Landon Nature Trail

Having been stuck at home for the better part of the six months while the pandemic swirls around us, we are always in search of safe, close by adventures. Biking, particularly on country roads and other sparsely populated areas, has become our primary adventure. For a little variety from the in-town trails, we took off on a Sunday afternoon to check out a section of the Landon Nature Trail in Topeka, Kansas.

It was a hot (93 F) day with a strong wind. However, once we got on the trail, the trees lining the route both blocked the wind and considerably cooled the temperature. We were greeted by flowers, birds, butterflies, grasshoppers, dragonflies and just-about-to-turn-colors foliage. We encountered very few other people using the trail. We passed one couple coming and going, but the only other people we saw turned off the trail before we got that far.

A recently fallen tree needed to be removed from the trail. Otherwise, the trail was in good condition and free from obstructions.

The trail, which was built on a formerly a Missouri-Pacific railroad line, will eventually run about 40 miles (north to south) from downtown Topeka, Kansas to Quenemo, Kansas, where it will link up with the Flint Hills Trail. At present, the trail extends about 12 miles from downtown Topeka to SE 89th Street – the Shawnee County/Osage County line. I haven’t found any clear information about when the remainder of the trail will be completed.

We hopped on at SW 39th Street and headed south. At that point, the trail was paved for about a mile followed by about another mile of fairly thick chat. After that, the remainder of the trail we rode on was light chat or hard packed earth.

We rode about 6 miles out before stopping for a picnic lunch in a little park in Berryton, Kansas, then heading back. Despite the heat, it was a lovely day for a bike ride. We’ll need to go back for another ride when the fall colors are at their peak.

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