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West Flint Hills Nature Trail

 4.5 (2)
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Map Key

75.3 Miles 121.2 Kilometers



651' 198 m


-994' -303 m



Avg Grade (0°)


Max Grade (1°)

1,439' 438 m


890' 271 m


Shared By Andy Cramb



Getting forecast...

A magnificent Rails to Trails section through the Flint Hills of Kansas from Council Grove to Ottawa!

Andy Cramb

Dogs Leashed

Features -none-

I saw two signs shot up by 9mm and 5.56mm...listen for illegal activity as such and report it to 911. Also, be aware of Kansas rifle deer hunting season...I wouldn't recommend running in early December for this reason.

Need to Know

A one mile stretch in Osage City does not appear to be maintained. It was overgrown with poison ivy and looks like it may be private property. It is recommended detouring south on Lakin Street.


This is an amazing rail-to-trail experience! Council Grove to Osage City is a very secluded and rural experience. You're one with the trail out there...nothing else matters. As far as you can see, you're the only one out there.

The little towns might offer support if you're in need of water or help, but I didn't have time to venture into them as I had lots of trail to cover in one day.

I was on this trail on a super cold day; 42 degrees with 30mph NW winds. I aspired to do this trail for eight months or so and this was the day it had to overcome the problem of a super long trail such as this.

How do you get back to your car?! My parents had business in Council Grove and offered to move my car to Vassar mid-day. So even with frigid weather conditions, I felt I was up to the challenge and took them up on their offer.

Don't underestimate this trail...the climb from Council Grove to Bushong is the only challenging uphill, but the sheer distance is quite a challenge if you're not used to that type of energy draw. Be sure to take plenty of food and water. I drank three liters of water and a thermos of hot coffee and a small lunch spread out across a few stops and was still spent after exploring to Vassar.

East of Vassar, I drove to specific points on the trail to see if Google Maps was correct. They aren't. As of November 2016, this is the most accurate map of this trail online that I'm aware of. Even though I drove around exploring the last 60 miles of trail, I still enjoyed finding the true end of the trail, and documenting as much of the trail as I could. I'm sure others can get some awesome pics I missed and I highly recommend they upload them!


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in Kansas


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629 Since Jul 6, 2017
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I Came across this trail through word of mouth. The first day that I went out, I was only able to cover 6 miles, I am very eager to explore this trail even further as the days warm up and become longer. The road crew has done a wonderful job and it is truly peaceful out there. I am excited to spend much more time out there exploring and covering more miles on this trail! I have been to Konza trail in Manhattan and a small trail in Junction city and some features that they have and I like are mile markers and history posts along the way. I think that these would be a nice addition. On a side note are there nearby places to camp off of the trail if you wanted to make a weekend trip out of this trail? Feb 28, 2018

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