LSMOBiker from Lees Summit on 09/16/2019 01:13 PM
Did three day ride with group of 8 over the weekend - Sedalia to Rocheport/ Rocheport to Jeff City/ Jeff City to Hermann. Great ride overall.
Start with the easiest section - Jeff City to Hermann. Trail was in great shape, just a couple places with some big ruts. The detour for the rockslide, at MM 118-117, was short and easy - just go south at the gravel road, east on 94 for a half mile or so across a bridge, and then back on the trail.
Sedalia to Rocheport - great shape until the detour at Boonville. The Boonville detour isn't bad - once you are over the bridge, short ride on 40, the gravel road turnoff come up quick, and then back on the trail.
The second detour, as has been said here, is gnarly and dangerous. Pop out the gravel parking lot on road 445 to Highway 40, and go east. Then you are on a busy highway, with little shoulder (and what there is has car rumbles), going up a huge hill. It stinks. Luckily cars gave us plenty of room. We elected to get off of 40 and hit the gravel road 440 into Rocheport, which though less trafficky, did have a pretty large hill at the end. This is the detour we all hated, and would've been worth a shuttle.
As far as Rocheport to Jeff City, as everyone knows there is a several mile section of trail after Cooper's Landing that is currently closed. We met a few people who arranged shuttling around it.
Since it is closed, we certainly couldn't advocate going through the trail in defiance of park regulations. Interestingly, though, we did talk to another, similar group of 8, who did brave the trail through the closed sections. They found about 20% sandy sections where they had to walk, 20% kind of overgrown sections which were still rideable, and 60% or so of just decent trail. Most of the sandy sections were said to be after Cooper's Landing. Overall, they said, it was not very hard, certainly not dangerous, and overall kind of a fun adventure to go through that section of trail. Lucky people, those 8.
For our 8 (who certainly didn't go through the closed section, and made some other arrangements which currently escape my recollection), the trail from Rocheport to Cooper's Landing was just perfect, shady and beautiful and wonderful. Hartsburg to Jeff City was in fine shape too.
A few other notes - we saw the Big Bur Oak Tree, it is right off the trail and worth a spot. 35th on Main in Hartsburg and Katarina's Cafe in Pilot Grove were great lunch spots. Abigail's in Rocheport was on point as usual, and Central Dairy in JC did not disappoint.
The Mokane Market made very serviceable sandwiches for our last day.
Enjoy your riding