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Clifton City MO on the Katy Trail and Rock Island Trail

Mile marker 215.4
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Forum Discussions about Clifton City

Clifton City
Anthony from Maine on 11/26/2019 10:42 AM:
Nice spot to take a lunch break with sandwich purchased in Sedalia.

Clifton City
Tammy from Harrisonville on 09/27/2019 01:52 PM:
Is there available parking at Clifton City where one could park without fear of being towed to start biking here?

Clifton City
Floyd Dowell from Manhattan, KS on 06/06/2016 01:43 PM:
Still no water at this trailhead in Clifton City! Be sure to fill up at Sedalia or Pilot Grove as that can be a long hot stretch.

Clifton City-refreshments
Mr. G from Galena, IN on 07/15/2011 08:10 PM:
DNR hasn't acted but a young girl has--knock on door of 1st house south heading east and she's selling water,sodas, Powerade, etc. plus free ice. Seven of us which met at trail head benefited from her gumption. That she was doing it to save up for an aquarium somehow made it even better.

ALSO, we heard another lady, 1/4 mile north of trail at Beaman, is doing same plus sandwiches, but DNR will not allow her to put a sign on the trail right-of-way.

Darrell, from Jefferson City on 07/16/2011 05:00 AM:
Beaman, it is a small store with snacks, drinks, sandwiches. Had bisquits and gravy there early one morning, was an excellent surprise. Good place to replenish snacks/drinks and take a break in the shade.

Trek on 07/16/2011 09:43 PM:
What hasn't DNR acted on Mr. G?

Jim from St Thomas on 07/17/2011 06:04 AM:
Supplying water to the Clifton City trailhead.

Trek on 07/18/2011 05:52 PM:
My guess is that DNR has acted and that it is not cost effective to supply water at this or many of the other trailheads. I've been wanting the conservation department to put running water in at Bluff Woods so I don't have to pack my own in when I hike there. I've learned to appreciate what the conservation department has done and take a water bottle with me. I have to throw it down on the ground though as they won't put a trash can there either. And it's only a couple of miles they'd have to pack that full 55 gal barrel out too. Not too much to ask, I don't think.

Doug from Bluffton on 07/18/2011 09:14 PM:
Good one Trek, and before anyone jumps Trek for being a litterbug, look up the definition of sarcasm.

Patty from St. Louis, MO on 09/11/2015 08:15 AM:
Biking Boonville to Sedalia next weekend, wondering if there have been any developments with water or food at Clifton City since the last post 4 years ago.

ArkyKenny on 09/11/2015 12:30 PM:
No change, and no water available at Clif City. Bring plenty/fill up at Pilot Grove unless you are prepared to make it to Sedalia, or are willing to knock on some doors and beg.

I've heard that there is a soda machine up the hill in Clif City, but I've never gone up there to check for myself. In June, I came across a fellow who had run out of water, and I gave him most of what I had left: So....you may want to bring enough for you, and for a (soon to be) friend.

Clifton City
lrc from Leon Iowa on 05/13/2009 09:04 PM:
Yes, PLEASE Missouri DNR---do whatever is necessary to make water available at ALL Katy Trial trailheads. You have a nationally-known and nationally-utilized trail here---YOU CAN MAKE IT BETTER! Thanks for making it available!

Trek on 05/14/2009 08:18 AM:
Some of the time better comes with a cost. And other times things are okay as they are in that they don't cost. It would be nice to have running water at each trailhead....then everyone would want for something more than a vault toilet. You know....if you give a mouse a cookie... The cost would be to the Missouri tax payers, or we could charge everyone to use the trail like Iowa, Nebraska, etc.

Cliff from Edwardsville Ks on 05/15/2009 11:00 AM:
Trek, I would not be opposed to paying a fee to ride the Katy. I live in Kansas but ride the Katy often. The trail I ride in Kansas is the Prairie Spirit Trail and they charge 3.50 a day, or you can purchase an yearly pass for 12.15. This trail does not even come close to being the trail that the Katy is, just closer for a day ride. If the fee was reasonable like the Prairie Trail I would be in favor of it. Just my two cents from a Jayhawk who would be willing to pay his fair share. I do manage a buisness in MO. so I guess I do help pay a little.

Anonymous on 05/19/2009 07:17 AM:
I've been saying it for a few years: The state really needs to figure out a way to get water to all the trailheads. Stimulus money?

Trek on 05/19/2009 08:35 AM:
I'd really be curious to know the number of trailhead locations that do not have water. At some locations, water may not be available by DNR at the trailhead but water is available in the town. Maybe that is the case in Clifton City. If so, why would the state have a burden to provide something that is already provided? It's an outdoor backwoods trail.....not a city bike path.

The same discussion could be made about other trail provisions too. Shouldn't every town along the way have a well groomed shaded park with a cafe like Dotties and hotel like the Frederick or a B&B like Hermann Hill? I'd think bike service in each town would be nice too...

I'm not against pay for use. We rode the Raccoon River Trail in Iowa last weekend and paid more than the required fee. But we didn't feel slighted when all trailheads and towns were not up to par like Panora.

MAH from Blue Springs, MO on 05/21/2009 10:53 AM:
I think we need to start a thread that lists all the trailheads with water at the trailhead itself, or if no water avail, where the closest water can be found. If everyone can add their 2 cents worth for the trailheads they're familiar with, it will be a good resource for riders.

Trek, hubby and I are thinking about doing the Racoon River Trail, is it truly all paved for 57 miles??

Trek on 05/21/2009 01:18 PM:
Yes, MAH....the Raccoon River Trail is all paved. It's asphalt with some sections that are cement...five miles or so south of Panora is cement. We stayed at The House on Russell (trailsidelodging I think...link on the RRVT.org website) in Jefferson. June 6 or so is a music fest where you ride south out of Jefferson and local musicians are set up along the trail and play. We're thinking of going back with the tandem while its still cool out.

Wendy from Des Moines, IA on 05/21/2009 02:34 PM:
Trek & MAH -- I wanted to add that the Raccoon River Valley Trail comes into Waukee (the western-most suburb of Des Moines) and connects to the Greenbelt Trail, which connects to another system that will take you to downtown Des Moines, so you can get another 10-15 miles on that. Central Iowa has a great trail system! I have never been west of Adel (7 miles west of Waukee) on the trail system because I mostly travel on foot rather than bike, but I hope to see some of it on my new bike this summer. :-)

Trek on 05/21/2009 03:14 PM:
Yep.....you surely need a bike then Wendy. Check the bike shop out in Waukee.....they were friendly folks and eager to help out the out of towner.

Green Machine from Lawrence, Ks on 05/21/2009 03:37 PM:
Clifton City really needs a running water faucet. The town is basically the low point between

two 12 mile climbs. The last six miles to Sedalia are all uphill and the grade midway to Pilot

Grove is fairly long and intense compared to the rest of the trail. Either way you are going,

filling up with water at Clifton City would be a quite helpful.

CDFM from Archie on 05/23/2011 09:32 PM:
There are more than a few long dry stretches. Stumulus? That was a political payoff and ploy. I sure don't feel stimulated! Do yo?

Just sayin' from KC on 05/24/2011 09:51 AM:
If you'd like upgrades, feel free to contribute.
The trail didn't build itself. Kudos to the Jones family for giving back.

Anonymous on 05/24/2011 01:04 PM:
I don't know why everyone is so eager to have water at every trail head. After seeing what people dump in the creeks between sedalia and boonville(oil cans, tires, etc), I would rather stick to my dehydration. I'm pretty sure the small towns use ground water, and as a rider I wouldn't trust its cleanliness. Although the water fountain at the Rochport trail head is ice cold and really good for pouring water on your head to cool off. To be safe from hydration just carry at least a half gallon of fluids on the bike and buy gatorade or bottled water whenever you reach a gas station.

Clifton City
EB from Greenwood on 11/01/2008 06:29 PM:
The gentleman who lives just north of the trail is a lifesaver. This eccentric saint was kind enough to sell us a tire and install it. He also adjusted the brakes and made sure everything was tip top before we headed down the trail. We practically had to force him to take any payment for his trouble. He doesn’t have a lot of new parts for sale but if you need something adjusted or repaired keep him in mind. Thanks Al!

Clifton City
GE from Manhattan KS on 07/08/2008 10:26 AM:
Realy need water at this stop, one of the longest distances without water on the trail.

Clifton City
Pat from Fort Worth on 06/04/2008 03:22 PM:
A neighbor to the trail asked us to pass the word on for all cyclists to write to Missouri's Dept of Natural Resources and ask for a water line at this stop. He thinks that is what it will take; input from the public. Let's do it!

DougK from Troy on 06/04/2008 09:57 PM:
Agree. Wasn't there something posted before about the church at Clifton City providing water on request??

Kim from Independence, MO on 06/05/2008 07:14 AM:
From what I understand, the church right next to the trailhead used to provide a cooler with water bottles - but it was stolen awhile back.

Water is definitely needed at this trailhead!

gc from Columbia, Mo. on 06/05/2008 07:17 AM:
Will do. Does anyone have the address and appropriate person to address the request? Of course, I still maintain that ALL trailheads should have water.

On another note: Pat, what part of Ft Worth do you live in? I lived their for around 10 years and went to high school and college there and married a local girl.

Tilting at wildmills,


Clifton City
Anonymous on 09/29/2007 08:40 PM:
It would be nice if there was water here because going West to East from Sedalia to Pilot Grove has the most climbing of the whole trail. We were prepared so didn't have a problem, however our host in Sedalia has had to pick up people who over extented themselves with no water and were in bad shape.

Pastor Ernest Jennings from Jefferson City, MO on 11/20/2007 08:21 PM:
As an act of kindness to those who travel the trail. Katy Trail Family Church (the little white church by the trail) is providing bottled water on Saturdays and Sundays. Please feel free to stop in at the Church and say hello. You will always welcome. Were also praying for you! Have a good ride :-)

GC from Columbia, Mo. on 11/26/2007 07:23 AM:
I concur! I will go farther and say that there should be water available at EVERY trailhead.

And thanks, Pastor, your church's efforts are appreciated.

Clifton City
gc from Columbia on 09/05/2006 11:18 PM:
I am currently in the middle of hiking the whole trail, west to east. For the most part, the trail has been great. I do think, however, that the state needs to get its act together on the water situation. I think that every trailhead should have water, period. I understand that some of them are in rural areas, but in 2006 and with all the rural water districts in the state, I think some solution could be found. Twenty five miles between reliable water stops (Sedalia to Pilot Grove)is simply unacceptable. This is a safety issue. And if you read the sign coming into Clifton City, you are led to belive that water or some sort of beverages are available. I was not the only person there on Monday to misunderstand this sign. What can we, as the trail-using community, do about this?

Otherwise, the trailhead at Clifton City was perfectly nice. It is nice and shady, etc.

OK. now it is time to get off my soapbox

Missouri Joe from O'Fallon, MO on 09/06/2006 06:35 AM:
I'm not an engineer but I don't think the lack of water is an engineering problem but rather a cost issue. In most (maybe all) cases the availability of water would be seasonable and would have to be shut off during the winter and then turned on and tested again each Spring. I guess all this costs money. That said, they did do a great job on the restrooms but he porta potties need to be looked after better. For now, I just pack more water.

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 09/06/2006 09:21 AM:
Seems to be alot of things in this old world in year 2006 that are simply unacceptable. Running potable water at every base camp on a remote trail is miniscule. Like Joe, I also pack more water. Perhaps easier to do with a bike than walking. A method of water purification may be in order if I were hiking, as there seems to be plenty of water sources.

gc from Columbia on 09/06/2006 10:16 AM:
Oh, I agree that in the greater scheme of things, lack of potable water seems minor. I accept the fact that it would have to seasonal, and that there would be some cost associated with providing water at all the trail heads, but it just strikes me as something that can and should be provided.

If the Boonville bridge is sold, as seems likely, I wonder where all the proceeds will go? The General Fund, or will at least some of the money be rolled back into the trail. That seems the least that could be done.

The trail is such a great resource, I just think that that aspect could be improved on.

ET from Columbia on 09/07/2006 03:42 PM:
While I agree that you should be prepared and carry your own water, there are some pretty long stretches, especially for walkers--the Clifton City stretch is one, and also around Weldon Springs. I would at least like to see the trail maps mark whether or not there is water available at trailheads.

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 09/07/2006 08:19 PM:
Having the maps that are available at the trailheads marked is a good idea. Perhaps you should contact the DNR and make that request. I rarely have one of those at home when planning a trip, so that they were marked would be of little benefit for me. When I pick one up at a trailhead, it would be a bit to late beings I was already there.

Using the Plan a Ride feature of this website tho, you can check the box next to the water icon to see which towns you will be passing through has water. Also, wasn't too long ago that this thread, "Water at trailheads Started: Aug 27 2006 12:54PM by margie, blue springs" had 8 posters relaying information about which towns currently have water at either the trailhead, or available from a neighborhood store or vendo.

Anonymous on 09/08/2006 10:22 AM:
Read with interest that you are hiking the entire trail. Would love to know particulars? Are you finished? How many days did it take?

Did you keep a journal. I plan on running the entire trail in Nov. Contact me direct if you wish dbiersmiht@imckc.com

David Biersmith from Kansas City,Mo on 09/09/2006 08:48 AM:
Is it really true there is no water between North Jefferson and Marthasville?

I am running the trail in NOv. and can not carry that much water.

MAH from Blue Springs, MO on 09/09/2006 10:43 AM:
David, Even though there may be no water at the actual trailheads themselves, many of the small towns do have places to get water. Also, if you're running in November, check with the DNR to see when the water at the trailheads (the ones so equiped) will be shut off for the winter. If I remember correctly, it happens during November. Even if the water at the trailheads is off for the winter, just do your homework so you know in advance where to find water in all the little towns and you'll have a great run.

David Biersmith from Kansas City,Mo on 09/11/2006 08:26 AM:
This comment is directed to the gentleman who is presently hiking the entire Trail. I plan on running it in Nov. and would sure aprreciate speaking to you about your journey. Could you call me @ 816.241.4477 or 816 694 7762. thanks David Biersmith

gc from Columbia on 09/11/2006 03:33 PM:
David, I just came off the trail this morning. I had to bail at McKittrick because of problems with my feet. I did 160+ miles and had about 60 left to go, so I am not going to hang my head too much.

I am fairly new to the whole long-distance hiking thing, and have definitely learned a few lessons on what to do next time. One thing I would suggest is having someone to provide support throughout the trail. I was carrying a 50+ pound backpack, which screwed up my gait, which caused the blisters to form and some strains on the ankles, which caused more gait changes, which caused more blisters.... you get the idea.

This is one of the reasons I was complaining about a lack of water at all the trailheads. I could have easily knocked 10 pounds off my backpack by carrying less water on some of those "dry" stretches.

I have been writing a blog about this walk, and I will be planning to add the address in the next day or so. Basically, I was planning on doing the whole trail in about 12 days. I am convinced that my basic plan was sound, I just need to do a little better logistics planning.

I will be back on the trail in the next couple of months to finish it off. I have not given up yet!

Wayne from Columbus OH on 09/11/2006 04:54 PM:

Just courious about your web access during your hike, did you carry your laptop? At the last minute I decided to take mine along on our end to end ride for web access and some light business. I have decided after this trip that the next time my computer gets to ride my bike the ride will need to be longer than a week. Even though I was on wheels that was 7 lbs I could have done without.

Ray (webmaster) on 09/11/2006 10:34 PM:
gc - Congratulations on your incredible accomplishment. 160 miles on foot is pretty amazing no matter how you slice it. I'm really looking forward to reading your blog.

David B - There is water between N Jefferson and Mokane. You probably got the impression that there was none by using the "Plan-a-Ride" feature on this website. To get a more accurate picture of water availability, also check the Groceries and Vending Machine checkboxes when doing a Plan-a-ride. The grocery will always have water of course. Vending machines sometimes have just soda, but along the trail quite a few of them also stock water and sport drinks. Even if the other only option is just soda, it can still do the job in a pinch, to help you avoid dehydration (and get a few carbohydrates while you're at it). You might also want to look at the restaurant options - most restaurants along the trail are pretty informal and would not mind selling you a to-go drink if you're not up for a meal.

The Water option on the Plan-a-Ride feature can be deceptive since it does not include the types of services listed above. Most facilities are only listed under the Water option if they have a public water fountain or other free and accesible source of water.

Bottom line is to go over all the listings, and make a few phone calls to verify who will be open.

I'm very interested in hearing more about gc's just-completed hike and David's upcoming run - keep us posted, guys!

pas from Wentzville, MO on 09/12/2006 08:04 AM:
Congrats on making it 160 miles on the trail! I use a 100 oz. Camelbak when I ride the trail. It also has some storage for food or clothing. There are some on sale right now, so it's a good time to pick one up.

David Biersmith from Kansas City,Mo on 09/13/2006 04:48 PM:

Great job, 160 miles is a wonderful.

I plan on running/jogging about 25 miles a day. I have planned stops at the end of each day at b.and b.'s and friends in Sedalia and Jeff. City. I am not carrying anything. I know I need to stay hydrated the afternoon and evening before the next day run, and hope that is enought if I cannot find anything in the towns along the way. I bet the trail heads will be sut off by Nov. 18.

Tell me what is wrong with these ideas. Can I make 25 miles a day, etc.

Clifton City
Mike from Southeast Missouri on 03/19/2006 06:50 PM:
My friends and I stopped in Clifton City the 18th of March and the honor system refigerator isn't stocked yet. You can go up the hill to a metal building on the left and there is a door on the side. It doesn't look like a business but it is a garage and they have drinks.