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Packing List for Riding the Katy Trail
Karen F from St. Louis on 03/08/2006 11:37 PM
Two of us are planning to ride the Katy Trail as an out-and-back starting in the middle of May of this year. We plan to start in St. Charles and go to Clinton and then turn around and go back to St. Charles. We plan to stay in B&Bs and hotels along the way. Does anyone have any packing list suggestions? I don't want to overpack, but I don't want to forget anything important, either.

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 03/09/2006 10:36 AM
BikeIowa has a pretty good packing list. It was generated as a list for the RAGBRAI ride across Iowa. There are several catagories, such as....Daily on the bike...Clothing...Toiletries....Camping....Misc.

I've used this list when planning Katy rides. It seems to adapt well from Iowa to Missouri use.



ET from Columbia on 03/09/2006 12:07 PM
Be sure to pack some snacks and extra fluids for when you can't find a place to buy food. Places along the trail may have irregular hours, especially before Memorial Day. Also, sunscreen, but spray, and in May, pack to dress in layers. You could have any weather, including rain--so pack accordingly! We pack pretty light--bike shorts and T-shirts which we wash out at nights (so take 2 sets in case one isn't dry), and I like to have a pair of wrinkle-resistant pants to pull on over my shorts or tights when we stop. Also, it is worth taking a pair of comfy shoes to slip on when you are off the bike at the B & B's

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 03/09/2006 08:44 PM
For extra fluids, I usually carry powdered sport drink in my trunk bag. I have small zip lock bags that came from a jeweler that I put individual portions in to mix one per water bottle. They don't take up too much room, are easy to mix preportioned, and I don't have the weight of hauling liquid. It's usually easier to find water than it is to find a sport drink.

Nails on 03/10/2006 12:31 PM
Here's a modified pack list from a Memorial Day weekend trip last year. Sedalia to St. Charles in two days with a night in a B&B.

Bike, Pedals, Shoes, Socks, Shorts, Jersey, Helmet, Sunglasses, Speeedomter, heart rate monitor.

Backpack, Bladder with valve, Spare tire – Kevlar belt, Spare tubes – puncture resistant (2), Patch kit, Tire tool, Tool kit, Tie wraps, Camera, Carb Boom.

Itinerary/maps/directions/phone numbers/addresses.

Cash, Credit card, Train tickets, Photo ID, Cell phone.

Medications, Birth control, Contact case, Contacts, Sunscreen, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, mini-brush.

Frame pump, Whistle, Waterbottles (2 each), minature first aid kit.


sbikes from KCMO on 03/16/2006 06:04 PM
I have ridden the trail end to end and my advice is go minimalist...basic stuff mentioned

above and the most important thing I can suggest is a little pack of baby wipes..yup, baby

wipes. They remove grease from hands and clothes and are just darn handy in a variety of

ways on the trip. You can buy a travel pack that squishes down small.

And, put your cell phone/camera, etc. in plastic bags. Trail dust gets into everything.

Have fun!

Brian from Wichita, KS on 03/17/2006 12:27 PM
You guys have some great advice! The bikeiowa.com list noted above was helpful (and even has some whimsical items like "extra fork for Homemade Pie" and "hill erasers"). The mini first-aid kit described by Nails is also very clever.

Nails on 03/17/2006 02:39 PM
Thank the Boy Scouts of America for the first aid kit idea.

MLH from Overland Park KS on 03/17/2006 06:15 PM
The baby wipes work great for cycling trips, especially if you have to make a trailside repair. They sell boxes or individually-wrapped Wet Ones at Office Max. You can pack as many as you see fit.

Karen F from St. Louis on 05/26/2006 05:25 PM
Thanks to all who responded. We just finished our trip of starting in St. Charles and heading to Clinton and then turning around and going back to St. Charles -- 450 miles!

We both brought packages of baby wipes and they were a lifesaver -- both for repairs and for bathroom breaks.

I had everything that I needed without packing a lot of extra. I packed a pair of sandals to wear off of the bike. They didn't take up very much room. In fact, I was able to strap them to the top of my rear bag.

arlo from Wildwood on 06/16/2007 09:25 PM
Birth control? Was this a bike ride or a party?

Nails on 06/17/2007 11:57 AM
The parties I go to aren't for swingers. (No keys to throw in the bowl when I'm on my bike.) Rather, when there are 2 riding and spending their nights in a B&B (as Karen F described), what do you expect to happen? Just trying to help someone that might not be ready to buy a trail-a-bike.

PJ from Dexter, MO on 09/17/2019 04:00 PM
We are wanting to try biking part of the Katy Trail and would appreciate getting some good tips on doing so. Thanks!

LSMOBiker from Lees Summit on 09/18/2019 09:06 AM
On our recent trip, we were lucky with no major mechanical issues, but did have some minor ones - some untested bags ripped, and some screws on several rear bike racks worked their way out.

The two things we were super thankful to have, were extra bungy cords, and a bunch of plastic zip ties.

Margaret Ritter from Kansas City, Mo on 07/05/2020 07:35 PM
Planning an October trip on the Katy Trail and wondering about what to pack for the trip

Mel Zabecki from Fayetteville, AR on 07/06/2020 08:32 AM
Here's my list from my end-to-end trip on my 2 wheel recumbent August 2018:
Bathing suit
Thermals (for sleeping if no bag)
Hair ties
Face soap
Lotion (face/eyes/body)
Pills (plus Tylenol!)
Wet Wipes
Dry wipes
Mosquito wipes
Plug block
Long charge cord
Chargers (fitbit/phone/headlamp/solar)
Solar battery
Hammock/straps/mossie net/rainfly/carabiners
Map/katy trail books
Salt pills
Seat pad/bandana
Bear spray
Pepper spray
1st aid kit
Flat kit
Extra tubes
Chain lube
Water bottles
Water pure tablets?
xtra shopping bag
phone case
individual pb

For future: https://www.cyclingabout.com/our-bicycle-touring-gear-packing-list/

Anonymous on 07/07/2020 12:53 PM
Bear spray? What about a harpoon?

Mel Zabecki from Fayetteville, AR on 07/07/2020 06:39 PM
I got knocked off my bike a few years ago by a dog that resulted in two surgeries, a bone graft, and IV antibiotics. I love dogs but none are getting near me on a bike ever again.

Kevin S from O'Fallon on 07/31/2020 12:40 PM
Looking to bike the whole thing

AB from Jackson on 03/29/2021 02:26 PM
How far would be a reasonable distance to bike in a day, for beginners with 3 kids, ages 13,11,9?

Bill in Houston from Houston on 03/30/2021 12:06 PM
What's their longest ride so far? Will they be choosing your nursing home? Do you want for them to have happy memories?

Missouri Preacher from Lamar, MO on 07/21/2021 08:53 PM
Planning a trip from Clinton to St Charles in 2022. Which month is the best time to do a 4-5 day trip?

Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/22/2021 08:43 AM
Depends what you are looking for.

We rode in April and the weather was nice and the flowers were blooming and the trail was deserted. We were way before any kind of rush that may happen, and were a little sad to not see any other through riders. Well, we saw one. But the solitude was kind of nice.

A lot of the local places were not in full swing yet, so we missed some of the things we had looked forward to. People hanging out at Cooper's Landing, a store at Cooper's Landing, the lady at the Mokane grocery store yelling at her customers not to put their bikes in front of the store, Katfish Katy's, etc.

Apparently people wait until summer to ride, and the trail is busier then, and everyone is in full swing. But, summer is hot.

Anonymous on 07/23/2021 07:55 AM
Fall is a good time to ride also. It can be busy on Saturdays around major trailheads on nice weather days. Lodging may fill up quickly because of MU football game days or because of fall color. It's a beautiful time to ride though. Have ridden it on Halloween day and had the trail to ourselves.

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Rock Island Current Condition
Alex from Boonville on 07/19/2021 01:43 PM
Heading out to ride the RIT from Windsor to Pleasant Hill July 29th. Any detours or trail condition advisories? Thanks!

Kim Henderson - Kim's Cabins from Windsor on 07/20/2021 08:44 AM
No detours I know of at all. Many cabin guests and cyclists riding regularly. Last week still a little softer than usual with all the recent rain but in good shape. Be sure and check out Rock Island Cafe in Leeton and Hometown Convenience Store in Chilhowee. Carry plenty of water and enjoy - alot of shady stretches and beautiful farm land!

Katy Trail Supporter from Katy Trail-End to End on 07/20/2021 03:13 PM
I rode Rock Island-Pleasant Hill to Windsor Mon Jul 19 (first time). Many washed out areas but marked with orange cones. Many road crossings some blind. Medford an Leeton have rest, covered trailheads. No services along most of spur. I would have liked to have been the concrete contractor who did all the bridges. My suspicions this spur was originally used for primarily horse travel an turned into a bike trail too. I’ll wait a few years to ride it again.

Alex from Boonville on 07/21/2021 12:15 PM
Great, thank you for the information!

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Cooper's Landing in Easley
JT from TERRE HAUTE on 07/20/2021 09:18 PM
Okay, should say "rode" through.

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Cooper's Landing in Easley
JT from TERRE HAUTE on 07/20/2021 09:17 PM
Road through on our way from New Franklin to Tebbetts on 7/14/21. Place wasn't open yet but a gentleman working on his computer sold us a couple of cold Cokes and gave us some info about the upcoming trail. He also said the business was working on getting the permits they needed to install a shower building and restrooms for the campground, and talked about other upgrades that were in the works.

Would have been nice to have gotten there a little later and had some food, but it was a good stop.

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Cooper's Landing in Easley
JT from TERRE HAUTE on 07/20/2021 09:17 PM
Road through on our way from New Franklin to Tebbetts on 7/14/21. Place wasn't open yet but a gentleman working on his computer sold us a couple of cold Cokes and gave us some info about the upcoming trail. He also said the business was working on getting the permits they needed to install a shower building and restrooms for the campground, and talked about other upgrades that were in the works.

Would have been nice to have gotten there a little later and had some food, but it was a good stop.

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The Touring Cyclist Shuttle in St Charles
Jackie from Columbiaville, Michigan on 07/06/2021 11:34 AM
We are trying to park our car and get a shuttle from St. Charles to Sedelia on September 19th. There are just two of us and our bikes. Do you have a shuttle heading that way that we can share a ride with on that day or even the day before? We also need to park our car for about 10 days there. Thanks.

Helen from Roswell GA on 07/20/2021 02:01 PM
Update: I just booked a shuttle with Todd at Katy Bike Rental -- 636-987-2600 -- For Friday, 9/17, at 8:00 a.m. from St. Charles to Clinton. He is very easy to work with. You might want to call him.

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Water availability
JP from Bonne Terre on 07/19/2021 09:24 PM
Is there water on the trail? I’m planning on riding from Sedalia to St. Charles 7/31-8/3

JP from Bonne Terre on 07/19/2021 09:38 PM
Is there currently water on the trail?

Ann Ohnomus from Golden on 07/20/2021 07:35 AM
Water on the trail depends on the weather. Sometimes it is dry and dusty and at other times it is wet and muddy.

JP from Bonne Terre on 07/20/2021 10:19 AM
I'm sorry. I was asking if there was water available to drink on the trail.

Ray (webmaster) on 07/20/2021 10:35 AM
A lot of the trailheads have running water, which is turned on at all except maybe Dutzow.

Check out this link to the trip planner, listing all the trailheads, libraries, and other places offering free water:


Of course, there are also convenience stores, restaurants, etc at towns along the way, where you can buy water and other drinks.

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Turner Katy Trail Shelter Hostel in Tebbetts
JT from TERRE HAUTE IN on 07/19/2021 09:55 PM
Stopped for the night on 7/14 after a long hot day on the trail, and felt lucky to find a place like this to spend the night.

Pop machine on the porch worked and the drinks were ice cold. Fridge, microwave, hot plate, coffee machine, a room to store the bikes, hot shower, a bed to sleep on, etc. All that and we had the place to ourselves.

That was my experience, yours may differ but I'd recommend this place as a stop for the night. The recommended donation is $5, but in my opinion it's worth more. Bring some food to heat up (seriously, there's not much in Tebbetts), have a cold pop and relax.

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best route
SM from Independence MO on 07/19/2021 12:32 PM
Planning to ride the trail in September; from Pleasant Hill to St Charles; or the other way around. Does the elevation change make a difference in the overall ride -- should we start in PHill and go east; or start east side and ride back west? thanks

Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/19/2021 03:11 PM
Wind makes a bigger difference. For that reason, people usually ride West to east.

Anonymous on 07/19/2021 07:16 PM
Wind can make a difference if is is blowing. The uphill grade between Boonville and Pilot Grove and between Clifton City and Sedalia is always there. Although we have ridden both directions, west to east is preferred.

Wind direction is to be determined along the river and bluffs as it often swirls and can change direction as you pass.

Keep in mind the trains of old only had a 5% grade to deal with so any elevation change may be irrelevant. If you have previously ridden 100 miles to approach Boonville, Lard Hill may be a strain heading west. If you are starting the day in Boonville, the hill may be less noticeable.

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St. Charles to Jeff City
MMcD on 07/19/2021 06:21 PM
Is the trail open from St. Charles to Jeff City?

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Sept ride
Luther from Cookeville TN on 07/16/2021 11:38 AM
I'm planning a group ride up the Katy this Labor day .
I see on previous discussions the trail may hay some problems and possible detours. Does anyone have any knowledge as to whether these will be resolved by Labor day?

Also is there a place to find a map showing camping spots along the Katy?
I will have a large group starting in St Charles.

Clervi from Hartsburg on 07/17/2021 10:42 AM
Call Doug at Bluffton Barn; he will have lots of good information.
Call (573) 657-4529. Globe Hotel Bed and Breakfast in Hartsburg. We will try to help you.
How "big" of a group are you expecting?

Ray (webmaster) on 07/19/2021 07:14 AM
Hey Luther,
Unfortunately the detour between Rocheport and New Franklin will almost certainly still be needed at Labor Day.

Here is a list of all camping locations that I know of:

And here you can see camping spots plotted out on a map:

This map only shows the camping within a 50-mile radius of the map's center (it starts out centered at Augusta, so you see everything from the eastern end of the trail to about Portland). To see camping spots further west, click Edit Settings, change the "Center Map At" city, and click Apply.

Good luck and have fun out there with your group!

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JM from Fulton on 07/17/2021 02:18 PM
I’m planning a trip this fall with a couple friends. How wide and tall can a recumbent bike be and still be able to get through the “gates” that keep cars off the trail?

Eric from Chesaterfield on 07/18/2021 08:10 AM
I’ve never had an issue going thru the gates. Occasionally 1 of my mirrors would touch the arm (my mirrors mount pretty high)).
My trike is 30” wide

Jim from Colorado on 07/18/2021 08:10 AM
I've ridden the Katy twice with my recumbent trike and never had a problem going between or under a gate. I don't think you have to worry about it. Enjoy the ride, it's a blast on a recumbent.

Bruce Laubach from Williamsburg, VA on 07/18/2021 08:47 AM
The gates are offset from each other. So if you go through at an angle you have a little more clearance.

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Square109 in Clinton
Mary E Ryan from Clinton on 07/16/2021 05:55 PM
Square 109 is NOT closed We are open everyday but Sunday.

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Camping in Clinton
Todds Cycling Adventure from Eastern Illinois on 07/15/2021 07:16 PM
I'm cycling the Flint Hills Nature Trail in Kansas then riding roads to Clinton to pick up the Katy. I would prefer to camp in or near Clinton. Any recommendations?

Ron from Plano on 07/16/2021 06:37 AM
Clinton parks & rec allows camping. They will let you take a shower there as well. It's located right next to the Katy trailhead.

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Coppers Landing
Jeff from Sedalia Mo on 07/09/2021 08:07 PM
I see a lot of negative comments about Coppers Landing. I have been stopping there for the last 7 years .Under the new ownership there have been new changes but everything I saw have been for the good yes it used to be $6 instead of $30 to camp. A shower house would be good. Hopefully that in the future. I have been on the whole trail and there are a lot of nice places but none that have the river view with some of the best music around. It’s a 70 mile ride there but it’s worth it every time

Karen C. from Harrisburg, MO on 07/10/2021 05:38 PM
I was talking to them one day and they mentioned the things they would like to do to the place. A shower house and real bathrooms were mentioned. Woo hoo!

I have not camped there yet but I stop regularly and purchase something to enjoy while watching the river. My observation the last few months is to make sure you know the price of what you are buying. The first time it happened I thought there were price increases but the next couple times with a different person behind the window, it was the price I had been paying every weekend for the same thing (pre-tip). When I mentioned it this last time I was charged double for two items the kid said not to worry about it and took what I had ready. Soooo...just be aware. Which we should anyways, right? :-)

Costanza from WV on 07/14/2021 09:21 AM
I stopped by there for a snack last month. Other than being out of Snickers, it was great. Whoever waited on me (originally from PA) was very polite and helpful. He made sure I had an outlet to charge some electronics, and even apologized for not realizing he was out of Snickers lol.

Karen C. from Harrisburg, MO on 07/15/2021 06:19 PM
Costanza from WV, that is a bummer they were out of Snickers! They refrigerate them so they are extra good! I am excited to meet your PA person that is working there. It really is a neat place and they have great plans!
But this darn weather...the rain keeps slowing things down...but not the music! :-)

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Salt Creek Bridge Ride-Around
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/15/2021 12:20 PM
Since it seems the Salt Creek bridge between Boonville and Rocheport will be out for a while, can anyone confirm that this could be a good ridearound to recommend to the dozens of people who ask about it?


Keeps them off Hwy 40. Not sure what the condition of those backroads is.

Gary from Blue Springs on 07/15/2021 12:56 PM
That has been well documented and you can find info on it here:


On the two FaceBook groups ("KATY Trail Rider Group" & "Fans of the Katy Trail Group"), several posts about it including even walking across if/when the water level is low, which isn't the case now due to recent heavy rains.

MapMedic from KCMO on 07/15/2021 02:12 PM
Gary I think he's asking about an alternate route that does NOT involve getting on the 55 MPH 40 Hwy. The link he posted shows what appears to be a scenic gravel route with a few hundred feet of hills involved.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/15/2021 03:04 PM
Yes, what MapMedic said. A far less death-defying route. Adds ~180 feet of vertical.

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