The Neodesha Historical Trail was started in 1971 as part of the 100th Aniversary celebration of the founding of Neodesha, Kansas. It is a 10-mile long (alternate route is 15 miles long) loop hike through Wilson County and Neodesha, Kansas.
It begins and ends at the Norman No. 1 Oil Well Museum located near the reconstructed first successful commercial producing oil well in Kansas and the mid-continent field – known as Norman No. 1.
The trail was originally laid out and planned as an Eagle Scout Community Service project by Scout Tom O. Parish III of Troop 30. Many citizens helped make the trail possible. The trail and brochure were reviewed in 1990-91 to update 20 years of changes to identifying features of the trail.
Hikers should visit the museum to pick up the detailed explanatory brochure and map and learn about the oil history and settlement of the area as this history is part of the trail tour. Other points of interest are other oil derrick sites and working wells, historic bridges, wildlife and ecosystems, a 300-year-old tree, caves with markings, historic buildings, and early townsite cemetery markers.
Guided historical tours are available for schools, community groups and individuals.rn