Eagle Article on Kansas Trails


In today’s Eagle, there is a story about various trails across Kansas.  Check it out here.  The story is concerned with how recent federal legislation could elevate trails running  through Kansas to national status.

A lesser trail that is not mentioned in the Eagle article is the Osage Trail.  J.R. Mead, widely considered the founder of Wichita, was interested in this old Indian trail.  His daughter recalls him taking her to this trail which is located roughly at 61st North and the Little Arkansas River.  A brief description of the Osage Trail is here.

I have been to meetings of a group of amateur and professional hisorians who study the Santa Fe Trail (see above map RE: the Santa Fe Trail).  On alternate years they meet in Larned at Ft Larned.  There are some pretty serious amatuer historians involved with that group.  See the group’s website here.


Filed under Kansas History

9 responses to “Eagle Article on Kansas Trails

  1. prairiepond

    There is a group out here that is trying to do the same things with the Smoky Hill Trail which went from Atchison to Pike’s Peak. Part of the trail was known as the Butterfield Overland Dispatch. It was marked with limestone markers in the early 1960’s. An old map shows that it had an overnight stop at Ft. Downer, which is right across the road from my house, and named for Downer Creek. The BOD bisects my property diagonally and continues on west to Castle Rock where there was another overnight stop.

    I showed these things to Fnord and Tranny when they visited. I love this country, and would be glad to give guided tours to all my pals. But you have to call ahead to get the optional fried chicken dinner! HA! 🙂

  2. When I opened the paper this morning and saw the map and article, I read the words, “Butterfield Overland Dispatch — Smoky Hill Trail,” and it was the second time in my life I’d heard those words! First time was when PrairiePond told me the story and the history while we driving around in her truck. She is one of the best story tellers! Maybe she’ll catch up with herself later in the week (the beginning is busybusybusy) and share one of her stories about the Butterfield.

  3. Oh my, there she is! I started my post, went off to answer the phone, came back and finished without knowing you were here, Pond!

  4. prairiepond

    Hee hee hee Fnord. Just goes to show that great minds work alike. I was just making my rounds on the Butterfield and the Downer last week when my sweetie was here. She likes to make the rounds with me. 🙂

    We can report the wildlife is still teeming and the creek is full of water. Beavers are out in full force re-engineering their damns.

    I cant WAIT to start fishing. Ummmmm…..

  5. jammer5

    Fascinating history, Kansas. http://www.kancoll.org/graphics/maps/bigks.htm shows a map of Kansas counties circa 1910.

    There is also an outstanding book called, Ghost Towns of Kansas: A Traveler’s Guide, by Daniel Fitzgerald. For those who like to travel the back woods of the state, this book is absolutely necessary. It includes directions to all of the ghost towns. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0700603689/ghosttownscom
    I’ve used it many times in my travels in the state.

  6. Someday we need to get back to that discussion about going to see Prairpond. Didn’t someone (Jammer?) mention maybe going when we could be helpful?

    There’s a bunch of Kansas history to be seen in that neck of the woods, and a helpful guide who cooks too!

  7. jammer5

    Yep! A side trip to fish-laden stream , fried fish, fried taters w/dill, and some corn on da cob? Ima salivatin’!

  8. prairiepond

    Heh Jammer. You had me at “fish laden stream”….

    Come on down. Kitchen’s open!

  9. jammer5

    Okydokey, whens we leavin’, folks? I’m up for it. Except the weekend of 5/16. Gotta be in Missouri for a gradgiation. Any other times open. Gotta gits me my license, fishin’ that is.