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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Katy Trail and/or Rock Island Trail.
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james from st louis on 08/02/2022 03:45 PM
I rode the trail and it's really dirty.
A world class Trail like this needs to be paved. There are plenty of donors out there that I would imagine we'll be more than happy to donate to this cause. I will leave this would increase writer ship greatly. People who have rode it before would want to ride it again. It gets washed out frequently it needs frequent repairs. A really good pavement or asphalt would make this truly a world-class Trail. They are even environmental techniques do use during its construction. There are ways to make the roadbed flexible so it never wears out as well. A Canadian highway use the same technique and they have never had to repair the highway ever. It would make it a lot safer for people and easier for maintenance crews and emergency crews. All the rain and the mud tears people's shoes and clothes up because if it's silicon lime stone nature's. Asphalt or pavement will make it a lot safer Journey during rain.

brad wilson from st louis on 08/02/2022 06:29 PM
I encourage you to find the donor willing to put out the millions and millions of dollars necessary to pave hundreds of miles of very functional gravel.

The rest of us will continue to enjoy using the trail as a way to have a back-to-nature experience away from paved roads.

Triker from Monroe City on 08/03/2022 03:08 AM
I agree it should be paved.. By the State..
Florida has hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of miles of paved trails.
A state that has no state tax.. Here in Missouri we have a state
tax plus they just legalized medical marijuana which the state
makes millions off of.. So where is all this money going..
I haven't seen any evidence of it in my town as far as improvements in roads or any thing else..
Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Florida, dotta dotta dotta
all have paved trails.. But not Missouri..
They might have a few inside city limits of Stlouis
and KansasCity but thats it. But who wants to drive 200 or 300
miles just to ride a 10 mile trail.
Well thats my 2cents now all you haters can reply below...lol

Anonymous on 08/03/2022 10:04 AM
Reoccurring theme here. Last year on 8/28/2021 James Davis from St. Louis posted about the desire for the trail to be paved.

James Davis from St Louis on 8/28/2021 3:04:55 AM:
....There are MANY ways to EASILY fund this. We can do this!!!

Not quite a year later, james from st louis (next of kin to James Davis from St Louis perhaps) believes that "There are plenty of donors out there that I would imagine we'll be more than happy to donate to this cause. I will leave this would increase writer ship greatly."

Perhaps James and james, perhaps. I'm curious to know how many dollars have been raised to date. Any at all? Or is this akin to the why can't I ride my horse anywhere on the trail that I want to forum topics?

Michael A. Rodemeyer from Hartsburg Mo on 08/03/2022 11:46 AM
What is James smoking? Missouri refuses to develop the Rock Island Trail and has countless miles of highway that needs repair. Find another cause.

BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 08/03/2022 04:35 PM
Paving the trail would not stop the washouts; in fact, it would bring a new set of maintenance issues. The rail bed was laid along the Missouri River flood plain because it was easy and cheap. And that is one of the reasons the MKT failed as a railroad -- because of the frequent washouts. It's much easier to repair the washouts on a gravel surface than an asphalt or concrete surface. Limited funds mean that tough choices have to be made. I would much rather spend any funds on 1) repairing the trails we already have; then 2) getting the Rock Island online and connected to the Katy; then 3) improving the amenities (like running water) along both routes. Paving the Katy to make it a more comfortable ride would be WAY down the list.

TC on 08/03/2022 08:38 PM
I concur that paving the Katy should actually not be a priority. Although very nice at first, a paved trail would be very expensive to construct and in addition would require constant maintenance, continuously more as the surface ages. There is no such thing as a maintenance free surface in my opinion. The subgrade and aggregate base would be susceptible to washouts from flooding as has been pointed out previously. The repair of a paved surface would be more expensive than repairs to the present trail. By nature, a bituminous flexible type surface would experience expansion/contraction cracking and would be subjected to uplifting by adjacent root structures at a minimum. My experience with asphalt paved recreation trails is that they do not last as long as paved roads with primarily light traffic. The cost to pave the Katy would be enormous. Drainage structures of various kinds would be required to keep the subgrade from failing due to moisture. An aggregate shoulder would be required to support the pavement on each side of the trail as well. A yearly maintenance budget would have too be included in the lifecycle cost. With proper maintenance, the paved surface could be expected to last 15-20 years.

I hope that the Rock Island will be constructed in my cycling lifetime!

Anonymous on 08/04/2022 06:03 AM
Of all the rail-trails I have ridden around the country, paved trails are my least favorite. I will never go back to a paved trail. I'm not interested in riding on a sidewalk though a beautiful natural setting! One of the worst is the Silver Comet in Georgia. The surface is concrete and smooth but the experience is not pleasant. It just feels wrong.
Paved trails also get choked with strollers, children on roller skates and scooters, go-fast road bikes, etc. You may as well be riding downtown. Leave the KATY alone. If you want pavement, ride in Georgia or Florida.

Triker from Monroe City on 08/04/2022 08:01 AM
Well since everyone is concerned about washouts from the river flooding, why couldnt they build paved trails elsewhere in the State.. Like from St.Joseph to Hannibal along Hwy.36? There's plenty of other places to build trails too.. Like every time a 2-lane road is repaired it could have a bike lane added..

Marna from On The Trail on 08/04/2022 09:32 AM
In MO we are PROUD to offer Tourists FREE Touring. Using the KATY Trail is FREE! FREE! No Charge. The beauty of the KATY is that it is a Leisure Trail. The Chat (what is is made of) is part of it's Rural Beauty. If you are looking for Pavement. Come to MO and ride in our Cities that have Bike Paths. You will find that in St. Louis MO even our ZOO IS FREE! The Art Museum is FREE, as well as MANY other Wonderful things to see.

Anonymous on 08/04/2022 01:00 PM
And so many other states have a fee system for state parks, bike trails, etc. I've paid their fees many times right before inviting them to come enjoy their time in Missouri for free.

Never quite understood those complaining about the quality of what they paid nothing for.

Deby from Dallas on 08/04/2022 01:12 PM
While a paved trail is nice in a lot of circumstances, for the experience of a long distance bike ride in the midst of all the natural environment along this wonderful trail, I would be quite opposed to having it paved. The three times we have ridden it over the years, even on or just after rain days, we have been very impressed with the quality of the crushed granite trail surface. To the people of the great state of Missouri, please spend those tax dollars fixing the streets and highways in your state that need repair, and continue with the awesome job of maintaining the Katy as you are.

Cathy from Pittsburgh on 08/12/2022 11:26 PM
Dude! It's Missouri, they are not going to pave the Katy or Rock Island Trail. It's a fantastic trail, DNR does a great job of maintaining it and repairing it after storm damage, Missourians are very proud of it and should be. It does not need to be paved. Get your butt on a bike, get on the trail, and appreciate it for all of its positives. Pave the Katy Trail, give me strength!!!

Michael A. Rodemeyer from Hartsburg Mo on 08/13/2022 12:32 PM

Imagine that, a dirt trail is dirty. Hopefully by now he has forgotten how awful the trail was and will let the rest of us enjoy one of the finest assests missouri has. After all we normally are 50th in everything.

Cathy from Pittsburgh on 08/13/2022 11:20 PM
Hey Mike, how are you and the other fine people of Hartsburg? This is Cathy from Pittsburgh, formerly known as Cathy from Jefferson City. I sure do miss you folks and think about our work on the Missouri River Bluffs Association often. Take Care. Cathy

Deby Elliott from Dallas on 08/15/2022 07:41 AM
This topic does keep reoccurring. I would not be nearly as inclined to drive all the way from Dallas to do a long (we usually go Sedalia to St Charles) ride on the KATY if the trail was paved. It would be a totally different feel. So I guess my point is the opinions are split. There really isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to look at it. The surface folks like to ride on is simply a matter of choice. So with that said, Katy should not be paved, as there are many folks who love it as is. However, and I am not trying to be facetious, can anyone recommend nearby states that have long paved trails for those who really want the clean smooth surface to ride on?

Bill Madole from Eldon on 08/16/2022 07:52 AM
I sure want the Rock Island done before ever thinking about paving the KATY. I agree with others that said paving the KATY would create issues. Potholes in asphalt are worse than the washouts in gravel. At 67 I would like to see the Rock Island done while I am still able to use it. I hauled the bike 45 miles to Hartsburg yesterday to ride to Rocheport and back. It would be nice to jump on a trail that is just a mile away. Here in Eldon they took all the donations and built a replica of the depot and haven't done a bit of the trail. Disappointing.

BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 08/16/2022 12:04 PM
Deby, while not super-close to Texas, consider the Raccoon River trail (89 miles paved) near Des Moines, IA. Also if you are in the St. Louis area, the Madison County (Illinois) trail system gives you about 130 miles of paved trails. If you're OK driving further, look at all the Fred Meijer trails in Michigan. The White Pine trail alone is 93 miles and in pretty good condition (mostly paved). Traillink is your friend, as well as Google Maps with the Bicycling layer turned on. The more paved trails will show up as solid lines (vs dashed lines for less improved).

Kevin from Wisconsin on 08/16/2022 07:21 PM
More paved trails..The Root River Trail, Paul Bunyan Trail, & Heartland Trail in Minnesota. We've ridden them all and and they are very good trails going through nice country.

Jerry Whittle from Belleville on 08/17/2022 07:01 AM
BikerBoy suggested the Raccoon River trail. While up in that part of Iowa, I also suggest the High Trestle Trail near Des Moines. I rode it last Thursday. It's only 25 miles but that would make a good 50 mile ride out and back. The trestle is amazing.

Deby from Dallas on 08/17/2022 07:58 AM
To BikerBoy, Thank you so much for those recommendations of great paved trails, and I hope all those folks who want paved trails will take a look. There are a lot of options for paved trails. Just for the record, I am NOT a fan of paving the Katy, and as I stated, probably would not be too interested in riding it, if it were paved.

CQ from Fort Worth on 08/18/2022 07:09 AM
Hi Deby, I attempted the KT last year and would like to try again next year. May I email you about some logistic questions? If so, please contact me at quescrub@sbcglobal.net

Anonymous on 08/18/2022 03:12 PM
The Paul Bunyan in Minnesota is a good paved ride.

The Des Moines Iowa area has several paved trails. The High Trestle Trail is a good ride too. Panora north on the Racoon River Valley Trail had some very rough spots that made it quite miserable. All in all its a good ride to Jefferson for a nights stay and next day return.

Unpaved though rules! The Mickelson Trail in South Dakota and the Route of the Hiawatha in Idaho are both fantastic rides and worth the trip.

A rural rider from Europe on 08/19/2022 01:31 AM
Oh dear, a dirty trail, whatever next?! Let's have neat and tidy asphalt then.
Please no; we've ridden the Katy, the GAP, the Erie Canal, many trails in the UK and France and the different surfaces are part of the challenge and the experience. As anonymous writes, "it just feels wrong paved". And I agree with Marna, there are many towns and cities with tarmaced cycle trails - ride those. And there are surfaced roads on most trails when they go through towns and villages, that's fine, but as many others point out, spend the money (what money?) improving the infrastructure generally and keeping the UNPAVED in good condition.

CQ from Fort Worth on 08/19/2022 07:01 AM
I'm riding the Mickelson Trail Sept 8th. I've heard great things and saw beautiful pictures of the trail. I looked into the Fred Meijer trails in MI. I plan to ride FM Heartland or White Pine next time I visit my mom in the U.P. Thank you for telling us about them!

Marna from On The Trail on 08/19/2022 07:42 AM
You will love the Michelson. My husband and I have a LOT of miles on that trail and have ridden it in complete, both directions.
it is NOT FLAT! Take a lot of water, more than you think you will need. ;-)

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Rock Island Trail, Lees Summit to Pleasant Hill route
Kevin from Wisconsin on 08/13/2022 08:16 AM
We'll be taking the Amtrak from Kirkwood, MO to Lee's Summit this fall and riding the Rock Island Spur and Katy back to Kirkwood.

There are a couple options (on road or on primarily bike trails) to get from the Amtrak Station in Lee's Summit to the Comfort Inn in LS and we're not concerned about this segment.

My question is about riding from the Comfort Inn in Lee's Summit to Pleasant Hill. I've seen a couple suggested routes that start a ways west of the Comfort Inn. We've mapped out a more direct route. Does anyone know of any issues riding the highlighted route below? Some of it may be gravel..not concerned with that as long as it's reasonably ridable.


Mark from Lee's Summit on 08/16/2022 01:40 PM
I love biking the rail trails in Wisconsin and you will love riding both the Rock Island and Katy trails in Missouri. Your mapped out route is fine, but you do have to be prepared for the big, winding hill along Browning Road just before you reach Smart Road. Browning Road has a long "S-curve" that drops down to a creek bridge and then you have to climb back up out of that low point by going back uphill after using your brakes to control your winding descent. If you are carrying backpacking gear then that hill is a monster. The rest of the hills along your route are rolling and there is almost no gravel to worry about except right before Smart Road intersects the MOPAC trail near Pleasant Hill lake. I have custom mapped routes from the Katy Trail to both the Kirkwood Amtrak station and the Downtown St. Louis Amtrak station so let me know if you are interested in either of those.

Kevin from Wisconsin on 08/16/2022 09:14 PM
Thanks Mark! I was hoping you'd respond as I think I ran across one of your posts offering directions to the Comfort Inn (first link). We may take the one on our RWGPS route..not sure yet..as we wanted to stop at the Quik Trip just north of Hwy 50. There's about 600 feet of possibly non-bike territory under Hwy 50 that we may have to walk.

The second link is our entire route. You'll note the last 18ish miles from St. Charles to Kirkwood. I honestly don't remember where I pulled the route from, and I made a few changes based on satellite views. If you wouldn't mind taking a look I'd appreciate it.



(I'm glad you've made it up to Wisconsin. We do have a number of very nice trails and we've ridden many of them. In general, WI is a pretty bike-friendly state.)

Mark from Lee's Summit on 08/17/2022 07:59 PM
I would avoid the QT along Hwy. 291 just north of 50 Hwy. The 291 bridge over 50 Hwy. has no sidewalks and no shoulder so your only option is to take over a full driving lane as you ride over 50 Hwy (it is impossible to just walk across 50 Hwy) and head south towards the Comfort Inn on the south outer road. Although it isn't quite as nice as a QT, there is a Shell gas station and convenience store just 5 blocks west of the Lee's Summit Amtrak station at 3rd Street and Grand Avenue. Old Downtown Lee's Summit runs right along 3rd Street so that is pretty scenic to ride down anyway.

Mark from Lee's Summit on 08/17/2022 08:17 PM
Here is my preferred route from the Katy Trail to the Kirkwood Amtrak station by riding through Chesterfield, Clayton, and Kirkwood:


Here are some of the highlights: the river crossing and levee trail are nice and paved, crossing the interstate and cutting through the shopping mall parking lot is not difficult, the zig zag route through the Chesterfield Valley is not bad and often there is a nice sidewalk available if you want to take a break and get out of traffic, especially going uphill, the one way 40 Hwy outer road has a nice wide shoulder, it is fun crossing Hwy. 141 and taking the "secret" Salt Mill Road connection to Old Woods Mill and connecting to Clayton Road, take the sidewalk on the north side of Clayton Road east for just over 1 mile and then that sidewalk turns into a nice paved trail for the next 3 miles, Ballas Road south of Clayton Road has a nice bike lane all the way south down to Manchester Road (Route 100), and finally you just cross Manchester Road at a signal and zig zag through the nice residential streets of Kirkwood to the train station.

Kevin from Wisconsin on 08/18/2022 09:05 AM
Thanks Mark, I'll take a look.

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Hartsburg Trailhead in Hartsburg
Michael A. Rodemeyer from Hartsburg Mo on 08/15/2022 07:37 PM
It must have been a bad night, which all little towns have occasionally, especially with us having no on site law. Most of the time we are quiet and peaceful. We don't want a bad rep like this.
Cathy Bordner, did you leave us because of this review? We miss you and Dave.

Cathy from Pittsburgh on 08/15/2022 10:53 PM
Hi Mike (and Nancy), We moved to Pittsburgh in Nov. 2017 to help our daughter and her husband with childcare. They now have 2 kids. Our son and his family now live in Texas, and have 2 kids. You may remember their oldest daughter, Amara. I used to bring her to MRBA meetings when she was 3 years old. She's now 11. I bike on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) trail now, and other trails in Western PA. But I really miss the Katy Trail and places like Hartsburg and all the great little towns we went to. And I miss you and Nancy. My new email is cathy.bordner@gmail.com. I would love to re-connect with you guys.

I'm not sure about the review you are referencing. But I know from experience what a wonderful town Hartsburg is, and the friendly welcoming people there. It is a very special place.

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Trail conditions
J. Q. Public from St. Louis on 08/15/2022 10:05 PM
I intend to ride the Katy Trail from Clinton to St. Charles beginning Oct 6th. I am looking for input regarding detours or closures of the trail. Any information will be helpful and appreciated.

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Shuttle Clinton to Clifton City
Allyson from Alton Il on 08/15/2022 09:56 PM
Can anyone guide me to a potential shuttle from Clinton out to just west of Clinton City? TIA!!

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Claysville Store in Hartsburg
Michael A. Rodemeyer from Hartsburg Mo on 08/13/2022 12:43 PM
It's been a while since anyone has mentioned the Claysville Store. It is stll great and so are it's owners Mark and Laura Hooibrink. Nobody beats the experience of this eatery. Not even annanomous, above, can dis them. They are located, on the katy Trail, about 3 miles east of Hartsb

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Hermann to Kansas City
Leo from Blue springs on 08/12/2022 03:08 PM
Hey folks, looking to get dropped off in Hermann and ride home to Kansas City via rock island at the end. Anyone done this stretch recently? Is water fairly plentiful, and where are your favorite places to tent camp if any? I know when I rode the whole thing a few years ago, Sedalia would supposedly allow camping at the fairgrounds.

Kim Henderson - Kim's Cabins from Windsor on 08/13/2022 12:28 AM
New campground with showerhouse a little west of Sedalia- Lazy Liz Campground. In Windsor two camping options

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