New bike and trails coordinator thriving in Allen County

John Leahy With Thrive Allen County

 

ALLEN COUNTY, Ks. – John Leahy has been on the job for Thrive Allen County for about two months now and has really hit the ground running for the rural health advocacy organization as their new bike and trails coordinator.

“John is really taking all our bike and trail programming to the next level. We’re really excited for all the things he’s going to be able to implement in Allen County and across the region,” said Kate Schroeder, Thrive Allen County’s communications director.

The bike and trails coordinator wears a lot of hats as he organizes volunteers for trail maintenance projects, develops new community trails, and works with “Thrive Allen County’s bikeshare program and earn-a-bike program.

But John’s most ambitious project is one that reaches beyond Allen county, Kansas.

“We have been traveling to Bourbon County recently to promote the Prairie Pathways bike routes which is formerly the ABC trails plan. It is just an effort to connect some of these smaller rural communities together through the bike routes through Allen County, Bourbon County, and Crawford County,” said Leahy.

Leahy is especially excited about the Prairie Pathways plan because it will benefit the economies of multiple Kansas communities while promoting a healthy hobby to Four-Staters and tourists.

“It’s going to be a 43 mile route from Fort Scott to Iola running along Old Highway 54 and it should be really neat when all the signs get put in. We’re then looking to talk with Crawford County about extending the route down there,” said Leahy.

Leahy says one of the best parts of his new job is being outdoors and meeting new people, and that Prairie Pathways will bring those joys to Four-Staters with a passion for biking and hiking.

Thrive Allen County is always looking for volunteers to help maintain their trails. If you’d like to get involved, you can learn more by clicking here.