|Spring Hikes for 50 Plus begin March 5 with Rails to Trails trip|
The Ottawa segment of the Prairie Spirit Trail will be the first of seven destinations to be visited this year as part of Spring Nature Walks being offered by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District. These walks are meant to give participants an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and make new friends while following trails through state parks and natural treasures. Participants can choose one or all of the seven spring walks.
Prairie Spirit Trail is a "Rails to Trails" trail and is considered an easy walk. This outing will take place on March 5. This scenic hiking and biking trail utilizes a former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe rail corridor. Ottawa is at the trail's north end and features a trail which rises nearly 30 feet above the Marais des Cygnes River on a steel-pillared railroad bridge.
Spring Walks are led by Instructor Sherry Hughes. All walks depart at 9 a.m. from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam. In case of rain, the walk will be rescheduled for the following week. The cost for each five-hour outing, including van transportation to the walk site, is $15 per person for Johnson County residents or $16 for nonresidents. Participants should bring a sack lunch. If the weather interferes with plans during the day of the walk , lunch will be at a local restaurant and participants will be responsible for this expense. Search for the keyword "nature walks" to find this program in the JCPRD's Activities Catalog and online listings.
Other spring walk dates and destinations are: March 19, the Sugar Creek Indian Mission in Linn County (moderate); April 2, Osawatomie, Kan. (easy); April 16, Burr Oaks Woods (moderate); April 24, Parkville Nature Sanctuary (moderate); April 30, Knob Noster, Mo. (moderate); and May 14, the Overland Park Arboretum (moderate).
While the JCPRD's 50 Plus programs are primarily for people who are age 50 or older, interested parties who have not yet reached that magic age may still be able to attend. Persons 18 and older who are interested in a 50 Plus class are invited to call the District's Registration Department at (913) 831-3359, and if space is available without forfeiting the place of a person over 50, their registration can be taken.
The JCPRD's ACTIVITIES catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pick-up at all Johnson County Library branches. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online and for updated program listings, visit the District's website at www.jcprd.com