Lodging recommendations in Hermann -
AM on 01/25/2023 01:12 AM
Hello, Can anyone recommend budget friendly options for lodgings in Jefferson City, Hermann and Augusta? We are thinking of perhaps bypassing Augusta and pushing on to Defiance, as the lodgings are out of our budget range. Thank you all.
Anonymous on 01/25/2023 08:08 AM
That's pretty vague...."our budget range."
Something no more than $300 per night?
Something no more than $59 per night?
Missouri Haus from Marthasville on 01/25/2023 08:27 AM
There is also Marthasville, before you get to Augusta:
- On the higher end is our Bank Haus and Katy Haus (both now with a hot tub each)
- Mid range would be the suites at the newly renovated hardware store
- Next down is the Happy Apples Bunkhouse
- Lastly camping at the KT Caboose and the baseball fields
Got the whole range of budget in Marthasville! And a new cafe opening in February from what I understand besides the best pizza in the county at Philly’s Pizza and then Corrie’s Twin Gables for a bar and grill.
Joey Los from McKittrick on 01/25/2023 08:52 AM
Joey’s Birdhouse in McKittrick. Right on the trail. $115/ night Includes great breakfast. Grocery store close by.
AM on 01/25/2023 07:56 PM
"budget", as a polite way of saying, cheaper options than what is listed in the really nice, but swanky website options in Augusta, meaning under $115 a night, which is stretching for us. Seniors, retired, but still pedaling on a budget and wanting "simple", not fancy.
Thanks so much.
JH from Pacific, MO on 01/26/2023 06:16 AM
You might try the Hermann Motel in Hermann.
Mark Winkelmann from Rhineland on 01/26/2023 12:43 PM
Check out White Wolf Inn in Rhineland, Mo.
1 bedroom apartment or 3 bedroom house available
1 mile north of Katy trail on highway P
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/27/2023 04:32 PM
See what shows up on AirBnB and VRBO in those places. You might find something more reasonable.
Augusta was a little swanky for us as well. When we rolled through Defiance it looked to be a little more our speed, so I think it would be worth investigating.
Mighty Melt Sandwich & Spud Shop in Sedalia -
Anonymous on 01/27/2023 02:59 PM
Mighty Melt reopened under new ownership. Still the same amazing sandwiches, soups and spuds!
Katy Trail in April? -
mary from EAST MONTPELIER on 12/15/2022 09:23 AM
My husband and I are looking to ride from Kansas City to St Louis early next spring. We camp, will ride out on Amtrak, and are generally self supporting and experienced. My question, is it too early? Thanks!
Jodi from St. Charles on 12/15/2022 05:45 PM
Hello! The spring can be a lovely time to ride. Rain is always a possibility, but if your prepared for it, you'll be glad you went.
Bill in Houston from Houston on 12/19/2022 11:08 AM
We rode it in mid-April and had a nice time. Some of the early spring trail work was not yet complete, but we made do.
Arkykenny on 12/25/2022 02:30 PM
April is not too early for me. I love seeing the fresh greenery popping. Rain is what it is. Bring rain gear, warm clothes, big tires (I use 40’s anyway), consider fenders, and enjoy what the trail gives you. 2) Trail specific services may still be a little limited: That’s OK. C-stores, restaurants in town, and other normal services will all be open.
Fran from Detroit on 01/07/2023 07:32 AM
I rode the Katy trail in mid-April of 2019, but would not ride it again that early in the year. I rode it westward, and faced headwinds most of the way. I stayed one night in the hostel in Tebbets, and the forecast called for rain during the night and the next day. However, the next day we were greeted with snow, not rain. It was just a bit unpleasant for me to be riding in that much cold weather, but depending on your tolerance of changing weather, it might be OK.
mary from East Montpelier on 01/26/2023 03:05 PM
Thanks, it looks like it's a go! We are really looking forward to it!
Turner Katy Trail Shelter Hostel in Tebbetts -
John Brett - HikingAmerica.com from Silver Spring on 01/26/2023 01:14 PM
Shawn "Ruk Runner" Whitcomb, an American Discovery Trail hiker, shares that there is no more hanging key, a security camera is installed, and reservations are now required. Still $10/night, though!
www.conservemo.org/reservation-form.html or call
(573)634-2322 x 101 - M-F 8-430pm
Hopefully, this will cut down on the unexpected midnight visitors?
Katy Bike Rental and Shuttle in St Charles -
Joan schey from Billings, mt on 01/23/2023 09:10 PM
We are looking for a shuttle from st. Charles to Clinton or Selalia. We are not sure of the number of people, probably 4 to 5 with bikes. Another option would be a shuttle from st Charles to the Kirkwood Amtrak station. No exact dates yet, May 5 ro the 10th.
Thanks for your assistance!
Ray (webmaster) on 01/26/2023 06:06 AM
Be sure to check out the Share a Shuttle page at
Have a great ride!
jacob r from warrensburg on 01/05/2023 11:55 AM
Hello was planning to ride the katy this spring and was wondering if there are any decent bike routes from machens, st charles , or any poonts within 20 miles of the eastern terminus that can safely get you to kirkwood or st louis amtrak stations. or is it just better to get a shuttle. I would rather not pay more than 50 dollars to get from the end of the trail to amtrak.
Matthew Bird from Weldon Spring on 01/07/2023 05:17 PM
I cab do it for a fair price Jacob.
please send me a message at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100086723049036 or email@example.com
Todd White on 01/08/2023 06:16 PM
This is a great topic for discussion as it comes up all the time. I am detailing options below, maybe others have ideas I have not thought of.
I think the overriding question is... what is a fair fee? One that is equitable for the Customer, Driver and Owner.
If you found someone to shuttle you from Machens to the Amtrak Station for $50 I would grab it! Especially if you're splitting the bill with another rider (or more).
By Far, the cheapest way to go is to ride your bike.
2nd cheapest route I have found is to ride your bike to the St. Louis Airport and hop on Metrolink (Light Rail) which will drop you downtown St. Louis right by the Amtrak Station.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT OPTIONS
While that low-cost Amtrak ticket is subsidized by US Taxpayers, private transportation companies get no such subsidy. Government Funded Options like the Bi-State Bus and Metrolink will reduce your cost, but they don't go to Machens (I am not sure about BiState in St. Charles) but certainly not Machens.
PRIVATE SHUTTLE AMTRAK?
A regularly scheduled Amtrak run where multiple riders could share the fare would be beautiful, but here's the hurdle... Amtrak only takes 4 bikes. SO... on any given day there are only 4 potential customers for a service like that. AND.. this assumes all 4 are going to the same Amtrak Station (St. Louis, Kirkwood, Washington). It's hard to build a profitable business model out of a market this small.
UBER / LYFT
You are likely going to need an UberXL since Uber drivers don't typically have bike racks. This means you will be trying to convince the driver to let you stuff your dusty, grit covered bicycle and pannier bags into the back of his Cadillac Escalade. OH... and I doubt anyone will like the price.
PRIVATE SHUTTLE COMPANIES
For a Private Shuttle company, they must dedicate a vehicle and driver to take you to the Amtrak Station at the time you request, which is usually mid-day. This means booking a 1pm Amtrak run for $50 means you can't pick up that $440 Clinton run.
You also have to find someone willing to work a 2hr shift in the middle of the day.
Which leaves you with someone doing this out of their personal vehicle. Not as bad as it sounds. This is the Cycling Community that brought you "Warm Showers" and Cycling Hostels like the Tebbets Shelter (vs a hotel)
SO... WHAT IS A FAIR FARE?
Let's say someone is willing to do this for you using their private vehicle leaving out of their home in Weldon Spring. You have negotiated a time to meet in Machens and you experience no delays like flat tires, lunch in St. Charles running over etc... which would leave them sitting at the trailhead (I have paid a driver for 5hrs of sit time waiting for someone to arrive in Clinton before because they stopped for beers and decided to have a half dozen... but I digress). You are on time.
For the driver out of Weldon Spring, he drives to Machens, picks you up and takes you to the Kirkwood Amtrak Station then returns directly home.
Google Maps says 1hr 53 minutes' drive time and 84 miles. Let's say the vehicle gets 21mpg and gas is $3 per gallon.
Formula: (("Fare" - "Fuel Cost") / 2 hrs) = Driver Salary (assumes no wear and tear on the vehicle, no replenishment cost or maintenance.
$50 fare = $19hr for the driver
$40 fare = $13hr
$30 fare = $9hr
$40 is barely above minimum wage ($12hr in Missouri 2023)
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/09/2023 05:07 PM
if you search the group for Kirkwood or station, you'll probably find the bike route to the Kirkwood station. I have not used it, but many others have.
Ray (webmaster) on 01/10/2023 08:48 AM
After riding 200+ miles on the trail, you may appreciate the comfort and convenience of a shuttle.
But if you do decide to ride, here are the most highly recommended routes from Katy Trail to Kirkwood: https://bikekatytrail.com/kirkwood.aspx
At the bottom of that page, you'll find links for route suggestions to downtown St Louis, and the Lambert - St Louis Airport.
Ted from Woodlands Texas on 01/18/2023 11:56 AM
Lots of great comments on getting to Amtrak on the East end
What about the West End - I am thinking of riding to Pleasant Hill then getting to the Amtrak station in Lee Summit for the ride home.
How busy are the Roads? Other Ideas?
Mark from Lee's Summit on 01/18/2023 10:14 PM
From the east end at Machens there are low traffic roads that can get you to the Mississippi River bridge to Alton, Illinois. Then there is a nice paved levee trail on the Illinois side that get you to Chain of Rocks bike/ped bridge back across the Mississippi River to the Missouri side. Then there is a paved trail along the Missouri side all the way to Downtown St. Louis and the Gateway Arch. The Downtown Amtrak station is not far from the Arch and you can even use bike lanes most of the way.s
As far as the west side in Pleasant Hill, there are about 4 different low traffic routes that link Pleasant Hill to Lee's Summit and run between 8-12 miles. All of them include rural two lane roads with no shoulders. Unfortunately the lowest traffic roads include short sections of large gravel. It is not too bad, but you need to be comfortable with some biking on paved two lane roads with some rural traffic. If you give me an idea of what kind of on road route you prefer, then I can give you a better recommendation.
Road Bike? -
Josh from Kansas City on 01/17/2023 01:22 PM
I am going to be completing the trail in late April this year. Currently, I have a 2020 Specialized Tarmac and I run 25mm gatorskins. Do I need to use a more rugged bike to complete the whole trail? My wife isn't going to let me buy another one, so it's either use the Tarmac or borrow one.
I haven't seen the entire trail, so I would appreciate any suggestions on whether or not the Tarmac would be a safe option.
Bill in Houston from Houston on 01/17/2023 02:24 PM
How much do you weigh? How good are you at changing flats? What's the widest tire that will fit on the Tarmac?
Anonymous on 01/17/2023 03:50 PM
When the trail is dry, stay in the track and out of the loose chat and you should be fine. When the trail is wet, unless you're on a 29'r fatty nothing is going to work very well.
We've ridden our Santana tandem road bike on the Katy when it was dry and stayed in the track without problems with gatorskin 700 x 28's.
Anyone is going to have issues if they ride on the wet slurry trail, run over every stick and rock they can find, and just don't generally pay attention to what they're doing.
Ride what ya got and pay attention, like you should anyway, and you'll be ok. Happy trails!
Jack on 01/17/2023 04:50 PM
We rode it two years ago. My son has a steel road bike and he can fit 32's on it but with little clearance.
We had thunderstorms on the Rock Island, which was much softer than the Katy, and it almost got him to quit. Everything clogged up and he ended up burning himself out trying to ride through it. He needed to stop and clean out the muck. My gravel bike had no problems.
The rest of the trip was dry and he had no problems. Sometimes the limestone gets water ridges in it and that was pretty shocky but other wise it was a good ride.
Don from Dallas on 01/17/2023 05:27 PM
I’ve done it on a road bike with 25mm tires in June with no rain and well groomed trail. If the weather calls for much rain then knobby 32 to 38mm tires would be best. My 25s were Gatorskins. 28mm would be better if you take the road bike.
Fran from Detroit on 01/18/2023 08:02 AM
Personally, I wouldn't attempt it in April with 25s. Can you complete it on 25s? Yes, probably, but I don't think it would be pleasant. The trail is likely to be soft and possibly rutted, and is more amenable to wider tires. I would look for wider tires, or maybe Conti 4-Season tires, or whatever is the widest you can fit on your frame.
Jerry Whittle from Belleville on 01/18/2023 01:27 PM
I've done the Katy Trail end-to-end 11 times on different sized tires and tread.
I've done short stretches on 25s around St. Charles which is very packed it. However I wouldn't recommend them for the entire trail.
I've mostly done the Katy on 700x32 which were adequate for my combined 250 lbs person and bike weight. It's the smallest tire which I would recommend.
I've also done it on 650b x 47s which were a little overkill. The first time was on very smooth tires and they did slide around when the trail was wet. I did it on mild knobby tires last October with two days of rain and they were great.
I've also done the trail twice on 26 x 2.125 knobby tires but that was on a tandem. They worked well.
Two books for fueling your Katy Trail dreaming! -
Brett Dufur from Rocheport on 01/17/2023 12:28 PM
Anybody else dreaming of spring adventures on the Katy Trail!? These two books will fuel your fever and give you some great getaway ideas!
The 11th edition of The Complete Katy Trail Guidebook has been massively updated. Lots of great new info to share! The Katy Trail Nature Guide is also a handy resource for the trail!
A recent cyclist wrote me back after receiving the new edition and said, "The 10th edition was amazing but the 11th is out of the ballpark."
Proceeds from these books directly fund the writing and research of my Rock Island guidebook, scheduled for release this year and the feeding of two lazy cats.
The guidebook is being stocked by some businesses along the trail (yay!). Buying from them supports Katy Trail small businesses, so thank you!
Available online here:
Best wishes for some great outings on the Katy in 2023!
What is the average cost for tent camping on the Katy -
Timothy from Springfield Il. on 01/12/2023 04:35 PM
Just kind of wanted to know before my ride on the trail thanks in advance
JH from Pacific, MO on 01/13/2023 06:20 AM
Tent camping is inexpensive along the Katy. Free at the Clifton community center and city parks in Pilot Grove, Marthasville,Hartsburg and maybe others, The Turner Shelter in Tebbits asks for whatever you want to donate. Katy roundhouse campground is less than $10.
A few years ago I rode from D.C. to St Louis and after paying $35 to camp in an Ohio SP and $54 to camp in a KOA I started to look for cheap motels instead. SP's in Indiana were $35/night for camping too. Katy camping is way affordable.
Captain Jon from Geneva, NY on 01/14/2023 05:02 AM
Was looking up the addresses to get GPS cords for my ride this year. Should it be Clinton and not Clifton on the post of where to camp? Typo?
Jim from St. Thomas on 01/14/2023 10:24 AM
Just to clarify - the cost to stay at the Turner Shelter in Tebbetts is $10 per person. Its not really set up for tent camping.
JH from Pacific, MO on 01/15/2023 06:15 AM
Yes, Clinton not Clifton. Sorry about the mistake.
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
Dra from Indiana on 12/04/2022 08:09 AM
My wife and I have tried to ride the Katy Trail yearly for many years. On our very first ride I met Doug out on the trail. He offered to put us up for the night. I already had reservations in Hermann. For years I have followed Doug's comments on the forum. He has been quick to defend the businesses along the trail. Many posters have discussed his offers of help and the fun they had dealing with him. I think of Doug as an ambassador for the Katy Trail. This June we finally arranged our trail ride to where we could stay with Doug. Doug and I are similar in age and we had a wonderful conversation concerning other organized rides we had both participated in. Through the years we have met several trail ambassador's. Our favorite was Rhona Lococo of the Lococo House in St. Charles. Unfortunately she closed during the pandemic. Now my second favorite Doug has retired. There will be others who will fill the gaps. Two who I think have great potential are Kim of Kim's cabins, and Joey of Joey's Bird House. There are surely others I haven't met who will support this treasure . I have never met Ray our webmaster. His work on this site makes planning Katy Trail explorations immensely easier. I wish the best for Rhona and Doug and I am looking forward to interacting with the remaining ambassadors.
Anonymous on 12/04/2022 12:39 PM
Since Ray started this site with the forum, there have been many here who have answered questions, given advice and direction acting as ambassadors to the Katy as well as the state of Missouri. I would be amiss to single out a few when there are and have been many.
Big Al 3 from Saint Louis on 01/07/2023 09:47 PM
Uncle Doug’s place on the Katy is a unique experience with plenty of food, bon fires, and sometimes home brew beer. Stimulating conversation sometimes mixed with old timey music from the Ozarks, since 1988. Great to get a soft bed in airconditioning sftrr a hot summers ride.
Joey Los from McKittrick on 01/08/2023 08:50 AM
We on the trail will surely miss Doug.. You, Doug, have been a wonderful mentor in all the years I have been in business. May exciting new windows of opportunity open for you.
Love, Joey at Joeys Birdhouse.
Doug from Bluffton on 01/12/2023 04:21 PM
Thank you to all! Running the B&B has been the best part of my life and I will continue to do so until someone else takes the reins. I just got results of my Pet Scan a little while ago and all is clear so I will still be working at least for awhile with the caveat that it takes me all day to do what I used to be able to do all day! So I am taking reservations for this year and maybe will get to meet, and remeet some of my guests! Hoping whoever does take over will enjoy it as much as I have.
Katy in spring or late summer -
GreginRI from Wakefield, RI on 01/10/2023 11:04 AM
Two retired seniors with a lot of miles and bike tours on our resume. We now ride an e-assist Bike Friday Twosday tandem. The Twosday is new as of 2021. We rode a BF family tandem from 2015-2021 and a full size Schwinn tandem for years before that.
We're looking to do the Katy during 2023 and wonder if late summer (after Labor Day) would be better than fall. We prefer late summer as we tend to be in better cycling condition after a summer of riding but trail conditions appear to be an issue late in the year on the Katy, at least from some of the comments. We did Erie Canal in the spring of 2017 and found the crushed stone trail sections soft and challenging when wet. We would plan to ride east from Clinton. I would appreciate any thoughts.
Anonymous from Cody, Wyoming on 01/10/2023 02:42 PM
We rode in mid-September but still had some 90 degree days. Each year will be a bit different, but late September through October should be good weather. The one drawback is that this is also Oktoberfest time, so camping spots and lodging choices can be limited.
Cathy from Churchill from Churchill, PA on 01/11/2023 12:34 AM
I live in Churchill, PA now (outside of Pittsburgh), but used to live in Jefferson City, MO. I biked the Katy trail often. I think your plan to bike in late summer (after Labor Day) is good. Plan early, avoid Oktober Fest weekend (as another poster noted). The weather in September and early October is usually good for biking in Central MO. If you plan early and book your accommodations you should not have a problem. However, having said that, a few years ago rooms in the area around Columbia, MO tended to be booked up if MU was playing at home. So keep that in mind.
As for biking in the spring, late May would be my preference. That way you can avoid any last frost situations. I tried biking the Katy in April one time. It was like biking on wet cement due to freezing and thawing. By late May that should be done.
Michael A. Rodemeyer from Hartsburg Mo on 01/12/2023 01:31 PM
Although you are welcome anytime Hartsburg in October will have approx 55,000 people running around our Pumpkin Festival. It's a fun time but some can't handle the mass of humanity. If it's too busy for you just ride on thru. Fall is a wonderful time in our area. Hope to see you then. Remember it's only the first full weekend in October.