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FLOOD CLOSURES: Some sections of the Katy Trail east of Boonville are closed due to flooding. Check MO State Parks website, Trail Conditions Report from trail users, and Katy Trail Forum discussions for the latest details.

Katy Trail Forum

Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Katy Trail and/or Rock Island Trail.
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What Bike is Besy
Trail rider on 10/22/2019 06:30 PM
I have a question for the folks that have ridden the trail, what bike would you suggest for the trail, would a hybrid or a mountain bike be best , the rental place there recommends the jamis citizen 1 I think, any opiinion on bike tires and gear would also be appreciated.

Jerry Whittle from Belleville Illinois on 10/22/2019 07:15 PM
A knobby tire mountain bike with suspension is overkill for the Katy Trail. A hybrid with at least 700x32 tires will work better. That Jamis would an OK choice.

ArkyKenny on 10/22/2019 08:28 PM
I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to your question: One probably doesn’t want a skinny tired road bike for the Katy (because Katy is not paved, because there are rough spots, because there are soft spots, because there are gravel roads to cross, etc). I’d pick a hybrid over a mountain bike (even if I put semi slick tires on the MTB) because a hybrid is more stable and likely to be more comfortable than a MTB (that is usually made to be agile/quick turning). There is no need for front or full suspension. So I’d pick something that is comfortable for straight line riding for as far as you plan to ride it. MY CHOICE is either a touring bike or a gravel bike with about 40mm wide gravel or touring tires.

Next July
Trail rider on 10/21/2019 06:47 AM
Planning to bike the entire Katy Trail next summer maybe mid July, I am an older gentleman in mid 60s, is there anyone that might be interested in joining me, we have plenty of time to plan this.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 10/21/2019 09:02 AM
How many miles per day?

Hotels/hostels or camping?

ASJ from Little Elm, TX on 10/22/2019 08:07 AM
I'd be interested in doing entire trail in 2020. I tried it in May of 2019, but ended up road riding due to the flooding. Are you planning on camping or hoteling? I'm flexible on mileage, big days don't bother me. I'm late 50's.

Marna from Boonville on 10/22/2019 08:26 AM
I could be interested. Are you tent camping or credit card camping? How many miles were you thinking per day? Carry All or SAG Wagon?

Trail Rider on 10/22/2019 12:17 PM
I am not sure I am think maybe try to travel light and stay in motels or what ever that’s available, at this point without a lot or research maybe 25 or so miles a day, what do you think.

G & G from Sedalia on 10/22/2019 03:05 PM
I planned a trip with my 11 year old grandson doing 25-30 miles a day. It will take about 2 weeks to ride the entire trail. The plan has a mixer of camping and hotels due to availability at each stop.
We were unable to ride this summer but hoping to try again next summer.

Trail Rider on 10/22/2019 03:09 PM
Be sure and add any input, like I said this is in the research and planning stage and it’s great to have it in the future to look forward and prepare for.

Pleasant Hill Trailhead in Pleasant Hill
Trikerider22 from Saint Charles on 10/22/2019 11:50 AM
Would it be safe to leave my truck parked at this trailhead overnight? I want to ride to Windsor one day, spend the night, and then ride back to Pleasant Hill the next. I would consider doing this trim the opposite way, except apparently lodging isn’t an option in Pleasant Hill.

USA Inn in Clinton
Anonymous on 10/21/2019 09:47 AM
Is the USA Inn still open? I'm having trouble getting in touch and their website is down.

KCFlash on 10/22/2019 11:31 AM
No, it is closed.

Mother Daughter Bikers on 10/21/2019 09:52 AM
Looking for clean reasonable B&B in Clinton close to the trail. We'll finish our ride there and are also looking for a shuttle back to St. Charles.

Michael from London on 10/22/2019 02:47 AM

I've made a couple of suggestions for shuttles in my post under'Transportation from St Charles to Gateway Station'

Hobo Hill House in Jefferson City ?
CarolD from Park City in Utah on 10/16/2019 08:37 AM
Has anyone stayed in the hobo Hill house in Jefferson City?
We three couples have rented it through Airbnb for next week -one night. There are no reviews! The family moved out because it was haunted and it is being used as a rental now. Looks like a nice place! But with a ghost ?



Bill in Houston from Houston on 10/16/2019 12:31 PM
People claim that places are haunted so that they can charge more. Yeah, it's weird. It ain't haunted, and you'll be fine.

Gary from Near Tebbetts on 10/16/2019 07:29 PM
Nice, be sure to post all your experiences here after your stay. You might also want to have a plan B in mind just in case it gets too weird.

Carol Dalton from Park City on 10/21/2019 10:54 PM
We are here tonight- all is quiet. But the prison is again open for yours and we got into the 7pm Ghost Tour ! Worth it !

Elisabeth from Prairie Village, KS on 10/21/2019 04:11 PM
Rode through Medford this past weekend and was pleased to see that there is now a water fountain!

USA Inn in Clinton
Anonymous on 10/21/2019 09:50 AM
Looking for a clean reasonably priced B&B close to the trail in Clinton. Also needing a shuttle from Clinton back to St. Charles. Any suggestions?

Tebbetts Harvest Festival this Saturday
Jim from St. Thomas on 10/17/2019 05:14 PM
Anyone on the trail in the Tebbetts area this Saturday should check out the Harvest Festival. The Tebbetts community have been big supporters of the trail and the Turner Shelter so if you get a chance give them a little love. Here’s a link to the community Facebook page.


Running Katy Trail
Taitor from North Carolina on 10/09/2019 02:04 PM
I’ve decided to run the entire Katy Trail from east to west starting October 27 2019. I will actually start from Alton and run to Machens from there. The question is how is: are there gonna be any really bad spots that may not be actually listed or unlisted as closed? Any local knowledge would be great! Thanks and can’t wait to see some of you out on the trail! Shooting for about 50 miles per day.

Brian L. from Austin,Texas on 10/10/2019 09:32 AM
Check the “Flooding and Trail Closures” section at the top of the home page - there will be some helpful info on those links, hopefully.
I assume you are typically able to run 50 miles/day? If so, that seems pretty ambitious, considering the spotty trail conditions and reduced daylight hours at the end of October.
In any case, good luck & have fun!

Taitor from North Carolina on 10/10/2019 10:55 AM
The mileage shouldn’t be a problem because I will be running at least 12-14 hours per day/night. I guess I’m more worried about Alton to St Charles and if hwy 94 to st Charles is flooded also.

Jerry Whittle from Belleville Illinois on 10/11/2019 08:12 AM
Hwy 94 isn't flooded any longer. However Machens to St. Charles on the Katy could be a problem especially around MM 35. There are ways to bypass that part of the trail.

I don't know exactly when, but they do turn off the water at most trailheads later in the year.

Doug from Bluffton on 10/11/2019 09:33 AM
Are you aware that the trail is closed from sunset to sunrise?

Michael from Camdenton, Mo on 10/11/2019 01:19 PM
They shutdown everything November 1st.

Doug from Bluffton on 10/11/2019 01:55 PM
The water gets shut off then but the trail and outhouses are still open during daylight hours

Taitor from North Carolina on 10/17/2019 11:10 AM
Yes I am aware that the park is not open during nighttime. I will start at first light and run til dark every day. Thanks for all the info!

Wanting to do about 150 miles in April 2020
Brenda from Melbourne, FL on 10/12/2019 04:39 PM
We have several couples that are planning on riding the Katy Trail next April, 2020. We plan on riding about 150 miles. Are there any suggestions on the best part of the trail to ride?

Anonymous on 10/12/2019 08:12 PM
Best part of the trail. Based on what Brenda? It’s very doubtful that anyone here knows you, your likes, dislikes, and so on. How on earth could anyone possibly tell someone that they know absolutely nothing about, what is best for them or what they would prefer? Perhaps you should have a look on theTrip Planner and read about the towns along the way. Or read on this forum some to pick the park of the trail that best fits your group.

Michael from Mountains from London, England on 10/13/2019 05:18 AM
Dear Anonymous and Brenda

Might be more helpful to ask the question:

'tell us more about your cycling ability and experience, distance you want to travel each day, type of accommodation'.

Referring Brenda to the TripPlanner is, of course, a good idea.

Brenda, you might also try speaking to Todd at Katy Bike Rental or Steve at the bike shop in Boonville, or look at what Wilderness Voyageurs offer in the way of tours. You don't have to use them for a tour (although they are very good in my experience), but they give you ideas and information.

Mark from Strafford on 10/13/2019 01:11 PM
Brenda: sorry for “anonymous” previous post. You were simply looking for information. Answer to your question, we most enjoyed the section from Rocheport to St. Charles. Bluffs on one side, river and farm fields on the other side. Katy Trail experienced severe damage from Spring and Summer 2019 flooding. Follow this forum for trail updates while planning your trip. It is a great ride!!

Jerry Whittle from Belleville Illinois on 10/13/2019 03:26 PM
I agree with Mark about staying near the river. I'd say Boonville to St. Charles would be about 150 miles. If the Missouri River floods badly in 2020, there's Boonville to Clinton plus The Rock Island Trail from Windsor to Pleasant Hill and back. Not as scenic but flooding shouldn't be an issue.

Marna from Boonville on 10/14/2019 08:25 AM
Clinton to New Franklin is more remote, for miles, very remote....and we LOVE that! Augusta to St. Charles is busier and you cross and ride next to FAR MORE ROADWAYS.

So, you will have to decide what type of ride you are looking for.

One thing to keep in mind, you might have rain, and or, Thunder Storms in April. Riding the St. Charles end would give you more areas to 'ditch' from.

Gary from Near Tebbetts on 10/14/2019 09:46 PM
To all of those seeking advice about the “best” part to ride, it reminds me of our trip to float the Rio Grande. We pulled out to survey the rapids below and after much discussion by the old men of the best way to navigate the rapids below, the nephew spoke up and said, “let’s just do it”. We all looked at each and said, “ok yeah let’s just do it”.

The moral of the story, don’t fret over the planning, just do it, you’ll enjoy whatever you decide to do and have stories to tell.

Michael from Mountains from London, England on 10/16/2019 04:01 AM
Yep, Gary's right, just do it.

But unless you are regular cyclists and used to a day in the saddle, it's definitely worth a few practice runs beforehand to see how you feel about the distances, in particular if you are carrying panniers with your stuff and extra weight.

Factor in potential delays:

- flat tyres - we had three in a day, but none on the other five days;
- rain, wind, tempest (well, rain and wind at least);
- stopping to talk to people and smell the roses.


Bill in Houston from Houston on 10/16/2019 12:33 PM
Yeah, riding a wider-tired bike on gravel with 20 pounds of cargo is different from a short ride on a paved trail. It feels uphill the whole way. Just plan to take it easy and enjoy it.

Transportation from St. Charles to Gateway Station
John from Dallas on 10/15/2019 03:39 PM
Riding the Katy Trail in less than a week from Clinton to St. Charles.

Need suggestions (if any) on return transportation to Gateway Station in STL from St. Charles.

Considering taking the front wheel off the bike and getting an Uber (which means I may be jamming my bike in their trunk). And assuming an Uber might be pricey.

Thanks for any ideas provided.


Michael from Mountains from London, England on 10/16/2019 03:47 AM

We used Todd at Katy Bike Rental on 314 578 7300 for the shuttle from Defiance (where the bike shop is, about 10 or so miles west of St Charles) to Sedalia. We also used Marvin at CBAM Shuttles - 660-621-3488 - for the ride around Coopers Landing bit.

Todd has at least one van with purpose-built bike carriers and Marvin has a wonderful home-made but safe and effective trailer for carrying bikes.

They have both been busy recently but maybe there are fewer people needing rescuing, which is what Marvin is good at it, as well as regular pre-booked shuttling.

Uber doesn't sound a great idea as the trunk of a Toyota Prius isn't that big!

By the way, I have no financial interest in Todd's or Marvin's business, just found them helpful and reliable; not that cheap. Marvin did two of us the 50 mile road trip around Coopers Landing for $80.00.

Have a great ride. I envy you some cooler weather as it was blooming hot in late September.

Ron from PLANO on 10/16/2019 09:41 AM
I rode to Machens and across the river to Alton, then South to St Louis. I took the train back to Sedalia and rode back to Clinton (left my truck at the Community Center). If I do it again, I would ride to Kirkwood Station from St Charles and catch the train there.

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