Bikes and Trails in Allen County Kansas - and how they have helped the county thrive | ThriveAllenCounty

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Bikes and trails have been a big part of the Thrive story since our inception. In Thrive’s first decade, Allen County went from zero miles of trails to over 27 miles, plus sharrows and bike route networks, as well as an innovative bike share program.

Trails and bikes have become a part of our identity as a community. In the context of a small rural Kansas county, that’s pretty remarkable.

Why do we place such an emphasis on bikes and trails? It’s because we recognize their importance for both physical and fiscal health, for communities as well as for individuals. The personal health benefits of physical activity are irrefutable, and riding a bike for exercise and transportation is a simple way to build that activity into your daily life (plus, it’s fun!). But the economic benefits are just as impressive.

Allen County’s network of trails features an amazing diversity, including rails-to-trails, paved trails, gravel trails, dirt trails, nature trails, mountain bike trails, and fitness trails. And more are planned. We see trails as recreation, for sure, but also as transportation infrastructure, tourism destinations, and quality-of-life amenities. Allen County is building its brand around trails.

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