Meadowlark Trail In Nebraska

Here is everything you need to know about the Meadowlark Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Nebraska
  • Length: 6 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: Meadowlark Trail Association
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Meadowlark Trail, located in Kansas, has a rich historical background that dates back to the mid-1800s. Originally, the trail was a part of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, which was constructed in 1867. The railroad played a crucial role in the development and expansion of the region, connecting various towns and facilitating the transportation of goods and people.

During its early years, the Meadowlark Trail served as a vital link between the towns of McPherson and Lindsborg, providing a means of transportation for farmers, merchants, and settlers. The railroad line was primarily used for shipping agricultural products, such as wheat, corn, and livestock, to larger markets. This transportation network significantly contributed to the economic growth and prosperity of the surrounding communities.

However, with the decline of rail transportation in the mid-20th century, the Meadowlark Trail faced an uncertain future. As the demand for rail travel decreased, the railroad company eventually abandoned the line in the 1980s. Recognizing the potential of this historic corridor, local communities and organizations came together to preserve and repurpose the trail for recreational use.

Through the efforts of dedicated volunteers and community support, the Meadowlark Trail was transformed into a multi-use recreational path. Today, the trail spans approximately 13 miles, offering a scenic route for walkers, runners, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts. The Meadowlark Trail stands as a testament to the region’s rich history and serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and repurposing historical assets for the benefit of future generations.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. McPherson Trailhead: Located in McPherson, Kansas, this trailhead is the starting point of the Meadowlark Trail. It offers parking facilities and restrooms.

2. Lindsborg Trailhead: Situated in Lindsborg, Kansas, this trailhead provides parking, restrooms, and a picnic area. It is a popular access point for cyclists and hikers.

3. Marquette Trailhead: Found in Marquette, Kansas, this trailhead offers parking, restrooms, and a picnic area. It is a convenient starting point for those exploring the Meadowlark Trail.

4. Kanopolis Trailhead: Located near Kanopolis, Kansas, this trailhead provides parking, restrooms, and a picnic area. It is a popular access point for outdoor enthusiasts visiting the Meadowlark Trail.

5. Brookville Trailhead: Situated in Brookville, Kansas, this trailhead offers parking, restrooms, and a picnic area. It serves as a starting point for those wanting to explore the Meadowlark Trail.

6. Abilene Trailhead: Found in Abilene, Kansas, this trailhead provides parking, restrooms, and a picnic area. It is a convenient access point for visitors wanting to experience the Meadowlark Trail.

7. Enterprise Trailhead: Located near Enterprise, Kansas, this trailhead offers parking, restrooms, and a picnic area. It is a popular starting point for cyclists and hikers exploring the Meadowlark Trail.

8. Herington Trailhead: Situated in Herington, Kansas, this trailhead provides parking, restrooms, and a picnic area. It serves as an access point for those wanting to enjoy the Meadowlark Trail.

9. Council Grove Trailhead: Found in Council Grove, Kansas, this trailhead offers parking, restrooms, and a picnic area. It is a convenient starting point for visitors wanting to explore the Meadowlark Trail.

10. White City Trailhead: Located near White City, Kansas, this trailhead provides parking, restrooms, and a picnic area. It is a popular access point for outdoor enthusiasts visiting the Meadowlark Trail.

Transportation Available

1. Meadowlark Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service providing convenient transportation along the Meadowlark Trail.
2. Bike Rentals – Rent bicycles to explore the Meadowlark Trail at your own pace.
3. Local Bus Service – Public bus service connecting various locations near the Meadowlark Trail.
4. Taxi Service – On-demand taxi service for quick transportation to and from the Meadowlark Trail.
5. Car Rental – Rent a car to easily access and explore the Meadowlark Trail and surrounding areas.
6. Ride-Sharing Service – Convenient app-based transportation service for rides to and from the Meadowlark Trail.
7. Train Station – Nearby train station offering transportation options to and from the Meadowlark Trail.


The amenities available at the Meadowlark Trail may vary depending on the specific location or section of the trail. However, here are some common amenities that you may find along the Meadowlark Trail:

1. Restrooms: Some sections of the trail may have restroom facilities available, either at the trailhead or at designated rest areas along the trail.

2. Parking: Most trailheads along the Meadowlark Trail offer parking facilities for visitors. These parking areas may vary in size and capacity.

3. Camping Sites: Some sections of the trail may have designated camping sites or nearby campgrounds where visitors can set up tents or park RVs for overnight stays.

4. Picnic Areas: Along the trail, you may find designated picnic areas with tables, benches, and sometimes grills or fire pits for visitors to enjoy outdoor meals or snacks.

5. Water Stations: Depending on the length and location of the trail, there may be water stations or fountains available for visitors to refill their water bottles.

6. Trailhead Facilities: At the trailheads, you may find information boards, maps, and sometimes visitor centers or ranger stations where you can obtain trail information, permits, or ask questions.

7. Benches and Seating: Along the trail, there may be benches or seating areas at regular intervals, allowing visitors to rest, enjoy the scenery, or take a break.

8. Interpretive Signs: Some sections of the Meadowlark Trail may have interpretive signs or educational displays that provide information about the local flora, fauna, history, or geology.

9. Bike Racks: If the trail allows biking, you may find bike racks or designated areas to park and secure bicycles while exploring the trail on foot.

10. Accessibility Features: Depending on the trail’s accessibility, there may be amenities such as wheelchair-accessible paths, ramps, or facilities to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

It is recommended to check with local authorities, trail management organizations, or official websites for specific information about the amenities available at different sections of the Meadowlark Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Meadowlark Inn – Cozy lodging option located near the Meadowlark Trail.
2. Trailside Diner – Convenient food service along the Meadowlark Trail.
3. Meadowlark Campground – Camping facilities available near the trail for outdoor enthusiasts.
4. Meadowlark Motel – Affordable lodging option close to the Meadowlark Trail.
5. Meadowlark Cafe – Quaint cafe offering delicious meals and refreshments near the trail.
6. Meadowlark Emergency Clinic – Emergency medical services available in close proximity to the Meadowlark Trail.

Meadowlark Trail Difficulty Notes

The Meadowlark Trail offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for a wide range of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The trail features a well-maintained path with gentle inclines and occasional rocky sections, providing a good balance between challenge and accessibility. While some parts may require a bit of endurance and stamina, the overall terrain is manageable for most individuals. With its scenic views, diverse wildlife, and peaceful atmosphere, the Meadowlark Trail offers a rewarding experience for those seeking a moderately challenging outdoor adventure.

Features And Attractions

The Meadowlark Trail is a popular trail located in Kansas, United States. While it primarily offers a scenic route for walking, running, and biking, it also passes by several points of interest. Here are some of the scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and other attractions along the Meadowlark Trail:

1. Meadowlark Nature Trailhead: The starting point of the trail, offering a beautiful natural setting with lush greenery and wildlife.

2. Smoky Valley Ranch: A historic working ranch that provides a glimpse into the region’s agricultural heritage.

3. Smoky Valley Scenic Overlook: A viewpoint that offers panoramic views of the surrounding Smoky Valley and its rolling hills.

4. Coronado Heights: A historic site located near Lindsborg, featuring a castle-like structure atop a hill. It offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

5. Mushroom Rock State Park: A unique natural landmark with mushroom-shaped sandstone formations, created by erosion over thousands of years.

6. Kanopolis State Park: Located near the trail, this state park offers beautiful views of the Kanopolis Reservoir, hiking trails, camping facilities, and opportunities for water activities.

7. Mushroom Rock Road: A scenic drive that runs parallel to the trail, offering picturesque views of the Kansas countryside.

8. Marquette Historic District: A charming small town with well-preserved historic buildings, including the Marquette Historic Museum.

9. Kanopolis Drive-In Theater: A nostalgic attraction where visitors can catch a movie under the stars.

10. Kanopolis Lake: A large reservoir offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and other water-based activities.

These are just a few of the many attractions and points of interest along the Meadowlark Trail. Exploring the trail will provide visitors with a chance to experience the natural beauty and rich history of the region.

Usage Guidelines

1. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
3. Bicycles are allowed on the trail, but riders must yield to pedestrians.
4. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail.
5. The trail is open year-round, but certain sections may be closed during maintenance or construction.
6. Stay on designated paths and do not venture off-trail.
7. No camping or overnight stays are permitted on the trail.
8. Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed animals.
9. No littering – please carry out any trash or dispose of it in designated bins.
10. Be mindful of other trail users and maintain a safe and courteous environment.

Seasonal Information

The Meadowlark Trail is a picturesque and serene hiking trail located in the heart of the countryside. While it can be enjoyed throughout the year, there are certain times that offer a truly exceptional experience. One of the best times to visit the Meadowlark Trail is during the spring season, particularly in April and May. During this time, the trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers in full bloom, creating a stunning and colorful landscape. The weather is usually mild, making it perfect for leisurely walks or picnics along the trail. Additionally, the trail is less crowded during this time, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature.

Another great time to explore the Meadowlark Trail is during the autumn months of September and October. As the leaves change color, the trail transforms into a breathtaking display of reds, oranges, and yellows. The crisp air and cooler temperatures make hiking a pleasant experience, and the trail offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Fall also brings the opportunity to witness migratory birds passing through the area, adding an extra element of excitement for birdwatchers.

It is important to note that the Meadowlark Trail has seasonal closures during the winter months. Due to the potential for icy conditions and limited visibility, the trail is closed from December to February for the safety of visitors. However, during this time, the trail can still be enjoyed for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, provided the weather conditions are suitable. It is always recommended to check with local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information on closures and trail conditions before planning a visit.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trail Surface: The Meadowlark Trail features a smooth and level surface suitable for wheelchair users, ensuring easy navigation along the entire trail.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces are available near the trailhead, providing convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are located at various points along the trail, equipped with features such as grab bars and wider doorways to accommodate wheelchair users.
4. Rest Areas with Benches: Rest areas along the Meadowlark Trail are equipped with benches, allowing individuals with disabilities to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
5. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas along the trail are designed to be wheelchair accessible, providing inclusive spaces for individuals to enjoy outdoor meals.
6. Accessible Trailhead: The trailhead is designed to be accessible, featuring ramps or level pathways for easy entry and exit.
7. Signage with Braille: Trail signage includes Braille translations, ensuring individuals with visual impairments can access important information.
8. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible water fountains are available along the trail, allowing individuals to stay hydrated during their journey.
9. Accessible Trail Maps: Trail maps are available in accessible formats, such as large print or digital versions, to assist individuals with visual impairments.
10. Accessible Trailside Seating: Benches and seating areas along the trail are designed to be accessible, providing comfortable resting spots for individuals with disabilities.

Safety Information

1. Trail Conditions: Check for any trail closures or maintenance updates before heading out to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
2. Weather Awareness: Be aware of current and forecasted weather conditions to dress appropriately and avoid potential hazards.
3. Trail Etiquette: Respect other trail users by following proper etiquette, such as yielding to pedestrians, keeping pets on a leash, and staying on designated paths.
4. Sun Protection: Protect yourself from harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, especially during peak sun hours.
5. Hydration: Carry an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated throughout your journey, especially during hot weather.
6. Insect Precautions: Apply insect repellent and consider wearing long sleeves and pants to protect against ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects.
7. Wildlife Awareness: Stay alert and maintain a safe distance from any wildlife encountered on the trail, avoiding any potential conflicts.
8. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a fully charged cell phone, a basic first aid kit, and inform someone about your planned route and estimated return time.
9. Trail Markings: Familiarize yourself with trail markers and signage to avoid getting lost or straying off the designated path.
10. Personal Safety: Exercise caution when crossing roads or intersections along the trail, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Conservation Notes

The Meadowlark Trail, located in the heart of the Midwest, holds a conservation status that reflects the importance of preserving its unique ecological features. As a designated conservation area, the trail is recognized for its significant contribution to the protection and restoration of native habitats and wildlife populations. The conservation status of the Meadowlark Trail is a testament to the ongoing efforts to maintain its ecological integrity and ensure the long-term sustainability of its diverse ecosystems.

One of the key aspects of the Meadowlark Trail’s conservation status is the preservation of its native plant species. The trail is home to a variety of vegetation, including prairie grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs, which play a crucial role in supporting the local ecosystem. These native plants provide food and shelter for a wide range of wildlife, including birds, insects, and small mammals. By conserving the trail’s native plant species, efforts are made to maintain the delicate balance of the ecosystem and promote biodiversity.

Furthermore, the conservation status of the Meadowlark Trail also focuses on the protection of its wildlife populations. The trail serves as a vital corridor for numerous species, allowing them to move freely between different habitats and find suitable breeding grounds. This connectivity is essential for the survival and genetic diversity of wildlife populations. Conservation efforts aim to minimize disturbances along the trail, such as habitat fragmentation and human encroachment, to ensure the uninterrupted movement and survival of these species.

In conclusion, the conservation status of the Meadowlark Trail highlights its significance as a protected area for native plant species and wildlife populations. By preserving its unique ecological features, the trail contributes to the overall conservation efforts in the region, promoting biodiversity and ensuring the long-term sustainability of its ecosystems.

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