Flint Hills Nature Trail [CLOSED]

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Osawatomie, Kansas

Flint Hills Nature Trail [CLOSED] is a 147.9 kilometer lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Osawatomie, Kansas that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 147.9 km Elevation Gain: 377 m Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash

kid friendly



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

road biking


bird watching


rails trails

wild flowers



Note: It is open in Miami County just west of Osawatomie. From the Osawatomie exit off HWY 169, head 3.7 miles west, straight thru downtown, take a right at 12th street and curve around in front of the high school and keep heading west. The Flint Hills Nature Trail stretches across east-central Kansas, from Osawatomie in the east to Herington in the west, and passes through communities including Rantoul, Ottawa, Pomona, Vassar, Osage City, Miller, Admire, Allen, Bushong, and Council Grove. The trail passes through five counties: Miami, Franklin, Osage, Lyon, and Morris. As its name suggests, the trail crosses the beautiful Flint Hills. The Flint Hills represent one of the last remaining tallgrass prairie ecosystems in the world. It is home to abundant prairie plant and wildlife species, spectacular views, national historic sites, and a diverse set of recreational areas. The eastern portions of the route travels alongside the Marais Des Cygnes River, between rushing waters and towering bluffs, through rolling farmland and riparian woodlands. The Flint Hills Nature Trail is the seventh-longest rail-trail in America, and the longest trail in Kansas. It follows the general route of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail and forms a component of the coast-to-coast American Discovery Trail.

mountain biking
20 days ago

This was a perfect flat ride for my family of riders ages 37, 36, 13, 11 and 9. Lots of shade if it is a hot day. Not much wind bc it’s tree lined. It was Mother’s Day yet we only passed three other groups on our 6 mile ride.

26 days ago

Terrific crushed limestone trail starting west of Osawatomie. We walked with our dog 4 miles Saturday, May 2. Trail is in great shape! Nice, easy hike with a few other groups of hikers and more bikers. All were respectful and honored social distancing. Will come back and pick up where we left off in a few weeks.

From the ball fields on its all new gravel it’s amazing!!!

1 month ago

The trail is definitely open 3.7miles west of Hwy 169 in John Brown Hwy. It is getting greener and more beautiful every day.

1 month ago

Re: The "closed" designation: It is certainly open in Miami County just west of Osawatomie. From the Osawatomie exit off HWY 169...head 3.7 miles west, straight thru downtown, take a right at 12th street and curve around in front of the high school and keep heading west. Look for the sign in pic posted. From here to Rantoul is a lovely bit of trail, esp. in the middle portion. A task Force in Osaw. is certainly working to open the eastern terminus which will be inside the city limits at the ball field. For now, we will see YOU on the trail, starting just west of town!

road biking
2 months ago

Part of the trail is closed laying new gravel from the baseball fields to the stat of the trail but I just found a different entrance heading towards ottawa that's open! I'm so happy!! Im going to be using it for dog walking, biking, and short distances with my two year old!

4 months ago

A friend and I recently hiked about half of this trail in three days. We did 60 miles in those three days, 22 miles the first day, 20 the second and 18 the third. We started at the Rantoul trailhead and ended in Admire. Overall the trail has great scenery and easy terrain. From Rantoul to the beginning outskirts of Osage City, the trail is nicely covered in limestone. Once inside Osage City the trail becomes grassy and eventually turns to basically mulch as they are still in the process of completing the limestone covering and bridge reinstallations. This did not slow our hike down. There is a sign that says trail closed coming out of Osage City, but it is still fine to use as long as there is no construction being done. We did encounter some closures about a mile west of Ottawa. There was a convenient detour that took us about half a mile north then two miles west then another half a mile south to get us back on the trail. In regards to water we each approximately carried a liter and a half and we were able to fill us at a Casey’s General Store as we were passing by or through each town. The only problem we encountered with water is when we came through Vassar. We could not find a convenience store there to refill, but about 7 miles west of Vassar there is a RV park about 60 yards off the trail where we found an outside water spicket. We got lucky with this find because we needed water for dinner and our only other option was to walk 1.6 miles to the nearest gas station. I would advise to use this spicket as it will save time and the water is clean, just be sure to let the spicket run for a bit. All in all, great hike, tough, but still great. Two things I would like to see improve are first many sources state the trail begins in Osawatomie, which it does, but there is no close parking to the trailhead. This is why we started in Rantoul. Secondly, I would like to see the undeveloped parts become more accessible because as a part of the American Discovery Trail, it deserves to have that same reputation as a greatly respected trail.

road biking
bridge out
off trail
over grown
private property
8 months ago

Sun Mar 31 2019

Nice, easy,well maintained trail for fast miles. Some pretty decent views along the river.

Tue Jan 08 2019

this trail is local for us as we live in rural Franklin county nice simple enjoyable trail.

Sun Oct 28 2018

Great fall colors right now. Great views of the flint hills. This trail’s in great shape now that it’s a state park. Can’t wait until they finish the extension to Herington

Thu Sep 27 2018

I am on the trail 3 to 5 times a week walking or biking. I love that I can get one mile out of town along the hills and Marais des Cygne River under the canopy of trees and feel like I am in the Ozarks.

mountain biking
Thu Sep 20 2018

we road our bikes and this trail was great! we started in council grove and went to bushong. thirty miles round trip and beautiful scenery. we will be back!

Mon Sep 17 2018

awesome trail! beautiful views. can't wait to come back

mountain biking
Wed Jul 18 2018

I loved it! Osawatomie - Pomona.

Sat May 12 2018

Great trail, haven’t explored it all just yet!

Tue Apr 24 2018

Today was a beautiful day to be out on the trail just west of Osawatomie. From here to Ottawa is awesome and great trail conditions.

Sun Apr 22 2018

Great long distance trail. Don’t like the detour outside of Ottawa but one great trail

mountain biking
Mon Aug 14 2017

We rode from council grove to vassar on 8/12/17. There was some work going on and small sections were closed for about the 1st 10 miles. About 1/2 mile east of hwy 75 we ran across a bunch of stickers that cause everyone to get flat tires. We walked the rest of the way to vassar. Which was our destination. Other than that, the trail was in decent condition. 51 miles 731 feet of elevation gain and 902 feet of decent.

mountain biking
Mon Apr 17 2017

It's still a work in progress, but when completed within the next few years, it's going to be magnificent. The views in the Flint Hills are stunning. Along with the Landon Nature Trail, the Prairie Spirit Trail, and the Southwind Rail Trail, this will create an amazing 200+mile rail-trail network in eastern Kansas.

7 hours ago

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