1024. Wieduwilt Swales (85th and Manchester “Three Trails” Trail Segment)

Interpretive sign in green grassy plot with swales in background.
Wieduwilt Swales

Wagon ruts were made by annual throngs of oxen-led wagon caravans that trod the earth and left deep depressions. The greater Kansas City area is unique in having a handful of these 19th century reminders preserved for current and future generations. Wagon swales are rare and worth preserving.

This trail segment situated on old maps in Section 19 of Township 48 North, Range 32 West, was surveyed in July and August 1843 by William Miller where he indicated the path of the “Road to Santa Fe.” After wagon trains ceased passing this way, the muddy ruts grew over with vegetation creating the swales you see today. 

The trail segment is identified by a deep and wide swale that diverges around a natural rock outcrop near the north central portion of the 1.22-acre site. Near the top of the hill, the swales appear to diverge into parallel tracks. These particular swales were once visible to 83rd street in back of the homes that face Blue Ridge Boulevard. That section was recently destroyed by the church to build soccer fields.”

Wieduwilt Swales on the Santa Fe Trail

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