Thursday, August 9, 2018

Return To Wichita Bluff Nature Area Finds Circle Trail Extension Well Underway

Last Saturday I found bluff hiking at the Wichita Bluff Nature Area to be so salubrious that I thought maybe I have been overdoing the bike riding and not doing enough of that natural activity known as walking.

So, yesterday, what with the outer world being chilled to somewhere in the 80s, with a wind blowing in from the north, and clouds blocking the sun, I returned to the Wichita Bluff Nature Area and, unlike last Saturday, I hiked all the way to the current end of the trail.

Where I found a pleasant surprise.

Above what you are looking at is the view from near the current east end of the trail, from one of the covered rest areas, looking at the Wichita River flowing between the trees.

At this location the sound of heavy equipment machinery operating wreaked havoc with the nature area sounding natural. Continuing on to the current end of the trail it soon became apparent what was making the noise.

The new section of the Circle Trail is well underway!

How is this coming about, I wondered? What with the voters last May not approving the funding to complete the three missing sections of the Circle Trail. Maybe the funding for what I saw yesterday was already in place.

A few months ago when I biked to the location you see above, where the trail is blocked on the other side of the sidewalk closed sign, all one saw was scoured earth where a paved trail might eventually be. And so I was surprised yesterday to see that that paving has now taken place.

You can not tell it via the above photo, due, most likely, to my poor photographer skills, but this new section of trail looks steep enough to provide a high speed thrill when one is going down the bluff, and some endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation when one is going up this section of the bluffs.

Above you are looking at more of the newly paved trail, far below the photo taking vantage point. A bulldozer and a mechanized dirt scooping device were what was making all the heavy equipment noise.

When I eventually made it back to my motorized means of locomotion I decided to drive to where Loop 11 crosses the Wichita River to see if this new trail making effort has reached that location.

Crossing the river I was pleased to see the trail makers in operation. I then wondered how the trail was going to get across Loop 11. Turning around and re-crossing the bridge I was able to see that the Circle Trail is going to go under the bridge.

I do not know how far it is from Loop 11 to Lucy Park, or by what route the Wichita Bluff section of the Circle Trail will reach Lucy Park. I assume the trail will be running beside the river.

When the Wichita Bluff Nature Area section of the Circle Trail makes its connection to Lucy Park this will likely greatly increase the number of people enjoying the Circle Trail in what is likely going to come to be known as its most scenic, most adventurous section of the trail.

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