National preserve opens 3 new scenic trails

National preserve opens3 new scenic trails
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Three new trails have opened in the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Cottonwood Falls in the middle of the Flint Hills, ranging from four miles to six miles in length.
The new trails will wind up and down the hills with views of the last vestiges of the historic prairie. They are designed to provide a view of the landscape similar to what early pioneers might have seen.
One trail leads to a high spot, while another passes a homestead site and creek.
Tallgrass prairie, a rich and diverse ecosystem that once stretched from Manitoba to Texas, has been mostly destroyed by development.
Ninety-five percent of the world's surviving tall-grass prairie is in Kansas.
Across state of Texas,fairs, festivals abound
AUSTIN, Texas -- Fall is fair time in Texas.
The Panhandle South Plains Fair is held in Lubbock from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1 ( or [806] 763-2833).
Oktoberfest takes place Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 in Fredericksburg, celebrating the city's German heritage with 30 bands, polka contests, food and handmade items for sale ( or 830-997-4810).
The state fair kicks off Sept. 30 for 24 days of games, food, music and rides in Dallas ( or [214] 565-9931).
And a Seafair takes place Oct. 7-9 in Rockport, featuring crab races, seafood, fishing contests and carnival rides ( or [361] 729-6445).
Illinois visitors will findvariety of fall activities
CHICAGO -- Get lost in a corn maze, hunt for ghosts or look for colored leaves on a scenic byway in Illinois this fall.
Alton, Ill., claims to be one of "America's most haunted small towns," and you can take a haunted history tour to see for yourself. For more information, call (618) 462-4009.
In Godfrey, you can lose your troubles and maybe yourself in the 2.4-mile Great Godfrey Maze. Chances are good that the kids will beat the grown-ups to the exit every time. Call (618) 466-1483 for information.
Looking for fall colors? Try the Ohio River Scenic Route, including the Shawnee National Forest, at its peak through late September, or the 55-mile-long route of the Meeting of the Great Rivers Byway, where the Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri rivers come together.
The Lincoln Highway is most scenic in late October, and don't forget to plan a stop at Ronald Reagan's boyhood home in Dixon, Ill.
The foliage found on the 130-mile Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive attracts nearly 100,000 people each year, including visitors to the Annual Fall Festival in Fulton County, scheduled this year for Oct. 1-2 and 8-9.
Officials dedicate areato honor late governor
BAYFIELD, Wis. -- Officials have dedicated a wilderness area within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore named after Gaylord Nelson, a former Wisconsin governor and U.S. senator.
The dedication ceremony was Aug. 8, about a month after his death at the age of 89.
Under the designation, about 80 percent of the lakeshore's territory will be managed as federally protected wilderness, which means motor boats will be permitted but there will be no motorized travel on the islands themselves.
"With this designation, we can maintain these islands as they are, guaranteeing they will not be developed," Gov. Jim Doyle said.
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., called Nelson "my hero" while recounting Nelson's efforts during the 1970s to have the Apostle Islands declared a national park.
Associated Press

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