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Spring trail conditions
Andy from Vermont on 11/15/2022 11:47 AM
Question about riding the trail next spring. Considering riding and camping the Katy in early May 2023 and am wondering if that is too early most years because of possible high water and trail closures?

Anonymous on 11/16/2022 11:25 AM
That's a hard one to predict. I don't know that the Katy floods most years. That aside, it could flood next May but not in the area that you are riding making it a non issue for you.

Probably the most logical path would be to keep an eye on trail conditions next spring and plan accordingly a bit closer to time you would like to ride.

Deby Elliott from Dallas on 11/16/2022 10:07 PM
We rode in May of 2021 and it was the absolute perfect time to go that year; warm, dry, green and verdant, lots of song birds around. However this past summer (2022) brought a horrible drought, resulting in the trail between Sedalia and Boonville being full of very deep and frequent ruts. I am wondering how long it will take the State Park system to work on this part of the trail. We rode the trail a few weeks ago - in October, and with the leaves covering much of the trail, we often couldn't see the ruts, making riding a little dangerous. So this is a concern, but at least in May the trail would be clear of the fallen leaves. I'd say May is a good choice, and I am hoping the parks system can do some work between now and then.

Deron Kazmaier from rural Boonville MO on 11/17/2022 08:06 AM
The cracks in the Katy appear every summer. Sometimes worse than others. They came through last week and poured gravel/chat in them. Should be good for another year.

I've often wondered why they don't have a salt truck attachment on the back of their pickups. They drive through most every day. Why wait and try and do the repair all at once? Like you said, dangerous with fall leaves covering the trail. They try and put cones up near the worse spots, but seems like it would be almost as quick to actually fix it.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 11/17/2022 11:24 AM
Everything that is going to be fixed will typically be fixed by May. April can be too early.

Anonymous on 11/18/2022 09:55 AM
Good to know.

Didn't know DNR was done in May each year.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 11/29/2022 04:20 PM
I mean, not everything is fixed. Just that IF they are going to fix it, it would usually be done by May. Your mileage may vary, as pointed out by others.

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Machens Entry Point
Steven from Novato, CA on 11/29/2022 03:00 PM
Formulating a plan to ride Machens to Clinton and possibly back. I do plan to use lodging not camping and this site is an amazing resource, thanks to whoever built this.

My question is when I get off the plane in St Louis, where to stay the night before, so I can assemble my bike, and then get to the trailhead at Machens the next morning. It looks like there are some hotels 15-20 miles away. However, I don't which ones are best to get to the trail. There appears to be a bridge across the Missouri to the hotels in West Alton which might be a problem if there is no bike lane on the bridge.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

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Camping or lodging near Machens
Eric from St. Louis on 11/22/2022 12:00 PM
Where do people camp near the Machens trailhead. I want to ride from Sedalia to my home 60 miles South of Machens and Machens would be the perfect stopping point for me, but there doesn't seem to be anywhere to stay the night. Is there primitive camping close by there?

Jerry Whittle from Belleville on 11/25/2022 05:06 PM
Klondike Park might be the closest place on the Katy to camp. It's still quite a way from Machens.

Here's a web site for camping in that area.


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Bluffton Barn is up for sale
Ray (webmaster) on 11/12/2022 02:13 PM
After 34 years, Doug Rendleman is retiring as the owner and host of the Bluffton Barn B&B, and putting the business up for sale.

Doug, and his home, are beloved icons of the Katy Trail. Hundreds of Katy Trail travelers have fond memories of staying in this historic house and enjoying Doug's food, music, and company.

If you've always dreamed of living the idyllic life of a Katy Trail B&B host, this is your chance to buy a successful, well-established, and well-loved B&B!

Bluffton Barn, originally known as Rendleman Home, is located right off the trail in Bluffton - midway between Portland and Rhineland, which is a little west of McKittrick/Hermann.

Contact Doug at 573-236-4575 for info.

Anonymous on 11/13/2022 03:32 PM
Doug is the best! If you haven’t had a chance to stay there you have missed a unique time

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Open Ended Timeline - NIghts In Our Van
Kevin from Based in Benson, AZ but travel in our van about 7 months per year on 09/20/2022 02:11 AM
We will be doing the KATY in October. Probably starting around the 3rd to the 6th.
Our timeline is open ended.
Our thinking is to do a daily out and back from trailhead A to trailhead B.
That evening we will move our van to trailhead B and spend the night.
Next day, trailhead B to trailhead C and back to the van.
Rinse and repeat all the way.
Our mileage will most likely be short as we want to explore lots
My main question is: Can we spend the night in our van at the trailheads?
Any and all suggestions for an open ended trip to experience everything the KATY has to offer would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous on 09/20/2022 10:02 AM
The Towns & Services tab above will show what services are provided in each town. Camping along the trail is provided by private entities and not by the state of Missouri.

Don from Dallas on 09/20/2022 12:41 PM
Check out the YouTubes (search “Matty Freedom Katy Trail”) posted about a year ago. They slept nights in their van at trailheads and libraries.
Your plans sound good.

A rural rider from Europe on 09/21/2022 03:19 AM
Hi; can't help you on the camping but I can say that it's good to do shorter distances and take your time along the way. And out and back is fine for us; often the trail just looks so different going in the opposite direction and you see things you missed the first run. Good luck.

Anonymous on 09/21/2022 08:04 AM
From the DNR Katy Trail State Park website:


Missouri State Parks does not provide camping along Katy Trail State Park. Camping is available at public and privately owned campgrounds adjacent to the trail. Click here for some options.

We like out of state visitors to come and enjoy our parks. We really like it when they follow the rules that we also abide by. It's rather disappointing to see others from out of state trying to encourage others to come and use our parks in ways they are not intended.

Please come and enjoy the Katy. Camping options may be found by clicking the Towns & Services tab above.

me&Z + Travel Pup on 09/28/2022 09:34 AM
Clinton Community Center permits over night parking and camping. WONDERFUL facility. Check their hours and register. No cost but they want to know how long each vehicle will be parked. We rolled in at 7:45 pm last night, just before they closed.

It is free. But they will accept a donation to their general fund. Since we camped and used the showers, a small donation seemed like the right thing to do.

Close enough to highway that you can hear some traffic but it diminishes after 10 pm.

Kevin Herber from Emery on 10/08/2022 01:26 AM
Thanks everyone! We are on the trail and the out-and-back routine is working perfectly. Every night back in our van and we've found showers every night too. Best method for us!

Kevin Herber from Emery on 10/28/2022 11:13 PM
Finished the trail. What an experience. Had so much fun. We successfully did the van-hopscotch thing. Worked out great. Each out and back day resulted in doing the entire thing from Clinton to Machens both ways. Logged 492 miles. Not to bad for 70 yo guy and his 66 yo bride!!!

BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 10/29/2022 03:37 PM
You are living the dream! We are planning on doing a similar set-up for long bike rides in the future, but using a camper rather than a van.

Teresa from Raleigh on 11/07/2022 03:48 AM
Hi Kevin,
We will do the same thing next year. Do you mind sharing details about where you overnighted, and the amenities at each? I'd like to find spots to park (legally, and paying where appropriate), and if you have some tips that would be really helpful!

Michael A. Rodemeyer from Hartsburg Mo on 11/12/2022 03:50 PM
If staying all night in your van be careful where you park it. A few years ago we had a couple park in a lot (they wern't sleeping) but not paying attention to the heavy rain outside. Their van was washed away but they were fortunatley rescued. We can't always guarantee a rescue.

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KC to Alton, IL Video Journal
Bigrediggy from Kansas City on 11/09/2022 03:20 PM
The end of the summer I did my first full Katy Trail Ride. I actually left my home and got on the Rock Island Trail in KC and took that down to just North of Clinton and took Hwy 13 into Clinton. Then the whole trail to Machens. I then crossed the Mississippi River into Alton and took Amtrak back home. 365 miles in 4 days. If I was to do it over again I would probably split it into 5-6 days. I blew out my back weeks before the trip and tried to get it back into shape before the trip but it locked up during most of the ride.

I decided to do a video journal along the way mainly for my own benefit but if you want to ffw through the clips to get an idea my thoughts along the way be my guest... https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL53LkcXFAvTwf8EgZPvxc0BY4DmtiSroN

Bill in Houston from Houston on 11/10/2022 06:16 PM
I haven't seen a vlog in that format before. I like it.

Can't believe you did those distances with a locked up back! You really pushed through the pain.

The crushed surface does take some more effort than pavement. I think that sometimes it makes it feel like you are pedaling uphill even when you are on the flat. The wind was pretty crazy for you, too.

Glad you got Amtrak to work.

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Halcyon Spa and B&B
Sharon Leve on 11/08/2022 02:35 PM
I stayed at the Halycon Spa and B&B during my Katy Trail trip, riding 40 miles from Rhineland to stay the night. I planned a 1/2 day spa treatment that was out of this world good. I used their infrared sauna and had a body scrub, massage and facial massage. What a treat, I highly recommend. I also stayed in one of their bed & breakfast rooms. It was perfect, fully equipped with everything you need, including breakfast of bagels, yogurt, fruit, oatmeal, coffee and various other drinks. Communication was prompt and thorough. I highly recommend a stop here for a treatment or a night.

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Doll House Bed & Breakfast
Sharon Leve on 11/08/2022 02:29 PM
I stayed at the Doll House Bed & Breakfast on my trip from Clinton to Machens. I traveled 86 miles from Boonville where I had stayed the night before, what a beautiful ride. Melissa and her husband were very accommodating on my arrival time and made suggestions for food along the way, as there isn’t anything in Rhineland to eat. She even offered to pick up anything I wanted to eat. The B&B is very well equipped and lovely. It’s very comfortable and the chocolate chip cookies Melissa puts out upon your arrival we’re a very welcome delight. The bed is comfortable and I was even able to do laundry. The breakfast was huge and delicious. I highly recommend staying here. And if you need food before staying here for the night I suggest stopping at Holhauzer’s in Portland about 10 miles before you get to Rhineland, cold beer, nice people and some great friends food! Delish!!!

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Hotel Frederick
Sharon Leve on 11/08/2022 02:21 PM
I stayed at the Hotel Frederick 1 night on my trip from Clinton. It was very comfortable and the people were very nice. I got in around 8pm on. Sunday night so there weren’t many food options. I ordered pizza from Pizza Hut and it was perfect, quick and they even brought it to my room. Lovely old hotel. Highly recommend.

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Rock Island Woodson Trailhead in Raytown
Kenneth Lee from Raytown on 11/07/2022 12:16 PM
I sometimes park at the Woodson trailhead and walk the Rock Island trail from Woodson to E. 63rd street and return. I am aware of the distance markers, but some are missing. I can't locate the "7" mile marker or the "6" mile marker.

I sometimes walk from my home, down Irwin to the trail and walk toward 350 highway and notice the difference in trail toppings which range from unimproved to concrete and wondered why the difference.

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Storing a bike in hermann
duncand from Kansas City on 11/05/2022 08:05 AM
Hi! Does anyone know of a place in Hermann that will allow me to store a bike for a day? I'm riding the trail from Clinton to St. Charles next week and was planning to take a rest day Wednesday in Hermann. We're going to be camping, so we won't have a room to store bikes in-- does anyone know of any shops or services in Hermann that will allow us to store our bike for a fee? Thanks!

Michael A. Rodemeyer from Hartsburg Mo on 11/06/2022 11:39 AM
aybe Joey, at her Birdhouse B and B in Mckitrick would store it for you. It's a mile or so north of Harmen but Joey is a peach and trys to help out. Try her. We love her Birdhouse B and B.

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Mission Taco Joint - Streets of St. Charles in St Charles
Channabilly from Channahon, IL on 11/05/2022 09:24 PM
As a frequent visitor to the St. Peters area for other reasons beside the trail, I can tell you I love Mission Taco. Great place, open atmosphere, friendly servers who generally seem to like working there. The food is a bit pricey, but it's all high quality stuff. They have a variety of artisan tacos like duck and pork belly and some very good burritos. The Mexican street corn appetizer is delicious as is the queso and chips (just the right blend of heat and creamy). They also have a well stocked bar and make a killer pineapple margarita.

We try to hit Mission a few times a year, but this should probably be the reward at the enf of a long ride and not when you have miles more to go.

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Pleasant Green Plantation House in Pilot Grove
Pleasant Green 1820 from Pilot Grove, MO on 11/04/2022 10:40 PM
The house is undergoing some renovations and not open for tours at this time. Stay tuned or call the house number for more information! We hope to be open again in 2023.

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Charging stations for e bikes
Kelly from Roach on 11/01/2022 09:30 PM
How many charging stations, if any, are along the trail? Meaning cities and towns that have areas.

Anonymous on 11/02/2022 04:42 PM
Is that a thing now?

I've seen electric car charging stations, but didn't know there were ones specifically for ebikes.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 11/04/2022 11:48 AM
None. Or many, depending how you see the world. You will not find an outlet somewhere with a sign with a green leaf on it proclaiming "bike charging station". You will find small businesses with outlets outside who will let you charge while you visit. Know what I mean?

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Peter on 11/03/2022 01:44 AM
Starting the Katy in a couple of days, I am planning on doing out and back from Machens to Clinton and back. Does anyone have any advice for me? I have never done more than a night of bikepacking but thought that the Katy would be a great place for my first time.

Bruce Laubach from Williamsburg on 11/03/2022 06:33 AM
Use the trail map and location amenities of the map to keep track of where you want to go each day. You should be prepared to camp if you do not plan on B&B's or hotel stays every night. Fill up your water bottles every chance you can. Although, you state that you have never done more than one night bike packing I hope you have lots of camping experience, it helps. Also give yourself time to rest, even if it means taking a day off the trail. Most of all just enjoy the ride!

Peter on 11/03/2022 01:57 PM
Thank you, Bruce. I have a bunch of camping experience. Would you say that I can do the Katy trail with a hammock and a rain tarp or is a tent recommended?

Bill in Houston from Houston on 11/04/2022 11:43 AM
Be ready for long stretches without food or water. Like days.

Should be pretty quiet on the trail, which is good and bad.

Be ready to fix anything that goes wrong with the bike, including having spare parts. Not many places to buy parts near the trail. People riding narrower tires seem to get flats more frequently.

Casey's pizza is delicious when you've been riding all day.

Make sure your stuff doesn't bounce loose. I have backpacked a lot, but when I bikepacked my stuff bounced loose.

Be ready for rain. Fenders are dorky, but they will keep you and your stuff much drier.

Smaller businesses will be closed on days when you might expect them to be open.

Have fun, take pictures, all that. :) Let us know how it went!

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