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Yellow Farmhouse Winery, Defiance MO

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Autumn Hues Along the Katy Trail Photo: Steven Lee Wright
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Sunrise near Marthasville Photo: Brad S. Wilson
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Trains! MKT railroad history along the trail and riding Amtrak to the Katy Trail
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About Katy Trail State Park, MO

The Katy Trail is a 237 mile (386 km) trail stretching across most of the state of Missouri.  (Use this link if you're looking for the Dallas Katy Trail).  Over half of it follows Lewis and Clark's path up the Missouri River, where you can ride beneath towering river bluffs while eagles circle overhead.  After leaving the river, the trail meanders through peaceful farmland and small-town Americana.

America's longest "rails-to-trail" project, formerly the MKT rail line, is flat and scenic.  It's ideal for hiking, running, or cycling on just about any kind of bike.  Horseback riding is also allowed on a 35 mile section of the trail, from Sedalia to Clinton.  Also, the Katy Trail's Tebbetts-Portland section now allows equestrian use.

Many cross-country cyclists include the Katy Trail in their tours.  It is part of Adventure Cycling's Lewis & Clark route, as well as the American Discovery Trail

Runners love to use the Katy Trail for Long Slow Distance runs, because it's flat, scenic, and the crushed limestone trail surface is easy on your legs.  The only drawback is that there are long distances without access to water, so runners and hikers might need to carry your their water.  Or simply plan your excursion along parts of the trail where the towns offering water, groceries, or vending machines are not too far apart.  For example, Defiance and Matson are only 1.5 miles apart, and Peers and Marthasville are 2 miles apart.  Lots of towns are about 5 miles from the next town. 

Visit the FAQ Page for more general trail information.  Or, dive right in and start planning your ride -- check out the towns and services along the trail, or build your own customized list of just the towns and services that interest you.

What's Going On

FALL on the Katy Trail

The Katy Trail is a prime place to enjoy Missouri's fall foliage, and the time is now!  Colors generally peak around the second or third week of October.

Just how colorful are the trees in Missouri right now?  Check out weather.com's Fall Foliage Map.


Now available: the Updated and Revised 10th edition of The Complete Katy Trail Guidebook by Brett Dufur.  Order online at www.pebblepublishing.com, or at amazon.com.  The Complete Katy Trail Guidebook is a guide to services, towns, people, places and history.  It includes wineries, B&Bs, camping, photos, maps and a fold out map and mileage chart of the whole Katy Trail.  Whether you're hiking, biking or touring by car, this guidebook is the definitive resource to take you there.

Visit the Pebble Publishing website to get your copy.

Organized Rides

One of the best ways to experience the Katy Trail is on an organized group tour.  Typically, the lodging and some meals are prearranged, so you can concentrate on the trail. 

There are several organized end-to-end rides each year.  The biggest, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, occurs in mid-June. Several rides are scheduled each year - as rides are announced, they are added to our list of organized rides along the trail

Another approach: there are also tour organizers who will put together a more individually customized ride for you.  In general, they take care of most lodging arrangements, some meals, luggage transfer and point to point transportation, so you can focus more on the ride itself.  Here is a list of tour organizers operating on the Katy Trail.

Weather Alert

Follow this link for current Katy Trail weather conditions, and Missouri average temperatures and precipitation.

Heavy rains and thunderstorms can happen any time - be aware and be prepared!

  • After heavy rain, stay alert for washed-out sections of trail.  We check regularly with the Department of Natural Resources to find out if any washouts have been reported; I'll let you know if they report any.
  • Since the trail follows along the Missouri River, it crosses over many streams and small rivers.  Be alert for flash floods during and after heavy rain.
  • A person on the trail is a prime lightning target.  Seek cover during a thunderstorm.  Lightning can strike ten miles away from the storm center.
  • Consider packing rain gear for longer trips, even on a sunny day.  Heavy rains can develop quickly.

Check a weather website prior to your trip.  Weather patterns generally move west-to-east across Missouri, so you can try to predict your weather conditions by looking at the current weather radar.

Trail Conditions for Katy Trail State Park in Missouri

If you are aware of any adverse trail conditions on the Katy Trail, please let us know the specifics, or contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Beyond the Katy Trail...

Trail building in progress: Missouri's Rock Island Trail is finally under construction! The Rock Island intersects the Katy Trail at Windsor and will eventually stretch over 200 miles, giving Missouri an amazing 450 mile trail loop.

 If you like the Katy Trail, you'll also enjoy the C&O Canal Towpath Trail and Great Allegheny Passage (GAP).  The C&O runs 185 miles from Washington DC to Cumberland Maryland, along the banks of the Potomac River.    The GAP connects to the C&O at Cumberland MD and runs across a significant part of Pennsylvania.  Together, the C&O and GAP enable you to ride 335 miles from Pittsburgh to Washington DC.

 Travelling to Florida?  If so, check out our sister website for Sanibel Island, Florida, the most bike-friendly island you'll ever visit (nice beaches too!).

 New York's  Erie Canal bike trail runs from Buffalo to Albany, crossing most of upstate New York. 

 How about New England?  The Cape Cod bike trails are south of Boston, with beaches, lighthouses, and more. 

  The Silver Comet Trail in Georgia connects up with the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama, giving you nearly 100 miles of scenic paved trail. 

  South Dakota's Mickelson Trail takes you through breathtaking scenery where you can still feel and experience the old West. 

  The Cowboy Trail in Nebraska will eventually stretch over 300 miles - even longer than the Katy Trail. 

We proudly support
Missouri Bicycle Federation
Missouri Rock Island Trail Coalition
Adventure Cycling

American Trails Winning Website
"Best Travel Website for a Trail"

Ohio to Erie Trail
Rails to Trails Conservancy Trailnet

Hermann, Missouri

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