Katy Trail Home  The Katy Trail and Rock Island Trail Rock Island Trail Home

Katy Trail Forum

Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Katy Trail and/or Rock Island Trail.
Display format:
Expanded (see all replies)
Contracted (starting posts and reply counts)
Page: 1 2 3 ... 525
Janet from Grandview on 06/19/2020 01:34 PM
Hi there, I'm new to biking on a trail, haven't rode much at all. I heard about this trail and want to venture out on my own for a few hours to get familiar and in-shape while having some scenery to enjoy.
Pleasant Hill is my starting point. Any thoughts or suggestions for this over 50 newbie?

Vicky from Lenexa,KS on 06/20/2020 06:59 AM
Be prepared to do a lot of pedaling! Be prepared with water, maybe a snack and sunscreen. Always run a risk of a flat. I have had only one in all my bike rides over the last 2 years! Are you going out and back or do you have someone meeting you? Most of my rides are from point A to B and I meet my husband( he prefers to walk while waiting for me to show up). The Rock Island spur is great as all of the Katy trail is. I not only enjoy the scenery, but also enjoy the sound(s) of bike riding. Rarely do I have an earbud in use. Please use bike etiquette, “passing on your left” or a bell to let others know you are getting closer. So glad you are trying this trail, more than anything, ENJOY!!

Anonymous on 06/20/2020 12:58 PM
Agree with Vicky. We’ve had a few flats through the years, so it is very helpfull to know what to do instead of stranding yourself. Pace yourself and enjoy your ride.

Anonymous on 06/20/2020 04:26 PM
Agree with Vicky. We’ve had a few flats through the years, so it is very helpfull to know what to do instead of stranding yourself. Pace yourself and enjoy your ride.

Jharte from Kansas City on 06/21/2020 08:17 AM
Welcome to the trails, Janet! Vicky gave great advice. I've ridden the Rock Island several times. Be prepared to ride on the street a short distance as there is a detour on pavement shortly after leaving the Trailhead. I've never had any trouble with the traffic. They seem to be used to cyclists and give plenty of room.

As Vicky and others mentioned, bring plenty of water. The first water source from the Pleasant Hill Trailhead is 18.5 mi in Medford (newly installed last year!).

Have fun!


Doug from Bluffton on 06/21/2020 01:08 PM
Start with short rides. It's a lot easier to go back out than it is to get back in when you are worn out. Add to your distance as you find out what YOU can ride comfortably and still enjoy the day. That way you end up wanting to ride more. If there is a club near you getting to ride with others and learning from them will help. I started riding over 40 years ago and was reluctant to ride with a club but found most of the other riders to be encouraging and informative.

Janet from Grandview on 06/24/2020 01:21 PM
Thanks to all for your input, sounds like the ride will be a challenge which is exactly what I'm looking for. Kaizen!

40ish Mile Roundtrip
Brad from Louisville, KY on 06/23/2020 08:32 AM
My wife and I are spending a long weekend in St. Louis soon, and would like to do a day ride on the Katy Trail. Probably 30-40 miles roundtrip, starting in St. Charles or one of the trailheads east of St. Charles.

What would be the best/most scenic stretch? I'm looking at St. Charles to Matson, Greens Bottom to Augusta, or Weldon Spring to Marthasville? All of those are roughly 40 miles roundtrip.

We'd prefer not to spend hours in the car before starting the ride, so I'd want to avoid starting much east of Weldon Spring unless its really worth it.


Carl spahn from Kansas City on 06/23/2020 09:19 AM
Of the three you mention I would say start at Weldon Springs and go west. The other two choices you're not " out in the country" for good parts of them or they are not that scenic.
Of course for the most scenic part of the trail you would start in Rocheport and head downstream, but that would be about a 2 hr drive on I-70 to get there.

Carl spahn from Kansas City on 06/23/2020 09:19 AM
Of the three you mention I would say start at Weldon Springs and go west. The other two choices you're not " out in the country" for good parts of them or they are not that scenic.
Of course for the most scenic part of the trail you would start in Rocheport and head downstream, but that would be about a 2 hr drive on I-70 to get there.

Brad from Louisville, KY on 06/23/2020 12:45 PM
Thanks, Carl. Appreciate the guidance.

Dave from Kirkwood on 06/23/2020 02:28 PM
I agree with Carl given your three options. You could also start at the wastewater treatment plant off Research Park Circle from I-64 west of the MO River, where a Busch Greenway trail leads down to the Katy at mile 52. You could also start in Chesterfield and cycle across the MO River on I-64 bridge (with bike lane on west side). These other options let you bike under the nice bluffs in the Weldon Springs area, although they are harder to see now that leaves are out.

k on 06/23/2020 08:39 PM
If you end up with Augusta on your itinerary, I can recommend Kate's Coffee House, Centennial Farms (if they're open by the time you arrive - check their website or FB page), and Augusta Brewing as pleasant places to pause or rest - once you put your hill-climbing legs to work! If you're into wine, plenty more destinations abound there as well. All in all, it's a pretty place for nature views and small-town architecture and history.

Lost & Found
Gary from Near Tebbetts on 10/24/2011 12:23 PM
Found a water bottle in a neoprene cover with clip east of Hartsburg.

Andrew from Olathe KS on 03/02/2020 07:52 PM
On Sunday 3/1/20 I lost a 16” wheel for my sons bike that I pull behind his trailer for when he wants to ride. We were coming from Jefferson and realized it was gone 10 miles from Coopers. There was a red flannel shirt a green camping chair and a part from the trailer that says Santa Cruz on it. Anyone find it please let me know. If you could stash it in the woods with a GPS location that would be great.
Thanks for any help

Anonymous from Kansas City on 05/30/2020 06:06 PM
Hi! I lost my prescription glasses somewhere between Jefferson City and Portland (we’re thinking closer to Mokane) on Saturday, May 30th. They’re Warby Parker brand in a black case. If you find them, we’re driving back in four days and could pick them up. Thanks!

FDowell from Manhattan, KS on 06/05/2020 11:27 PM
We saw some glasses in a black case that someone had pinned to a board at one of the trailheads. I think it was Bluffton just east of Portland. It may have been Rhineland. Probably is too late for you though!

Lynn on 06/08/2020 03:59 PM
Glasses are on the information board at Mokane station

Lynn on 06/08/2020 03:59 PM
Glasses are on the information board at Mokane station

Gary from Near Tebbetts on 06/15/2020 10:29 AM
There is a pair of Warby Parker glasses in a black case on the Tebbetts Trailhead bench.

Jim from St. Thomas on 06/23/2020 03:47 PM
Anonymous, your glasses ended up in the Turner Shelter in Tebbetts. If you will email me your mailing address I’ll send them to you. My email is jcirwin1980@gmail.com

Tree down
Eric Peters from Chesterfield on 06/23/2020 02:35 PM
6/23/2020 1 pm: There is a tree down blocking the trail just west of Pleasant Hill Road

Eric on 06/23/2020 02:41 PM
Correction Pittman Hill Road

Long term parking
R Bruce W Laubach from Williamsburg, VA on 06/12/2020 07:45 AM
I am planning a trip on the Katy and want to know where the best places to park my car while I am on the trail? I plan on doing a round trip of the whole trail, so I expect I will be on the trail for at least two weeks.

Dave from Kirkwood on 06/14/2020 05:33 PM
This topic has come up before (you could try searching for it). In general, you might be able to park at a hotel or B&B if you stay there and ask to park for a longer time. You can also park at Amtrak stations if they have a lot by the station and arrangements are made ahead of time.

I cannot recall the rules of parking at trailheads, but even if allowed, it would be a park at your own risk situation given remote location of most places.

Ron4Cubs from PLANO on 06/15/2020 06:32 AM
I biked the whole way in 2018 and parked at the rec center in Clinton. They allow you to park for free (just go inside and give them your contact info and when you'll be back). I biked to St Louis and then took Amtrak to Sedalia and biked back to Clinton. I would love to do it again!!

Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/23/2020 01:57 PM
Clinton would be my choice for that. At the rec center like someone said. Call them every few days to let them know where you are.

Boonville to McKittrick
Susan from Springfield, MO on 06/15/2020 10:16 AM
This weekend I'm looking to do a century ride from Boonville to McKittrick. I'm looking on Katy Trail website for trail conditions, but would appreciate any detour route information, seeing I'm not familiar with the area (county road, highway conditions, etc). If you have a ridewithgps route with these detours built in that would be very helpful. Thanks!

Chris from Prairie Village on 06/15/2020 10:36 AM
My kids and I did the trail from North Jefferson City to Machens this last weekend. Others will tell you about the major detour between Booneville and Rocheport. Our trail conditions were very good except for a rock slide before Portland. There are signs marking the trail being closed and the detour is supposed to be on Hwy 94. Although there is not much traffic, what there was is pretty fast. We had to climb two very significant hills (about 1.5 miles) with blind spots after passing Logan's creek. There does seem to be a road that cuts in on the map right after the creek, it is marked Private Property so we didn't take a chance (might want to check this out). After that, we cut into Portland and everything else went smoothly. Sounds like a great time, have fun!

Dean from Jonesboro, AR on 06/15/2020 02:54 PM
Just finished a North Jefferson to Weldon Spring ride this last week. For the rock slide west of Portland, you do not have to take 94 all the way into Portland (we did, and later discovered we missed a shorter route). If going west to east, shortly after you cross Logan creek on 94, turn left on county road 476 (this is only about 500 feet after you cross the creek), then immediately turn left to go down the road to the trail. With this detour you should only be on 94 for about .8 of a mile.

Chris from Prairie Village on 06/17/2020 01:32 PM
Yes, looking back at a map previously posted that would have been a great "shortcut" for us. It was very stressful doing the 2 hills at dusk and pulling a 75 lb trailer. Highly recommend Dean's suggestion if you can find the road by Logan's creek.

BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 06/17/2020 06:49 PM
Susan, if you want to do a century, you might consider starting at Rocheport and going to Marthasville (100.5 miles). If you start in Boonville, you will have to deal with that major detour just 10 miles in.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/23/2020 01:12 PM
Susan, did you get to go ride?

Best Restaurants, breweries, and wineries
TomBe from Boro on 06/22/2020 02:36 PM
We will be riding the entire trail this July. Recommendations for best eats and drinks along the trail would be appreciated. I stop for good fun! LOL

Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/23/2020 01:08 PM
Stop at the Mokane and Treloar bars. Great little places, friendly people.

Central Dairy in Jeff City.

Wagon Wheel in Windsor.

Camping along the trail
Brittany from Chattanooga, TN on 06/22/2020 02:45 PM
My friend and I will be biking the entire trail in mid-July. We are planning on taking our time to really enjoy what towns have to offer. We will do an eastbound seven day trip and we are going to camp most nights.
Recommendations of your favorite place to stop for camp each night.

TomE from GODFREY on 06/22/2020 06:31 PM
Fair Grounds in Sedalia, Turner Shelter in Tebbets, Klondike State Park near Augusta are three of my favorites. ALL have good facilities, if open.

Anonymous on 06/22/2020 10:12 PM
Steamboat Junction in Bluffton and the Katy Roundhouse in New Franklin at both right on the trail and are welcomed stops.

MARY from TAMPA on 06/22/2020 10:40 AM

Two of us hoping to ride the trail Jefferson to St Charles. Just wondering how the trail is overall? I've seen pictures regarding flooding and hear about the rock slide. I see with regards to the rock slide the short time on 94 is doable, or should we consider starting the east side of the rockslide? Also, how far apart are these cities if you do have issues? Finally, can someone recommend some places to stay mid point between the two cities?

Really want to do the ride (mid July - will start out the crack of dawn). We are flying into STL the morning and thinking of renting our bikes and staying the first night in Jefferson or east of the rockslide.

All suggestion and comments welcomed. Thanks!

carl spahn from Kansas City on 06/22/2020 11:16 AM
Just finished riding the whole trail yesterday with my daughter. From Jeff city to St Charles the trail is fine with the one detour one mentioned just west of Portland, because of a big rock slide. It's no big deal at all and it's sort. Probably only cost us a few minutes. According to the locals it's been there for over a year. I don't know why they can't get it cleared.
As far as where to stay, we camped so I can't help you there.

Anonymous on 06/22/2020 01:38 PM
Hermann is worth the trip with many nice lodging options.

Augusta Brewing Co. in Augusta
David Wisbey from St. Louis on 06/20/2020 11:44 PM
This was a great stop on the Katy Trail. The beer was great and so was the food. You can park your bike by the trial and walk up the hill to the restaurant. All the tables are outside so you can practice social distancing. Great time and great food! I will be back for certain. The burgers were extremely delicious, you can upgrade the chips and get a potato salad. Very delicious.

Katy Junction B&B in Pilot Grove
Marybeth from Kirkwood on 06/16/2020 03:58 PM
We just completed our annual ride on the KATY, usually 3-4 nights. Stayed with Jerry again, always a pleasure. Good food, good information, good conversation, great accomodations. We always try to stay with Jerry, just depends on our mileage, and which direction we are heading. Thanks Jerry, hope to see ya soon.

Jerry from Pilot Grove Katy Junction on 06/17/2020 04:08 PM
Marybeth Its always nice to get to see you each time, and that I can make your stay just like being home and enjoying the evening. Been told that Deon's will reopen on the 29th. Hope that that even ones has a safe trip on the trails this summer.

Deon's Bar & Grill in Pilot Grove
Marybeth from Kirkwood on 06/16/2020 04:01 PM
Stayed in PIlot Grove with Jerry last week. We take an annual, and sometimes biannual, trip across Missouri. We LOVE Deon's, good food, clean place, pleasant, fun people, cheap drinks, confortable. This year, sadly, due to COVID-19, Deon's was closed. we were immensely dissapointed, and simply angry- generally at the state of the country. Please reopen.

Tree down West of Case
JLL from Columbia on 06/15/2020 03:36 PM
Just a heads up for those of you traveling between Case and McKitrick. A tree was blocking the trail on Saturday. DNR may have blocked it off by now.

Community Club Park in Marthasville
Dean from Jonesboro, AR on 06/15/2020 03:26 PM
Stayed here June 11th for one night. If you have difficulty reaching anyone at the number given, try (636)221-4062.

Camping at Community Club Park in Marthasville
Dean from Jonesboro, Ar on 06/08/2020 01:14 PM
Does anyone know if camping is available at Community Club Park? I have tried to call the two numbers listed, but cannot get an answer.

Glenn A Rowley from Dardenne Prairie on 06/14/2020 11:40 PM
I passed through Marthasville on June 11. At that time there was one cyclist camped in the campground next to the trailhead.

Dean from Jonesboro, AR on 06/15/2020 02:59 PM
Camping is available. Call (636)221-4062 to reserve.

Katy Bike Rental in Defiance
Bob from southern MO on 06/15/2020 09:01 AM
I called ahead of time to rent bikes for people in party that did want to bring bikes. Response was, “we don’t reserve bikes, it’s first come first serve.”
Arrive the day and no bikes, the reason was “We reserved all available bikes for a wedding party.”
That was different from told over the phone.
Business then says “also rent bikes for a groups of ten or more.“
Parent of one of the parties calls 30 minutes later and was told, “will reserve bikes for groups of 7 or over.”
Parent calls and said person had heavy accent. I ask the business, no one with a heavy accent, they do have a teenager that Mumbles on the phone.

Katy Bike Rental in Defiance
Patti from Lankin ND on 06/14/2020 11:30 AM
Do you have any bikes for special needs? The bike I use at home is a trailer bike with 2 tires on the back, so more like a 3 wheel bike. I would have a bike to use there at my dad's, but would need a trailer so my daughter could ride with us.

Jim from St. Thomas on 06/14/2020 12:56 PM
You probably should contact them directly. They may monitor this forum but I doubt it.

Jim from St. Thomas on 06/15/2020 01:16 AM
You probably should contact them directly. They may monitor this forum but I doubt it.

Trail Conditions
TomBe from Boro on 06/10/2020 04:58 PM
I am planning on riding from Clinton to St Charles this July. I've reviewed the forum and it appears that there is only one major closure on the trail. The Salt Creek Bridge which requires a detour.

Is the rest of the trail open and passable, ex for limited areas you have to be careful riding thru?


Dave from Kirkwood on 06/14/2020 01:04 PM
Here is the park website with trail conditions:

In general, aside from that tough detour west of Rocheport and few areas with somewhat rough conditions, the trail is looking good. I rode a variety of sections on the eastern half this spring, and it was delightful as usual, with limited effects of last year's flooding.

Glenn A Rowley from Dardenne Prairie on 06/14/2020 11:35 PM
The trail is closed just a mile or so west of Portland, MO. I used Hwy 94 as a detour. It added 3 miles of highway riding on a steep hilly road with narrow shoulders and blind curves. I later saw that if I had used some dirt roads, I could have shortened my detour substantially. Coming from the west, I saw no warning of the closure on the trail until I actually came to the closure. So, beware.

Joey's Bird House B&B in McKittrick
Chad from Kansas City on 06/14/2020 08:10 PM
Stayed at Joey's Bird House 6/19/2020 so we could have a fresh start doing an out and back on the Katy. Room was clean and as we sat in the rocking chairs outside our room after a long travel day, Joey made us feel right at home having a conversation from her porch right next door. Bird feeders brought in the hummingbirds which are fascinating birds and her puppy gave us some love. She had made our breakfast and everything was in the room fridge ready for us to heat up the next morning. Traveling and recreation during this virus ordeal has been challenging, but Joey's Bird House took a lot of stress out of picture.

Page: 1 2 3 ... 525

NETT Trail

Please support our advertisers -
they help make this website possible

Katy Trail merchandise