations located at the Ottawa, Princeton, Richmond, Garnett and Welda trailheads.
Annual permits are available for $12.15 can also be purchased any one of the following ways:
At the self-pay stations by filling out the needed information and placing $12.15 in the self-pay envelope.
Purchase at any retail location where Kansas hunting, fishing and state park permits are sold.
Purchase permits via the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks website at: http://www.wildlifelicense.com/ks
Purchase by phone by calling 1-800-918-2877 (credit card required).
No permit is required for persons 15 years of age or under.
Restrooms are spaced conveniently along the trail, and picnic areas are located at each trailhead. Camping is prohibited along the trail corridor, but North Lake Park in Garnett, which borders the trail, does allow camping. Equestrians are not permitted. Fishing is allowed only in lakes at Garnett. Hunting and all firearm possession is prohibited along the trail corridor.
PO Box 71
Garnett, KS 66032-0071