Category Archives: Exercise

Renovated, Wider Walking Trail On The Horizon for Uniontown

The Uniontown Hiking Trail looking north on 75th Street.

The Uniontown Walking Trail is utilized daily by walkers in the small, western Bourbon County town and is slated for renovation this spring.

“Students use the trail at times and we have a significant number of patrons who use it very consistently,” said USD 235 Superintendent Vance Eden.  “In its current condition, some use is limited by the cracks and condition of the asphalt.  We anticipate greater use by all parties after reconstruction. ”

Vance Eden, superintendent for USD 235. Photo from the school district’s website.

“The district was awarded a grant from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks- Recreational Trails Program to pay for the majority of the project,” Eden said.  “The remaining cost will be completed by the district and community members or paid from our Capital Outlay Fund.”

“The Department of Wildlife and Parks contribution will be $218,800 with the total project estimated at $321,300,” he said. “The district can self-perform or solicit donations to cover its portion and will do so to the greatest extent possible.”

“The contractor, Tristate Building, will start work later this spring,” he said. “We are anticipating mid-April to be warm and hopefully dry enough to make progress on the work. It is estimated to take around six weeks to complete.”

“The vast majority of the old trail will be completely removed and replaced with an American Disability Act compliance with a concrete trail that is 5 feet in width,” he said. “The trail is approximately 1.3 miles in length.”

The original walking trail was funded also through a Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks grant.

He said the original trail was during the early years of former Superintendent Randy Rockhold’s time with the district.

Stay Strong Stay Healthy Starts February 20th

Tara Soloman-Smith, Family and Wellness Agent, Sunflower District of Kansas State University’s Extension Office. Submitted photo.



Starting February 20th, improve your health and independence through strength-building exercises at Buck Run Community Center, 735 Scott Avenue, Fort Scott. Stay Strong Stay Healthy class will meet twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9:00-10:00am, for 8 weeks. Pre-registration is required, call Tara at 620-244-3826 to register and learn more.


This evidence-based program is built on simple, strength-building exercises that will improve balance, health and state of mind. No, it’s not strenuous weight-lifting. You’ll start at a level that’s right for you! No one is too inactive to participate. Take this opportunity to take better care of your health and join others for this fun program!


# # #

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director of K-State Research and Extension, Kansas State University, County Extension Councils, Extension Districts.



New Website for Fort Scott Recreation Allows Registrations/Payments Online for Convenience

The Fort Scott Recreation Center has a new website through RecDesk.
  “The benefit of the new website change is that it allows people to do anything they could from our front desk on their phone or computer at their convenience,” Lucas Kelley said. “This new website also allows for online registrations and payments. This will also help with late registrations… We just switched over to this website on December 26th.”
Kelley is the FSRC recreation director and the Buck Run Community Center Manager.
Buck Run Community Center is located at 735 Scott Avenue and can be contacted at 620.23.0386.
Lucas Kelley, submitted photo.

“People can access it by going to,” he said. “Here they will be able to view all of our programs, facilities available to rent, fitness memberships, current league standings/schedules, a calendar of events, and a preview of our Facebook page.   We just switched over to this website on December 26th. When getting to the website users will have to create an account and add their household.”
Programs starting here shortly are: The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Challenge, Tiger Kids Cheer, Taekwondo Lessons, Soul Fusion/Adult Fitness Classes.
Buck Run Community Center, 735 Scott Avenue.

Chamber Ribbon Cutting Jan. 11 at Freedom Fitness

Join us for a Chamber Coffee and Ribbon Cutting

Freedom Fitness

Thursday, January 11th

8:00 am

15 S. National

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce invites members and guests to a Chamber Coffee and Ribbon Cutting Thursday, January 11th at 8 a.m. hosted by Freedom Fitness which will be held at their new business, 15 S. National Street. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.


Any member business or organization wanting to host Chamber Coffee in 2023 is encouraged to contact the Chamber to save a date by calling 620-223-3566 or emailing [email protected].

Click here for their Facebook page!

We hope to see you there!

Thank you to our Chamber Champion members
shown below!
Facebook  Twitter
Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce | 231 E. Wall Street, Fort Scott, KS 66701

Freedom Fitness Opens at 15 S National

John and Lindsey Hill and sons, from Freedom Fitness Facebook page.
 Lindsay and John Hill are the owners and coaches of a new business, Freedom Fitness, located at 15 S. National.
“We offer fitness classes for all ages and fitness levels,” Lindsay said.  “We also offer regular gym memberships so you can come in and lift during certain hours and use equipment and facilities.”
“This was a need in our community and we are super passionate about helping others become their best self,” she said.  “This will allow us to not only help people with physical fitness, but we will also be offering nutritional classes, flexibility, and mobility sessions, and so much more.”
 Classes available:
Training – A Cross Training class that offers strength, flexibility, endurance, and much more.
EnduraFit – An endurance class that uses barbells and weights to move with speed and efficiency.
LIFE – A bootcamp style, focusing on body movement and functional fitness.
Masters – A class focused on seasoned individuals who want to move, have flexibility, and functional fitness using minimal weight.
FreeFit -The normal gym membership that allows individuals to focus on their own goals and programs.
KidFit- all things kids, including speed, agility, mobility, strength, plyometrics, etc.
“We will tailor all classes to fit the fitness levels and goals,” she said.
The business phone number  is  620-644-2167
Business hours of operation are from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The cost for Freedom Fitness is  $79/month for unlimited, and $60/month for 3 days/week.
Freedom Fitness business front at 15 S. National. Submitted photo.
“We look forward to serving Fort Scott with a Faith.Family.Freedom.Fitness environment,” she said.  “It will be a positive, uplifting space where people can leave life at the door and focus on themselves.  We want to create a space where health and fitness is a way of life – helping Fort Scott become a healthier community.”

Celebrate New Years Day With A Hike In The Park

Kansas State Parks to Offer New Year’s Day Hikes

SHAWNEE – Celebrate the New Year with fun, fresh air, and scenic views by participating in a First Day Hike at a Kansas State Park. These self-led and guided hikes are organized annually by parks staff to encourage individuals and families to start the year on the right foot – by getting outside and connecting with nature.

This year, more than 1,000 hikes will be available in state parks around the country, including 33 First Day Hike events hosted by Kansas State Parks. While the distance and rigor of the hikes will vary at each state park, all aim to create a fun experience for all. Savor the beauty of the natural, cultural, and historical resources our state parks offer, and be inspired to continue taking advantage of these local treasures throughout calendar year 2024.

“This will be our 13th year to offer First Day Hikes in Kansas’ state parks and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Linda Lanterman, Kansas State Parks director. “Each year, these events grow more and more popular because they’re a fun and healthy way to start the New Year, they’re a great cure for cabin fever, and they’re held in some of the prettiest parts of our state.”

Where to Participate
For a complete list of First Day Hike events in Kansas on January 1, 2024, visit

What To Expect
Hikers can choose guided hikes that fit their comfort levels including walks along lakes, exploring trails, and options best for wildlife viewing. Pets are welcome but must be kept on a leash. And, if hiking isn’t in your interest or ability, Kansas State Parks invite you to explore other fun offerings, from boating to fishing and horseback riding, or simply enjoying a peaceful moment from a park picnic table or bench.

What To Bring
Kansas State Park staff recommend coming prepared for a First Day Hike with the following, if possible:

  • Water
  • Snacks Weather appropriate clothing (hat, gloves, heavy coat)
  • Hiking shoes
  • Binoculars
  • Hiking stick
  • Camera

NOTE: LIMITED First Day Hike T-Shirts will be available for participants on a first-come, first-served basis. And, a vehicle permit may be required ($5.00 at the state park entrance).

First Day Hikes began more than three decades ago at the Blue Hills Reservation state park in Massachusetts in 1992. Since 2012, all 50 states have participated. America’s State Parks hopes to make 2024 a record-breaking year as the annual event approaches major milestones, including inching closer to 1 million miles hiked and 500,000 participants in the program’s history.

For information on First Day Hikes across the nation, visit And don’t forget to share your January 1 hiking story on social media with #FirstDayHikes and #MyKSStatePark.

Click HERE to find a Kansas State Park nearest you.

Halloween Benefit Run for Piper Weeks This Saturday

The Fort Scott Recreation Center is facilitating an event to help a local Fort Scott High School in her battle with cancer.

“Piper Weeks is a high school student here in town who is diagnosed with bone cancer,” said Lucas Kelley, recreation director. “She is currently undergoing treatment. All proceeds from this race will be donated to the Weeks family to help with treatment costs.”

Lucas Kelley is the director of Fort Scott Recreation Center. Submitted photo.

This Halloween-based 5k Run/Walk is on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 9 a.m.

“It is called the Spooky Scurry,” he said. “The route begins at Frary Stadium (at FSHS, 1005 S. Main) then goes south on Main Street, east on East National, south all the way to the end of Cooper Street and back. The total route is 3.1 miles. We are encouraging all participants to wear their Halloween costumes for a chance to win the prize of tickets to the Enchant Christmas Light Show in Kansas City this winter.”

“The purpose of all our 5k Run/Walks is to help provide for a need in the community,” he said. “The cost is $30 per participant. Participants can register at Buck Run Community Center (735 Scott Avenue) or the day of the race starting at 8 a.m.”


The recreation staff has created a Venmo account to accept donations for the Weeks family. To make a contribution you can do that on Venmo with the following QR code.

A reminder that 100% of the money raised will go to help Piper Weeks with her cancer treatments.

Introducing Gravel Kansas: A Cycling Initiative that Redefines Adventure and Connection [Kansas

Gravel Kansas is thrilled to announce the official launch of its innovative cycling initiative, dedicated to crafting unforgettable gravel cycling routes across the picturesque landscapes of
The State That Made Gravel Famous©.

This exciting venture is returning to gravel roots by merging the thrill of gravel riding with the power of storytelling to foster a deep connection between cyclists and the remarkable places they traverse.

At the heart of Gravel Kansas is a commitment to celebrating the rich heritage, culture, and stories that define the state. Through
a meticulously curated selection of gravel routes, cyclists will embark on journeys that weave through historic towns, rolling prairies, and breathtaking vistas. Each route serves as a gateway
to discovery, leading riders to hidden gems and immersing them in the tapestry of Kansas’ diverse landscapes.

“We are thrilled to introduce Gravel Kansas to cyclists around the world,” said LeLan Dains, Founding Chair of Gravel Kansas. “Our initiative is all about forging a profound bond between
people, places, and stories. With every pedal stroke, cyclists will experience the beauty, history, and character of Kansas in an entirely new way.”

This project wouldn’t be possible without funding support from Kansas Tourism.

Locally, “Bourbon on the Rocks” is the name given to the group of gravel cycling routes in Bourbon County. Those routes are anywhere from 7-60 miles. Bourbon on the Rocks routes include beginner routes that are family oriented, intermediate routes (not for the faint of heart), and a couple of advanced routes for serious gravel grinders that want to be “punished” on a ride.


Fort Scott Public Relations & Tourism Director, Jackson Tough met with LeLan Dains at the 2021 Kansas tourism conference. Jackson said, “we started brainstorming ideas about a statewide
tourism push to promote Kansas as the gravel cycling capital of the world. We organized a committee and recruited other communities.”

At the same time, Tough began working with Tayton Majors, Business Retention & Community Initiatives Manager for Bourbon County Regional Economic Development on the project.
“Tayton was a great contributor in helping to design, describe, and map our variety of a dozen gravel bicycling routes within Bourbon County, all starting and ending in or near Fort Scott.

Each of the “Bourbon on the Rocks” routes offers a payoff—whether it’s a million-dollar view, a story of local lore, or a historic feature. To view Bourbon County routes simply go to, click “find routes” then “southeast.” Bourbon County is at the top of
those listings.

Tough said “we anticipate even more routes being added locally and from around the state. I’m excited to see the project’s website, come to fruition. It’s a great step to get more
gravel cycling enthusiasts to come to Bourbon County and the state.”

For more information about Gravel Kansas and to explore the inaugural routes, please visit

Follow Gravel Kansas on Facebook for updates, stories, and exciting cycling content.

About Gravel Kansas:
Gravel Kansas is a pioneering cycling initiative that creates iconic gravel routes across the
picturesque landscapes of Kansas. Combining the thrill of gravel cycling with the power of
storytelling, Gravel Kansas aims to foster a deep connection between cyclists and the
remarkable places they explore. Through meticulously curated routes and engaging narratives,
Gravel Kansas celebrates the heritage, culture, and stories that define the state. For more
information, visit

The Super Step Walking Challenge



Submitted by Valetta Cannon, Fort Scott Public Library Youth Librarian & Assistant Director

Log your daily steps and compete for prizes with the library’s walking program. Fort Scott Public Library & The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team invite you to virtually walk from Fort Scott to a fictional Kansas town known for its superhero origin story. This walking contest is for people of all ages & fitness levels.

  • Record your daily step counts through the Reader Zone app or browser version OR in Google Sheets
    • Connect with teammates & compete against other teams
    • Receive a pedometer & t-shirt just for signing up!
    • Each member of the winning team will earn a free book & may also win coupons or gift cards from local businesses
    • Drop-in reception after the contest ends for all participants

Register here: or fill out a paper form at the library.

The contest begins on Saturday, Sept. 25, is open to everyone, and free of charge. Registration will remain open until October 2, so invite your friends and relatives to join you! If you need help using the technology, come to the library for help or send an email to [email protected]. For persons with special needs, library staff will do their best to make accommodations. Send a message to the above email detailing your needs.


Click here for more information on the contest:

Sponsors include After Affect Salon, Buck Run Community Center, and Hedgehog.INK!. If you’re interested in sponsorship opportunities, please email Valetta Cannon at the above address.

This program is made possible in part by a dream grant from the Southeast Kansas Library System. Funding for this Story Telling Project is also being provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas as a part of the library’s and the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team’s Pathways to a Healthy Kansas grant

New Play Equipment Installed at Third Street Park

Third Street Park is just east of Hwy. 69 past the railroad overpass on the south side of the street. This is a view from Wilson Street looking up the hill, taken in May 2022.

A park on Third Street is in the process of new playground equipment being installed and stairs have been completed for better access.

A Building Up Our Neighborhoods Placemaking project has already repaired the bathrooms and existing structures, including the basketball goal. Last week stairs were made from the upper level of the park to the lower level.

Rachel Carpenter. Submitted photo. 2023

This week additional playground structures will be installed and mulched, Rachel Carpenter, director, of the Healthy Bourbon Action Team (HBCAT), who is spearheading the project,  said.

Bales of mulch await the final installations of playground equipment at Third Street Park on Sept. 15.

A project that was identified by the community through public forums, surveys, and a steering committee is making enhancements to Third Street Park, located just east of the train tracks on Third Street, according to  Carpenter.

“The community members were able to develop priorities that they wanted to see happen at the park, Carpenter said in a press release. Those priorities are:

  • Fixing the bathrooms
  • Fixing the existing structures
  • Fixing the basketball goal
  • Adding additional playground structures
  • Adding stairs

“Fort Scott Pioneer Kiwanis provided volunteers to fix the existing structures, the basketball goals, and paint the bathrooms,” she said. “The City of Fort Scott provided an additional $10,000 that will go towards fixing up the bathrooms, fixing the pavilion floor, and surfacing for the existing structures.”

“This week Playscapes will be installing the new playground structures and putting down the rubber mulch surfacing,” she said. “The playground structures include a Temple Trolley, a Swizzler, and two bouncers.”

Mitch Welch, of Playscapes, Yates Center, puts up caution tape on Friday afternoon, Sept. 15, to keep people off the equipment that is being installed.

Marbery Concrete just constructed the concrete stairs that will allow community members to access the playground easier from the ballpark down the hill from the play area.

Tyler Sharp, Marbery Construction, Fort Scott, lays straw to prevent erosion following the building of the concrete stairs from the upper-level playground to the lower-level ball field at Third Street Park on Sept. 15.

“The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team (HBCAT) is addressing the Social Determinants of Health by building up Neighborhoods and Environment,” Carpenter said. “One tool to increase community vitality is through creative placemaking projects.”

“Through funding from Patterson Family Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Pathways to a Healthy Kansas, HBCAT started the Stronger Together: Building Up Our Neighborhoods placemaking projects.”

The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team office phone number: is 620-215-2562 and is located at 104 N. National, Fort Scott.




Music and Bike Races at Gunn Park on Sept. 16-17

Submitted photos.

Some of the region’s fastest mountain bikers will be in Fort Scott for the 10th Anniversary of the Marmaton Massacre Festival, on Gunn Park Trails, the weekend of September 16th & 17th

Race promoter and trail steward Frank Halsey is proud of what his team of volunteers has accomplished over the past ten years. 

“Our event attracts all types of riders from the region, professionals as well as beginners,” he said.  “Lots of riders prefer our hand-built trails over the machine-built trails in popular areas such as northwest Arkansas, we just don’t have enough mileage to be a destination trail.”

The Festival begins Saturday, with some participants arriving on Friday, to prepare for the Saturday Marathon Race, which is as many miles as possible in a three-hour timeframe.  Sunday events will consist of the age and ability Category Races. 

Halsey encourages locals to grab their lawn chairs and join us in the park for the Saturday evening festivities which will include a performance by the Fort Scott High School Orchestra at 5:30 pm, followed by the always popular little kids race, and live music by the Pittsburg band, Left of Center.  Sharky’s Pub & Grub will be providing food truck services.


“Mountain bike racing is not really a spectator sport, but my goal for this event has been to bring riders to our beautiful city and park, while providing locals an opportunity to have a relaxing evening in our beautiful Gunn Park,” Halsey said.  “None of this would be possible without our awesome volunteers and local sponsors including, Cheney Witt Funeral Home, CrawKan, Southwind Cycle & Outdoor, Sonic, Typhoon Bay, Union State Bank, Ward Kraft, RPS Benefits, and Mid-Continental Restoration.” 

For more info:

Location & Contact

Location address:
1010 Park Ave, Fort Scott, KS  66701
Event Phone Number:
(620) 223-3700

Event Website


Races begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

New Kansas Bicycle Map now available

Whether you’re looking to cycle from one county to the next or across the entire state, the new 2023-2025 Kansas Bicycle Map has a lot to offer those planning a short trip or a long ride.

“The revised map has new features such as a focus on rail-trails, Kansas Tourism resources, and information on the recently published Kansas Active Transportation Plan,” said KDOT’s Active Transportation Manager Jenny Kramer. “This map provides information for cyclists of all levels of experience as well as community advocates wanting to develop and improve trails and paths in their areas.”

The 2023-25 map includes a state map showing daily traffic volumes, county roads, rest areas, bike shops, byways, state parks, bicycle routes across Kansas, and also includes:

  • Kansas Rail-Trails revised map and infographic.
  • Section on Sharing the Trail.
  • Information on Kansas Tourism Cycling resources.
  • Information on the Kansas Active Transportation Plan.
  • S. Bicycle Routes 76 and 66 information.
  • A table of state recreation areas and amenities.
  • State bicycle laws.

Maps and cards with bicycle safety tips are available free of charge on the Kansas Bicycle Map webpage – KSBicycleMap ( This page also includes links to an interactive bicycle map and several city maps.

For more information or to order maps by email or phone, please email [email protected] or call (785) 296-5186.

Below: 2023-2025 Kansas Bicycle Map cover.

Bike Map