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Prairie Center Main Trail

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

2.7 mile 4.3 kilometer out and back
98% Runnable
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 172' 52 m
Descent: -175' -53 m
High: 1,028' 313 m
Low: 916' 279 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 12% (7°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by Phillip Oyer

This loop follows smooth and wide paths of grass or dirt with several large creek crossings.

Phillip Oyer

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Human foot traffic only. No pets. No hunting. No bikes. Fishing requires state license. Open dawn to dusk. Camping requires special permissions.

Overview

Prairie Center is a project to restore a section of natural Kansas tall grass prairie. The trails follow several loops through the tall grass and woods offering views of how Kansas would have looked to the pioneers and natives.

Need to Know

The park is only open to human foot traffic, so leave your dog and bike at home.

Runner Notes

There are no obstacles in the grass areas. The dirt paths through the woods make several creek crossings. The dirt path in the southern leg of its loop contains a steep climb before exiting the woods into central pond area. So choose your direction by whether you want to go up or down.

Description

This is a fairly easy run that follows the main doubletrack loop around the Prairie Center. Start from the main parking area by the area office. Head south out of the parking lot and head west along the main trail. The route follows a series of grass paths through the tall grass and dirt trails through the woods. A one lane gravel drive also goes through the trail system and itself offers some interesting options for running. The grassy trails in the northeast area of the park are about as easy as running gets. The dirt paths in the western half of the trail system offer many creek crossings and a couple steep climbs. There are several other trail options in the area so pay attention to trail intersections.

There is a large pond in the center with a deck that can be a nice place for picnics. There are also a few other picnic locations tucked around the park for visitors to find. All-in-all, this park is a wonderful place to run through nature only a few minutes away from Olathe or Gardner.

Flora & Fauna

The park is a wilderness preserve, so you may come across any animal that can be found in this area of Kansas. The main feature of the park is, of course, the tall grass prairie itself.

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 6 votes

#2827

Overall
  4.0 from 6 votes
5 Star
17%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
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Run Rankings

#3

in Kansas

#2,827

Overall
40 Views Last Month
1,440 Since Jan 29, 2018
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

A frozen, paved creek crossing.
Jan 29, 2018 near Olathe, KS
Tallgrass prairie in early August
Aug 4, 2019 near Olathe, KS
Riparian woodlands
Aug 4, 2019 near Olathe, KS
A section of trail through tallgrass prairie along the tree line.
Jan 29, 2018 near Olathe, KS
Grass path south of the central pond.
Jan 29, 2018 near Olathe, KS
A nice section of the dirt path trails.
Jan 29, 2018 near Olathe, KS

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