Trail Report Week 9: The Konza Trail

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Located near Manhattan, Kansas the Konza trail shares its name with the local native American tribe, that once inhabited this area.  The path is in the heart of the Flint Hills an area of mostly treeless hills that are indicative of central Kansas. The trails consist of three ever-widening circles. The first covers a primarily wooded area while the other two move upward into the hills. The two outer hills can be a bit challenging due to the inclines, but the views make the climb worthwhile.

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As you progress, each trail becomes more extended and more challenging

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.The valley area is thickly wooded, but as you begin towards the hills, the trees quickly disappear.

 

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The hills are full of limestone and flint rock which was used to built settler homes. Many are still in use today.

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This time of year the hills are blazing with wildflowers.

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The white specks you see are exposed rocks. The density of the hills explained the lack of trees. Mostly only shrubs can grow on them.

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This part of the state lies just on the border of the hills as you move a little more south and west you begin to see even less forested areas.

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This area of Kansas is dear to my heart. I was born in a town called Onaga, which is in the center of these hills. Every time I would visit my Grandparents we would drive through this area.

PROS: The beauty of the area, the variety of topography, the ability to chose the duration and difficulty of the hike. The rare privilege of seeing the land as it looked at the time the Indigenous first nation people lived and hunted there. 

CONS: The third trail is deceptively tricky. The hills are steeper than they might appear. The wind. Since there are no trees the wind flows unabated. It can feel good on a summer day but might be horrific in the wintertime with no shelter.

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