Sand Creek Trail ‘3-fer’ scheduled for June 1

A male cardinal sitting in a newly leafed out tree

This year’s annual Walk Sand Creek Trail Day includes a couple of activities that will help you experience some of the flora and fauna of the trail.

The event is on June 1. It’s part of National Trails Day®, sponsored annually by American Hiking Society (AHS) on the first Saturday in June.

Walk Sand Creek Trail Day coincides each year with the Kauffman Museum-sponsored first-Saturday bird walk that includes part of the trail.

This year, there will also be a wildflower walk, the first in a series of events through the summer to mark 40 years of tallgrass prairie reconstruction at Kauffman Museum.

From dawn until dusk (6 a.m.-8 p.m.) on June 1, members of the Sand Creek Trail Committee will be at the Memorial Grove trailhead with water available for walkers and leashed dogs. They will also share trail history and answer questions about the trail.

Anyone interested in the bird walk should meet in the Kauffman Museum parking lot (2801 N. Main in North Newton) at 7 a.m.

Experienced birders will lead a walk of approximately a mile-and-a-half through Chisholm Park and on Sand Creek Trail.

At 9 a.m., starting at the same location, Brad Guhr, Newton, staff member at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston, will lead a wildflower walk that includes a portion of Sand Creek Trail.

Only part of the route is paved (the rest is wood-chip) and there are some steep or sloping sections.

Binoculars are recommended for the bird walk, but not required. This is a family-friendly activity although children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult, and it may not be ideal for very young children, since noise and running will scare the birds.

The Sand Creek Trail Committee maintains and improves the trail, and organizes volunteer work days throughout the year.

Thanks largely to the efforts of the late Jake Goering and then-Bethel director of development Larry Voth, Sand Creek Trail was formalized in 1998, and a committee formed.

Sand Creek Trail was designated a National Recreation Trail in 2011, and the SCT Committee has held Walk Sand Creek Trail Day every June since then. This year is the 32nd National Trails Day®.

Learn more at, including the National Trails Day® pledge.

American Hiking Society’s annual National Trails Day® honors the trail systems in the United States and Canada, and its supporters and volunteers, and is meant to encourage people to get outside and experience their local trails.

By coordinating a wide array of trail activities on a single day, National Trails Day® attracts new trail users and helps connect existing trail enthusiasts with local clubs and organizations with the hopes of creating trail advocates and stewards.

Protecting and maintaining more than 200,000 miles of trails in the United States requires the collaboration of trail clubs, organizations, government agencies, and most importantly passionate trail advocates and stewards.

Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience.

To learn more about AHS and its mission and programs, visit

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel ranks at #23 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of “Best Regional Colleges Midwest” for 2023-24. Bethel was the first Kansas college or university to be named a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center, in 2021. For more information, see