We left Newton on Highway 81 going north all the way to Lindsborg. We had never been on most of this old highway before. We usually go on the interstate. It was just beautiful countryside with rolling hills. Something to be said about back roads.
One of the things we wanted to do on our Kansas adventures was to go on a bike trail that had been converted from old railroad beds. There is such a bike trail in Lindsborg. The Välkommen Trail is a 2.5 mile all-weather bicycle and pedestrian trail. The trail was converted from the abandoned Missouri – Pacific and Union Pacific rail beds.
We came across a little park and of course Hannah wanted to get off the bike and play for a little while!
I think this bridge is so quaint! We went across it to get back to the truck. After we loaded our bikes, we drove into Lindsborg, a charming little town with rich Swedish heritage. We had to stop at the Dala factory of course!
"What is a Dala horse? Its perhaps Sweden’s best known icon, a bluntly rounded, tail-free horse that is thought to have been first whittled out of wood by the fire during long cold Scandinavian nights. In recent years, Lindsborg adopted the Dala symbol of Swedish folk craft as a symbol of identity and welcome. Here you’ll see traditional Dala horses on front porches, on coffee mugs and even on the side of police cruisers."
This lady hand paints many items in the store and she painted Hannah's name on her own Dala horse. After leaving the factory where they not only make Dala horses but many other Swedish items, we strolled through the downtown, going in to a couple art galleries. One of the photographers who has a gallery in this town is a photographer for the National Geographic Magazine!
We stopped for a little snack at one gallery.
Leaving Lindsborg, we drove west and then north 3 miles to Coronado Heights, a scenic overlook and park.
"In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) built a picnic area and castle like building out of Dakota limestone. It is rather cool and the view is spectacular - reminiscent of the view from Sterling Castle in Scotland. The winding drive up to the heights is beautiful, with many trees, yucca, and sumac. The park has grills and fireplaces, including a fireplace in the "castle," which is otherwise unlighted except for the windows.
Coronado Heights receives its name from Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, who visited central Kansas in 1541, looking for the Native American community of Quivira, where he was told 'trees hung with golden bells and ... pots and pans were beaten gold.' Coronado didn't find his gold, and it is unknown if he actually ascended the heights now named after him near Lindsborg, Kansas."
Hannah wanted to climb the "mountain" so when we found these steps, she and Papa climbed the rest of the way up, while I drove to the top of the hill.
Hannah wanted to go down those steps so this time I went with her, while Papa drove down the winding road.
A fun little day trip for our September Kansas adventure!