In 2003 a group of Chase County citizens decided it was time to provide a safe bike route between the two principle communities in Chase County. A Community Connection Trail Coalition was formed to work on the project and explore the intital goal of additional financial resources. It was decided to convert the abandoned historic Cottonwood River Bridge into a trail river crossing, purchase a right-of-way paralleling the highway, widen the sidewalks in Strong City to accommodate bikes and upgrade the railroad crossing. We could finally encourage the children of the conty to ride their bikes to and from school and other activities. The added benefit is that our Community Connection Trail will link up with the new trails of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
The City of Cottonwood Falls received a Transportation Enhancement Grant to restore the bridge and private foundation grants to purchase the land and construct the trail paralleling the highway. The City of Strong City has applied for the new Kansas Safe Routes to School Program to complete the trail through Strong City to the Chase County Elmentary School.
The south trailhead is located at the gazebo at the corner of Main and Broadway, dowtown Cottonwood Falls. The Trail will proceed across the historic Cottonwood River bridge, to Bates Grove Riverfront Park, follow Highway 177 north into Strong City, continue by the old Santa Fe Depot and proceed north throught residential Strong City. To reach the Chase County Middle School, turn east on 5th Street, to Crestwood and on east to CCMS. If you desire you may continue north on Cottonwood Street to 6th Street, turn left and continue west then go north under U.S. Highway 50 through an existing underpass to the county road, across the historic Fox Creek limestone arch bridge to the entrance of the Fox Creek Bottomland Trail of the Tall grass Prairie National Preserve.
After construction of this trail is complete we expect a substaintial increase in walking and bike riding by local youth and families to and from school, local events and activities and just for fun. Parents will be able to allow their children to commute to and from Cottonwood Falls and Strong City. This trail will be a great benefit to the schools and the community for safe transportation as well as promote healthy physical activity all year round.
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City of Strong City firstname.lastname@example.org
4th and Chase, P.O. Box 208 / Strong City, KS 66869
620-273-6345 FAX: 620-273-6110
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