Schermerhorn Park could someday be home to a bicycle trail. A group of citizens and civic leaders is forming to work on creating a trail from the park to the Missouri/Kansas state line.
Linda Phipps, the former Southeast Kansas nature center director says, "The area is an absolute nature jewel and to promote it would be awesome."
Local attorney and committee coordinator Kevin Cure says, "It so scenic and beautiful. I don't know of anywhere else, a trail where you would have bluffs on your left and a creek on your right and a valley further over to your side. And it would be amazing to take it in."
Mississippian limestone sits above tiny trails now used by hikers or walkers. The committee wants to create elevated railroad style bike trails that would stretch two miles to the border. But state line road dead ends into a pasture. Cure says extending it through a pasture about twenty-five hundred feet would create another entrance/exit to the creek and trail where a parking lot could exist.
Some of the area is city property, some owned by the state but some is also private property. Cure says, "Some of the things we might have to do is use eminent domain to establish trails to the creek and maybe eminent domain to establish the trails along the creeks. Perhaps the owners may donate by easement or we can buy those easements.
Nature center officials say it can be helpful to tourism and the city's economy. Director Jennifer Rader says, "I think it s a wonderful idea its gonna be a very scenic place to have a bike trail and I've had some experience working at places that had scenic bike trails and it draws in so many people. Its wonderful for the economy and getting people to come down and check the place out."