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Best trails in Iola

51 Reviews
Looking for a great trail near Iola, Kansas? AllTrails has 9 great trail running trails, hiking trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails around Cross Timbers State Park or Toronto State Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 5 easy trails in Iola ranging from 1 to 52.3 miles and from 951 to 1,128 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Iola
Top trails (9)
#1 - Prairie Spirit Trail
Iola, Kansas
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Length: 52.3 mi • Est. Multi-day
The Prairie Spirit Trail State Park is a 52-mile biking and hiking trail built on a former railroad right-of-way. The Prairie Spirit Trail was constructed in stages, beginning with 17 miles from Richmond to Welda in 1996, Ottawa to Richmond in 1998, and Welda to Iola in 2008. A a trail extension was completed in Iola in 2012, completing the route to Iola’s Riverside Park. The route runs from Iola in the south to Ottawa in the north, passing through the communities of Iola, Carlyle, Colony, Welda, Garnett, Richmond, Princeton, and Ottawa. The Prairie Spirit Trail is free to use within the city limits of Iola, Garnett, and Ottawa, but the remainder of the trail requires purchase of a permit from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, payable at trailheads.Show more
#2 - Southwind Rail Trail
Iola, Kansas
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Length: 13.7 mi • Est. 5 h 41 m
The Southwind Rail Trail is located in Allen County, Kansas, running between the communities of Iola and Humboldt, over a distance of about 6 miles. The trail features a crushed limestone surface, and several scenic points, including the magnificent Elm Creek railroad bridge. The Southwind Rail Trail is an extension of the Prairie Spirit Trail, which is 52 miles in length, between Iola and Ottawa.Show more
#3 - Lehigh Portland Trails: Backbone
Iola, Kansas
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Length: 2.4 mi • Est. 1 h 2 m
The Backbone Trail is part of the Lehigh Portland Trails system. It is a wide gravel trail that connects the Eastern Trailhead to the Western Trailhead through the heart of the Lehigh property. Show more
#4 - Lehigh Portland Trails: Creekside
Iola, Kansas
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Length: 2.5 mi • Est. 1 h 5 m
The Creekside trail follows Elm Creek from the Eastern Trailhead west to the historic Sinclair-Hegwald Bridge. The trail features a variety of terrain, including some tight-and-twisty singletrack through cedars, a view from atop a 20-foot limestone bluff, a rocky passage through a ravine, a quick plunge from the ridgeline down to Elm Creek, and fast-and-flowy segments through a riparian flood plain. The route also includes short sections on two long-abandoned rail lines -- the MKT (Missouri-Kansas-Texas, or "Katy") and the Mo-Pac (Missouri Pacific).Show more
#5 - Lehigh Portland Trails: South Loop
Iola, Kansas
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Length: 3.5 mi • Est. 1 h 28 m
The South Loop Trail offers the most spectacular views at Lehigh Portland Trails. The trail runs through cedar and hardwood forest, open grasslands, and along the edge of 30-foot bluffs of the 100-acre quarry lake. There are several places to stop and just take in the view before continuing. Show more
#6 - Lehigh Portland Trails: Mt. Lehigh
Iola, Kansas
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Length: 1.1 mi • Est. 29 m
This trail is a quick singletrack loop that runs to the top of Mt. Lehigh, the highest elevation at Lehigh Portland Trails. The trail begins at the Eastern Trailhead parking lot, with a twisting run through a heavy growth of cedar, followed by a short climb and then a path through hardwoods as the route circles the hill. Show more
#7 - Lehigh Portland Trails: Mountain Goats Via Backbone
Iola, Kansas
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Length: 1.6 mi • Est. 41 m
The Mountain Goats Trail runs along the north shore of the lake. With lots of ups and downs, plus a few tight spots and rocky sections, this is one of the tougher bits of singletrack at Lehigh Portland Trails. Riding east-to-west, the trail is not so bad, but eastbound is more challenging, with several steep punchy climbs. There are a couple of places to pause towards the center of the route, to take in the view of the shimmering lake waters. The eastern part of the trail flows through hardwood trees, which the western half has more rocks, as well as some broken concrete and metal debris to dodge, remnants of the property's industrial past.Show more
#8 - Lehigh Portland Trails: East Loop
Iola, Kansas
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Length: 1 mi • Est. 25 m
The East Loop Trail is part of the Lehigh Portland Trails system. It is a wide gravel trail that connects the Eastern Trailhead to the BMX Skills Area, and passes near the quarry lake bluffs.Show more
#9 - Missouri Pacific Recreational Trail
Iola, Kansas
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Length: 2.7 mi • Est. 1 h 5 m
The Missouri Pacific Recreational Trail (or Mo-Pac Trail) is a paved multi-use pathway built on the former Missouri Pacific Railway corridor in Iola, Kansas. The trail connects with the Prairie Spirit Trail and runs east to just past Cottonwood Street, providing access to the nearby Middle School and High School, as well as connecting to the downtown square via the Washington Street sharrows. For three blocks, the trail runs adjacent to Coon Creek, which is lined with WPA-era hand-laid stone.Show more