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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Katy Trail and/or Rock Island Trail.
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Walking the Katy trail
Sterling from Kansas City, Missouri on 03/13/2019 02:23 PM
I'm just curious. Do many people just walk the Katy Trail other that bike it? I noticed some of the distances between camp grounds could be a stretch for a person on foot. Also, Just how safe would it be to do it? Sorry I am a newbie at this stuff. Thanks!

Allen from Shawnee on 03/13/2019 03:20 PM
I met a man last fall that backpacked the whole trail, I think he said his longest day was a little over 20 miles. He was a writer who publishes in backpacking magazine sometimes. He was very impressed with the hike and wrote a few posts on this forum, all were very positive, I don’t remember his last name but his first name was Michael. I have spent many days on the trail over a period of 15 or so years and have never had an experience where I felt unsafe. I have thru biked the trail so many times I have lost count, always camping.
If you decide to do it, this website provides a wealth of information.
Have a good time,

Anonymous on 03/13/2019 03:23 PM
Lots of people use the Katy to walk instead of biking. It is very common to meet walkers on the trail especially near the trailheads. Some are thru walkers too. Check out Katy Trail Trip Reports on the Home page. There is a hiker icon next to those trip reports by hikers. The biggest issue I've seen with people walking are those who are in the middle of the trail oblivious that anyone else is around. Then it can be difficult with bikes on both sides or to gain there attention if they are listening to music without being able to hear what is around them. Yes, the Katy is safe in my opinion.

Kim Henderson - Kim's Cabins, Windsor from Windsor on 03/13/2019 04:20 PM
I've had 2 different instances of gentlemen 70ish from out of state who stayed at the cabins and hiking entire trail. A group of ladies I shuttled some and had stay who over time hiked it in sections. Said they'll be back to hike new Rock Island. All really enjoyed the experience

Mr. Bump from Hannibal on 03/14/2019 10:35 AM
Many people walk the trail, especially in the off season. Locals who regularly walk their favorite sections have been a great source of advice on where to stay and eat, and have given me stories of the history of the trail. Just remember to call out "on your left" or something similar before you pass walkers (and their dogs) so you don't startle them. Yes, the Katy is very safe.

Michael from Camdenton, Mo on 03/15/2019 04:08 PM
I walked the entire trail from Clinton to Machens!... best 16 days I ever spent. I incourage anyone wanting to hike the entire trail to do it it’s safe and the people are amazing!!!????

Scooter riding on Katy Trail?
Bob from St. Charles on 05/19/2006 01:11 PM
Does anyone know if 2 wheeled scooters are allowed on the Katy trail? I know push scooters might be allowed but does anyone know if electric or gas powered scooters can be run on the trail?

I was wondering if they can be used on the extension between Creve Coeur Lake and St. Charles as well.


sbikes from kansas city on 05/19/2006 02:56 PM
No. Motorized vehicles are prohibited on the Trail unless they are for persons with disabilities.

See below from the DNR website:

Permitted Uses

Katy Trail State Park has been designed specifically for bicyclists and hikers. The majority of the trail is accessible to persons with disabilities. Segments of the trail that exceed a 5-percent grade or a 2-percent cross slope are indicated on the map. All motorized equipment is prohibited except official and emergency vehicles. Electrically assisted pedal-powered bicycles and tricycles (maximum speed of 20 mph) as well as electrically powered-mobility devices for persons with disabilities such as motorized wheelchairs and scooters are allowed. No hunting or discharging of firearms is allowed. All state park rules apply and are posted at trailheads. The trail is open only during daylight hours. HORSES ARE PERMITTED ONLY ON THE WESTERN SECTION FROM THE STATE FAIRGROUNDS IN SEDALIA TO CALHOUN.

Bob from St. Charles on 05/19/2006 03:12 PM
Thanks for the follow-up.


Randy from O'fallon on 03/06/2019 07:28 AM
How about a buying permit for a 49cc/50cc for night time riding on the Katy trail ? (After dark until daylight).
NOTHING BIGGER than a 50cc. randy1960@live.com

Anonymous on 03/06/2019 12:38 PM
How much do you want for one?

Rex McCall from Springfield, MO on 03/08/2019 08:58 AM
According to the park website, only electrically assisted pedal-powered bicycles and tricycles are allowed (no more than 20 mph). Also, those with disabilities may use electric golf carts and Segways. Gas-powered vehicles are not allowed.

Marna from Boonville on 03/13/2019 07:45 AM
If you are talking about Kick Scooters, YES! Katy is a great place to take a Scooter on.

Trail conditions
Drifter from Eldon on 03/10/2019 12:44 PM
What condition is the trail in? 3/10/19 wanting to do a short out and back but concerned the trail will be soft do to the recent rains. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.


Anonymous on 03/10/2019 02:03 PM
I'd guess its frozen.

Doug from Bluffton on 03/10/2019 02:52 PM
It's not frozen. West of me is soft in several places but rideable on wide tires east is much better but still has soft spots of 100 yards or so. This is for 15 miles either side of Bluffton and probably the same for other sections along the river. Might be more firm when you get away from the bottoms

Doug from Bluffton on 03/10/2019 05:27 PM
There are two large trees down blocking the trail about MM 107. Not hard to get around them on hwy 94

Doug from Bluffton on 03/11/2019 08:57 PM
They cleared those trees today

3-Day Ride
Don Phelps from Tullaoma, TN on 03/09/2019 09:55 PM
I do not have enough time to ride the entire trail during the first week of May. We can probably manage 35 miles per day on our bikes loaded as they will be for camping, and given our physical conditioning. What 100 mile section of the KATY would be the most picturesque and interesting for two oldsters in our 70's?

Bryan from Austin Texas on 03/10/2019 01:11 AM
I suggest Boonville to Hermann/McKittrick. In 2017 we rode from Lee's Summit to Pleasant Hill to pick pick up the Rock Island trail and from there to Windsor on day 1. We then rode to Boonville on day 2, Jefferson City (with side trip to Columbia) on day 3, Hermann on day 4, and St Charles on day 5. I was a great trip. There are plenty of rest stops and towns along the way each day.

James Gang from Kearney, MO on 03/10/2019 05:55 AM
We rode Sedalia to Jefferson City in 3 days and was very comfortable. A lot of the Trail is shaded and is along the scenic Missouri River with beautiful bluffs. Probably could have done more but was our first time and not sure how we would do.

Trigirl262 from Memphis on 03/10/2019 10:49 AM
Our first time riding the Katy Trail this past October, we rode 140 miles over 4 days from St. Charles to Rhineland, We averaged about 35 miles a day and it was manageable was for the four of us. You could start in St. Charles and bike to Hermann. We all loved the route from the views, path, and it was never crowded. Since we enjoyed the ride so much, in early April we are doing another section of about 100 miles over 3 days from Hermann to Jefferson City, and then ride west for another 30 miles or so, then back to Jefferson City. Enjoy!

Lee's Summit
NANOOK from Wildwood on 03/06/2019 10:11 AM
I'm taking the Amtrak west to start my trip doing the Katy Trail. Can I get off the train in Lee's Summit? Thanks

Kim Henderson - Kim's Cabins, Windsor from Windsor on 03/06/2019 10:45 AM
You can get off the train in Lee's Summit. You can either take roads or get a ride the distance to Pleasant Hill trailhead of the Rock Island Spur of the Katy Trail, if that's your plan.

Bryan from Austin Texas on 03/10/2019 08:19 AM
The Amtrak does stop at Lee's Summit. In 2017 we started in Lee's Summit and returned via Amtrak at Kirkwood station. There is a fairly easy 17 or so mile rode route from Pleasant Hill to Lee's Summit.

Kim Henderson - Kim's Cabins, Windsor from Windsor on 03/10/2019 08:55 AM
I forgot I had saved this route from a friend in Lee's Summit. He's ridden it many times and feels the best way.

Take the 13.6 mile route through Greenwood Missouri. BUT stay south on Allendale Rd. Follow that road till 175th St. It will change names a few times. Turn left or East on 175th. That will take you straight to Pleasant Hill. Cross the tracks and turn right onto the trail. That will take you to Pleasant Hill and on your way East to Windsor.

Hope this helps and you have a great trip!

Tornado risk in mid-May?
NCW from I live in Denver but I'm from Lenexa, KS on 03/07/2019 12:00 PM
Hi all! This might be a weird / paranoid question, but I'm thinking of cycling the entire Katy and Rock Island trails in mid to late May. I grew up in the Kansas City area, but I've been out of tornado alley for more than 20 years now, and so I've forgotten about how much of a risk they pose. Will there potentially be tons of storms and/or tornados during this time period? Would May be a good month to ride or would it be better to wait until autumn?

Anonymous on 03/07/2019 01:04 PM
We all don't just stay in the basement in May. Most of us are normal functioning human beings and only take cover if there is a weather event that mandates doing so. Portable weather radios are nice to take along during times of inclement weather.

Allen from Shawnee on 03/07/2019 03:39 PM
Severe weather events just usually last a few hours. I don’t believe I would make or change plans based on likely hood of this. There is cell service on almost all of the Katy so weather info is readily s ailable.

Allen from Shawnee on 03/07/2019 03:43 PM
Sorry available. Seems to me no way to edit a post.

NCW from I live in Denver but I'm from Lenexa, KS on 03/08/2019 08:14 AM
Thanks, Allen! I didn't know if there was cell service, so this helps.

Anonymous - having grown up in KC I'm well aware that people don't hide in basements all spring and summer, I was just wondering what people would think about doing this in May and whether or not it made sense to wait.

Thanks again!

John Hutchins from Pacific on 03/09/2019 05:42 AM
I've ridden the entire trail in May twice with no weather problems. But, being retired I have the opportunity to watch the weather forecast and go when a window of good weather is forecast. If you have to pick a date certain in advance you have a good chance of getting rained on in May, but tornadoes are pretty rare.

I am considering riding the trail for a few days again this May as a shake out for a longer trip.

Kathleen from Oolitic on 03/09/2019 04:45 PM
My dad and I rode end to end at the end of May beginning of June last year. We were lucky and didn't have a bad weather during the day, except for extreme heat. We also had cell reception the entire trip. I just checked the weather every morning before we hit the trail. Have a great trip!!

Where to eat in Boonville
RP from Kansas City on 03/06/2019 09:03 PM
My wife and I are doing a little round trip ride from Rocheport to Boonville and back next month and are looking for dining suggestions in both towns. Lunch in Boonville and dinner in Rocheport. Thanks!

Anonymous on 03/07/2019 10:05 AM
Hotel Frederick in Boonville and Les Bourgeois Bistro in Rocheport.

Or A&W in Boonville and Mulberry Grill in Rocheport.

There are several choices depending on what you are looking for.

PTM from Stl on 03/07/2019 11:08 PM
Main Street Diner
Are favorites of our
Main Street pies are to die for!

Jim from St. Thomas on 03/09/2019 01:08 PM
I’ll throw in a vote for Abigails in Rocheport. Great food but the service can be erratic. Desserts are always worth having. It’s a small place so make reservations.

Washington bridge
Mary from Anacortes on 03/07/2019 07:11 AM
Riding a section of the Katy in early May. I have planned an overnight in Washington. I’m wondering about the status of the new bridge and bike lane.

Allen from Shawnee on 03/07/2019 07:19 AM
According to the pictures on the MODOT camera on this bridge, it appears open.

Hank on 03/08/2019 08:09 PM
The bridge is open but the bike lane is not. You will have to ride the shoulders on the new bridge, which are 10 ft wide I think. Should not be a problem. The shoulders on 47 south from Dutzow are only 8 ft wide and this is a heavily traveled roadway. However it is pretty easily doable if you don't mind a couple miles of whooshing traffic flying by.

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