The Tour de Trails fundraising event is coming up this Saturday, September 17, beginning at 10:00 am in Lindsborg. This event is showcasing the northern portion of the walking and biking Meadowlark Trail that is being constructed between McPherson and Lindsborg.
Michelle Collins is with the Central Kansas Conservancy which is organizing the event.
“We’re excited,” Collins enthused. “This is the first time we’re actually doing an event on this section of the trail.
“We’re going to start on the Valkommen Trail just north of the railroad bridge and go from there to our new covered bridge on the Meadowlark Trail,” she continued. “So you go from the railroad bridge to the covered bridge and back.”
The construction of the Meadowlark Trail has been an ongoing project for several years.
“We’ve had some really dedicated people on our board that have been with it for about ten to 12 years,” Collins said. “We are totally a non-profit, all-volunteer workforce.”
The Meadowlark Trail is being developed on an old road bed from an abandoned railroad track that stretches between Lindsborg and McPherson.
“It was an old Union Pacific railroad track,” Collins explained. “I believe about 15 years ago, it was no longer in use, so they rail banked it. There was another organization before us, but basically, it was rail banked to be turned into a recreational trail.”
The trail will be about 12 miles long once it’s complete. So far, about four miles are finished on the McPherson side, and almost three near Lindsborg, leaving about five miles to go.
“Probably some of the people in the McPherson area don’t know that there is two and three-quarter miles completed on the north end,” Collins said. “Totally different than our south end, beautiful in its own way also… it’s much more wooded, much shadier when it’s hot, and goes along the river, has four bridges…
“You get up into the Lindsborg side and you really do not feel like you’re in Kansas.”
Those involved in the development of the Meadowlark Trail are hopeful the entire trail will be complete sometime in the next five years.
“It’s so fun to see that people are really using it,” said Collins. “We have a lot of dog walkers out there… biking, running, walking, and horseback riding! It is just amazing.
“It has been a nice addition to the McPherson community.”
Registration for the Tour de Trails event begins Saturday at 9:00 am. Bikes will take off about 10:00 and runners and walkers shortly after. There’ll be hotdogs and giveaways at the finish line and the cost is $15 to participate.
For more information, check out their website at www.centralkansastrails.org
or their Facebook page