More than a hundred years ago, cowboys drove herds of cattle down the dusty, well-trod path of the Chisholm Trail. Although those days of the wild West are now long gone, one community member is hoping to resurrect this trail in an entirely new way: as a path for bicyclists.
“The whole idea was to devote a route initially, specifically with paved roads, for following the Chisholm Trail in Kansas,” said Dana Shifflett, a local cycling enthusiast. “... It’s a long way from being anything organized on the map.”
The Chisholm Trail was used in the late 19th century to drive cattle from Texas to Kansas. Locally, the trail paralleled the modern roadway Old Highway 81.
Shifflett said the Chisholm Trail played an important role in Newton’s history. Wagons following the trail would cross Sand Creek at Plum and Ninth, a rock bottom making it easier for wagons to make that crossing.
If you’d like to get involved with the project, contact the Oz Bicycle Club. Visit www.ozbikeclub.com.
Hit the road
Can’t wait for the new Chisholm Trail bike route? Find out about local cycling opportunities going on right now by visiting www.kansascyclist.com.
Upcoming rides include:
The MCC Flatlander on Saturday, an annual charity ride for the Mennonite Central Committee. The ride starts from the MCC Center in North Newton. Group start is at 8 a.m. There will be rides of 35, 45 and 65 miles, as well as an option for shorter family rides of eight to 16 miles. For more information, call 283-4063 or visit centralstates.mcc.org.
Tour de Florence on Oct. 2, a 40-mile mountain bike ride into the Flint Hills. Group start is at 8 a.m. at the Florence American Legion. There will be a barbecue picnic at the end of the ride. E-mail email@example.com, or visit the Florence Web site, florenceks.com.