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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Katy Trail and/or Rock Island Trail.
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Salt Creek detour
zume76 from DFW on 03/30/2021 08:27 AM
Salt Creek detour: my wife and I traversed Salt Creek on 29 March. The water was only a few inches deep and the mud was firm enough to carefully navigate.

Harry from Olathe on 03/30/2021 02:44 PM
Good to know I plan on going trough there on Friday. It sounds like the detour is fairly obvious. Thanks

Kimberly Bikes from Lawrence KS on 04/04/2021 05:46 PM
Any updates from the Salt Creek Detour onto the gravel? Hubs and I are riding that section next weekend (Apr 9, 11). We are experienced bike packers pedaling Salsa Fargos with 2.25" tires. The low water crossing? On google maps it looks like we just drop off the trail onto gravel, make a u-shaped detour and get right back on the trail. Is that right? We'd be clear after that? Thanks for any updates. :)

Joey's Bird House B&B in McKittrick
Del on 04/04/2021 08:16 AM
My wife and I stayed here 4/2/2021. Joey is a fantastic. You can tell she loves being a host. We are glad we found her. Just a stone's throw from the Katy, it was super convenient for an early start.

East to West Ride with Amtrak return
Biker Chick 515 from Topeka, KS on 04/02/2021 12:08 PM
Is it possible to ride the entire trail from Clinton to Machens and return to KC via Amtrak? If so, how do you get from Machens to the train station and which train station am I looking for? The Amtrak website is messed up and you can't see the entire RiverRunner schedule in one place. Thanks for your help

k on 04/02/2021 02:10 PM
Access to Machens via the trail may still be difficult or impossible as a result of 2019 flooding damage, I believe. That said, the easternmost Amtrak stations in Missouri are in the city of St. Louis and in the suburban city of Kirkwood. The trail doesn’t intersect with either station, but you can bike to either from the trail; depending on where you cross the Missouri river, this could be a ride of 17-25 miles. Most of these routes will be on streets rather than protected trails or paths. Taxis or rideshares can also transport you from the trail to either Amtrak station. I suggest Google Maps’ bicycling and public transit views to help you plan.

Eric Peters from Chesterfield on 04/03/2021 10:49 AM
St Charles to Machens was opened as of last fall.

Mark from Lee's Summit on 04/03/2021 11:52 AM
The 2019 flood damage around Machens was repaired last summer and that section of the Katy Trail is in the best shape it has ever been. If you absolutely have to ride all the way to Machens, then the Downtown St. Louis Gateway Station is your best bet instead of the Kirkwood train station. I have posted detailed directions from Machens to the Downtown St. Louis train station on the Fans of the Katy Trail Group on Facebook, but you do have to be prepared for some on street riding. In order to start your trip in Clinton, you have to either get a shuttle or backtrack because your only Amtrak station options are Lee's Summit or Sedalia (Sedalia is directly on the trail and Lee's Summit requires an 8 mile on street ride to get from Lee's Summit to Pleasant Hill where you can take the Rock Island Trail connection to the Katy at Windsor).

amtrak options for Katy Trail riders
kcwyks on 04/01/2021 07:22 AM
The bike/train scenario can be a fun vacation. Amtrak serves several towns along or very near the Katy Trail. Washington, Hermann, Jefferson City, and Sedalia, all of which have lodging and restaurant options. Lees Summit (a Kansas City suburb) may be another Amtrak option soon via the Rock Island trail from Windsor if some Jackson County trail work gets completed.

For Jefferson City, Hermann, and Washington, you have to cross the Missouri river valley to get to the train station. The North Jefferson trailhead to Jefferson City is kind of a zigzag 2 mile route but well marked and is safe, and gets you to the big spiral ramp up to the river bridge where there is a protected bike lane. From the river bridge, take the first street to the left ( east) straight to the Capitol, go around the Capitol, then you will see signs directing you down to the Amtrak station near the river. The MCKittrick trailhead to Hermann route is about 1.5 miles along the shoulder of a busy highway, but it is a wide shoulder, and leads to a protected bike lane on the river bridge. In Hermann, take the first street left (east) and you will see the station down by the river. For Washington, you could ride on a busy highway with terrible shoulder from the Dutzow trailhead to Washington, but it is risky. I would recommend going east on the trail about 2 or 3 miles from Dutzow to Augusta Bottoms road (right near a small bridge over a drainage ditch), which winds through the river bottom and ends at the river bridge where there is a protected bike lane. From the bridge, go right (west) into Washington about 3/4 mile to downtown where you will find the train station down by the river. Sedalia train station is about 1/4 mile west of the Sedalia trailhead/museum through quiet city streets.

Amtrak has a limit on the number of bikes they will haul; the trains across Missouri dont have a baggage car; you store bikes in the luggage area of the coaches. They have some restrictions, like no tandems, no 3 wheelers, trailers, etc. So the early reservation has a better chance of getting bikes on board.

Trip Report Sedalia to Boonsville to Jefferson City to Hermann Amtrak to Sedalia
zume76 from DFW on 03/31/2021 09:54 PM
Sedalia Bothwell Hotel is great and let us leave our car in the lot for 3 days. They have a bike washing station. Fitters Pub is worth the visit. On the Sunday leg to Boonville, the only food/water avail was at Casey's gas station in Pilot Grove. Hotel Frederick in Boonville was nice, but bar/cafe closed Sunday/Monday. Main Street Diner OK and will fix a takeout for lunch for the next day. Next leg, 50mi to Jeff City. Please note that after Rocheport, there was no water, cafe, store, or anything near the trail until Cooper's Landing which is 10 miles NW of Hartsburg (which only opens at 2pm during the week and earlier on weekends. At Hartburg, you could only get water from the bathroom sink. After that, its another 13 miles to Jeff City. Some cafe's are open on weekends. KatfishKatys is open late Friday, and at 11am Sat/Sun. Huntsdale trailhead had a water fountain, but it was off for the winter or longer. Jefferson City to Hermann leg was more enjoyable. Holzhausers Bar/Grill in Portland has great burgers and I forget what else. Hermann is a very enjoyable town. The Amtrak to Sedalia was surprisingly good. The train in only allowed to book 4 bikes - per the conductor. It has a snack bar for coffee, snacks, and even a suds.
Most of the Trail info states that hybrid bikes are manageable on the trail. We ran our Trek FX2's with standard tires for 3 days and had 3 flats. Thanks to Ed for help on the first one. So we recommend beefing up your tires and tubes beforehand and get to know your pump.
Also, there are lots of branches and sticks on the trail. My experienced wife went down hard from a stick in the spokes, so be extra careful as you can be a long way from anywhere!

PTM from STL on 04/01/2021 01:23 AM
Thx so much for the great report.
How was the bridge detour?

Red Wheel Bike Shop in Jefferson City
zume76 from DFW on 03/31/2021 10:06 PM
Limped in with a side wall tire cut and patch job. Got a new tire and quick check up in just a few minutes and only just a few $$ as well. I wish this shop was located near me!

Meriwether Cafe and Bike Shop in Rocheport
zume76 from DFW on 03/31/2021 10:01 PM
Last stop for civilized dining and coffee when eastbound on a Monday or Tuesday. Great scones on the patio and very nice staff. They are closed Wednesdays (but double check).

Courtyard Marriott Jefferson City in Jefferson City
zume76 from DFW on 03/31/2021 08:54 PM
Brand new hotel. Very nice. They will store your bikes in the linen room on your floor. They also will set you up with a hose to wash the dust off your bike. A little pricey for some, but oh so comfy. The staff could not have been nicer!

One way car rental
Costanza from West Virginia on 02/22/2021 11:53 AM
Has anyone used Enterprise and rented a car one way from St. Charles to Clinton? Suggestions on where to pick up and drop off, please, etc. I prefer this to a shuttle.

MapMedic from KCMO on 03/26/2021 10:25 PM
Amtrak River Runner Route....KC to St Louis. It doesn't go to Clinton, but it stops in Lees Summit. You could bike the Rock Island Trail down to the Katy. Or up. Note: The Rock Island is not 100% complete and requires a nine mile ride on mostly quiet streets and highways. There is a shoulder on the three mile stretch of 150 Highway.

maduniboomer from op on 03/29/2021 05:35 AM
I looked into this its expensive extra fees involved

mapmedic from KCMO on 03/29/2021 03:30 PM
Amtrak from Lee's Summit to Kirkwood is $36 in coach plus $10 for bicycle. Instead of going all the way to Clinton, turn right on the Rock Island Trail at Windsor and ride a similar distance to Pleasant Hill about 10 miles of mostly lightly traveled streets to Lees Summit. Car rental one way to a small town is probably more expensive. Hopefully you are able to break your bike down to fit in the rental. I suggest the various travel sites to research car prices and locations then compare locations in relationship to Katy Trail. You do what's right for you.

Anonymous on 03/30/2021 02:58 PM
I don't know what Enterprise one way rentals are like these days but when I worked there They figured the cost of retrieving the car and returning to it's original location which made it impractically expensive. I think they have since worked on their systems to make it more practical, but you still would probably need to go to a location with a rental office. You could probably find out with a phone call or by trying to arrange a rental on their website. Google says they have an office in Clinton so there is hope. But I'd be shocked if it cost less than Amtrak.

Palace Restaurant in Boonville
zume76 from DFW on 03/28/2021 08:44 PM
My wife and I both had Greek dinner plates and really enjoyed them, especially since my wife is a good Mediterranean cook. Baklava for the dessert was a plus! Good price on bottled beer and house wine. Open Sunday!

Alex from Boonville on 03/30/2021 01:18 PM
The Palace is a great locally owned establishment that has been in town for a long time. Happy to see more satisfied customers!

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?

Rocheport or Booneville
Trigirl262 from Memphis, TN on 03/20/2021 09:42 AM
We love the KT and this forum!

We’re looking to bike another section of the KT this June as we’ve biked 3 years ago from St. Charles to Marthasville in October ( it got a bit hot) and 2 years ago from St. Charles to Jeff City in April ((and it was super windy and snowed)

What’s the weather like in June?

We’re going to Amtrack from St. Louis to Jeff City overnight . Should we bike to Rocheport and stay overnight there ( any recommendations?) or Booneville and stay at Hotel Frederick? Rocheport would be closer but then we’re biking the next day to Sedalia which would be a longer rider. I read not to miss Rocheport and is there a lot to see in Sedalia before we head back on Amtrack the next morning to St. Louis.

We’re trying to split up the rides evenly so we don’t have 50+miles one day - Jeff City to Rocheport to Sedalia and 35+ miles the other day vs. it being more even Jeff City to Booneville and Booneville to Sedalia.

Also - where can I get the KT 237 magnet for my car which I’ve been looking forward to getting soon!

Bill in Houston from Houston on 03/23/2021 04:22 PM
I think you can get the KT237 at the old train station in Boonville or Sedalia.

We stayed at the Bed and Bikefast in Rocheport. It was nice. The food at Merriwether's was good. Then, you will be full strength when you hit the detour or the creek crossing west of Rocheport first thing in the morning.

There was not a lot to see in Sedalia. Stay at the Bothwell. It's the coolest thing in town.

I would expect June to be warm and rainy. But I'm not local.

MapMedic from KCMO on 03/26/2021 10:03 PM
You can buy the sticker on this website. Scroll up.

k on 03/29/2021 06:02 AM
If you’re coming from Memphis (as your name might suggest) in June, the weather in central MO will be similar. You may need to factor rain, storms, and more severe weather into your planning.

Trigirl262 from Memphis,TN on 03/29/2021 08:37 AM
Thanks for the June weather info and hopefully, it will be a bit cooler than Memphis! I just hope it doesn’t rain/storm on the 50 mile day from Rocheport to Jefferson City as it will take a really long time to get to our destination. Open to any tips for biking in the rain. On the past two trips, we’ve biked in light rain, snow and heavy wind but not a downfall.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 03/29/2021 11:02 AM
In light rain when it's not too cool, I like to just wear a fleece jacket and let it get wet. It keeps me warm enough and kind of breathes so you don't get soaked to the skin.

When the rain got heavier, we put on ponchos, and they kept us dry enough to stay comfortable, BUT the flapped and were so loud we couldn't even talk to each other. A waterproof shell sure would have been nicer.

Your feet and lower legs will get soaked and covered with trail grit.

Fenders are really helpful. if you have a rear rack, you can just make a short plastic extension to keep your stuff and your back side dry. If you don't have a front fender and don't want to shell out for one, you can rig a short piece of plastic with some zipties to minimize the amount of water and dirt on your front and in your headtube.

Jim from St Thomas on 03/29/2021 03:00 PM
The best tip I have for riding in the rain is to just put your head down and pedal while repeating your favorite mantra. My favorite mantra is “I hate effn rain, I hate effn rain, I hate effn rain...........”

Gary from Near Tebbetts on 03/29/2021 05:02 PM
Jim, you forgot to mention wearing fashionable garbage bags (come in various sizes of large, medium, and small) and household rubber gloves to help deal with the cold springtime rains.

Bike on Amtrak from Sedalia
tominrm from Naperville,IL on 03/29/2021 05:46 AM
I need to take Amtrak from Sedalia to St. Louis to get back to my car which is parked in St.Charles. Is getting on an Amtrak train at the station with a bike allowed?

k on 03/29/2021 05:58 AM
Yes, but you must purchase access for your bike at the time you purchase your own seat.

tominrm on 03/29/2021 09:55 AM
Thank you, k, for your fast reply.

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