The “Mildred Loop” provides an opportunity for riders who didn’t ride the 100-mile Pedalfest ride on Saturday, to visit the interesting little community of Mildred, Kansas.
With an official population of under 30 people, the town is a far cry from its heyday of 900 souls, back when it was a company town, home to the Great Western Portland Cement Company, which provided cement for projects all over the country, including the stately Liberty Memorial in Kansas City. When the factory went bust in 1929, most of the people moved on.
Dan Fitzgerald, author of the Ghost Towns of Kansas books, rates Mildred as the #2 ghost town in the state of Kansas.
Today, the ruins of the Great Western plant loom over the small collection of houses that remain, but the heart of the community is the Mildred Store, an old-fashioned country general store that sells everything from groceries to hardware, along with great hand-made deli sandwiches.
The route for this little excursion takes riders north on the Prairie Spirit Trail to Colony, east through Lone Elm, onto US-59 for a few miles to Mildred, then back via county roads past La Harpe and Gas City.
The entire route (other than the Prairie Spirit Trail) is on low-traffic paved roads.
If you use a GPS cyclocomputer or a smartphone app that can handle GPX files, you can download the GPS Track to your computer, then upload it to your device. Most devices will provide turn-by-turn directions to allow you to easily follow the route without worrying about missing turns or getting lost.