History on the trail

The Indian Creek Bike and Hike Trail connects with other metropolitan cities to provide you miles of trails and quiet beauty.

The trail also provides a connection to historical aspects of Overland Park prior to and following the arrival of pioneers "going west."

Bison may have waded into Indian Creek in Overland Park to quench their thirst or cool down on a hot Kansas summer day.

New interpretive signs are to be placed along the trail. Installation of up to 18 signs will depict archival photographs, maps and other images. Further, the panels feature well-researched original historical narratives about the names of the various streets that cross or intersect with the trail, as well as other points of interest, such as bison.

John Roe and his descendants at one time owned nearly 1,600 acres of land. Roe provided right-of-way access across some of his property to William B. Strang Jr. for his 20th Century rail system that went from Olathe to Kansas City, Mo. Strang is the founder of Overland Park.

Eventually, much of the Roe property was either sold or donated by family members. 

"The Indian Creek Trail in Overland Park is about to be transformed from a walk through 'Anywhere,' USA into a hike through history," said Henry Fortunato, Overland Park and founder of Sunflower Republic and director of the Indian Creek Trail Interpretive Signage Project.

Fortunato, working with the Johnson County Museum and Overland Park to install interpretive signs along the Indian Creek Trail. Historical information on signs includes how College Boulevard got its name from a jocular suggestion, where the names of prominent roads - Roe and Mission - came about.

"When completed, this collection of exhibit panels will foster a sense of place and a deeper understanding of how Overland Park and Johnson County came to be what they are today," Forunato added.

Funding for the project is coming from the Regnier Family Foundation, the Sunflower Foundation, the Barton P. and Mary D. Cohen Charitable Trust, the Greater Kansas City Health Care Foundation, Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area, Johnson County Community College Foundation and in-kind services from the Overland Park Historical Society, Lenexa Historical Society and the city of Overland Park.