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BSA Historic Trail Hike Opportunities

There are three trails located in the boundaries of the Jayhawk Area Council that are listed on the BSA Historic Trails register.  Each trail offers a different look into local and national history. Your unit can hike one or all of these trails and work towards the BSA Historic Trails Award.  If interested in any of the following trails, select the link for more information.

Kansas Capitols Trail

The Kansas Capitols Trail covers one of the most historic areas in the State of Kansas. It begins in a town which once was the Territorial Capital fostering a pro-slavery stand and proceeds to the current Capital of what became a free state at the time of the Civil War. At two points along the Trail, hikers cross the Oregon Trail (at the Coon Point Historical Markers and in Tecumseh). Along the trail you’ll see a family cemetery over 125 years old, and homes built in the 1850’s. You’ll also pass other points of interest related to transportation, business and industry.

The Kansas Capitols Trail follows closely an old trail between Lecompton and Tecumseh. The Trail from Tecumseh to Topeka also follows very closely the route of the Oregon Trail.

The Old Santa Fe Trail

The Old Santa Fe Trail, the route of the pioneers, was begun in the early 1800's after a trail from the eastern border of Kanas to Santa Fe, New Mexico was surveyed by the U. S. Government in 1825-1827.  By 1850 the trail had become the chief artery of trade and commerce in the West.  One wagon outfitter in 1859 equipped 2,200 wagons for the trip.  Deep ruts cut into the earth by countless hooves ands wheels moving westward a hundred years ago remain plainly visible to this day from the air, and at some points on the ground, to remind today's traveler that the "West" was won by courageous pioneers seeking a new way of life.

To maintain and preserve this heritage, a Boy Scout Historic Trail has been established marking a part of the pioneer's through through Kansas. The route has been laid out so that the Old Santa Fe Trail may be followed by existing roads.  In addition to the Santa Fe Trail history, the trail connected with the Fort Leavenworth Military Trail used by famous army men including General Custer.  Both Burlingame and Council Grove are rich in history and historical sites.

The Charles Curtis Trail

The Curtis Trail was established by Troop 59 of Topeka, Kansas, as a Bicentennial Project in 1975 and redone and updated in 2005 by Eagle Scouts in Troop 59. . The trail honors the first native Kansan to represent the state in the United States Senate. Vice President Curtis was also the first American with an appreciable amount of Indian blood ever to hold that office.

There is a patch is available for purchase by completing the self-guided 10 mile trail.  Takes about 3 hours to complete or longer during business days.   

Additional Details About Local BSA Historic Trails

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