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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Katy Trail and/or Rock Island Trail.
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What Are Your Favorite Parts of the Katy Trail?
Ned on 07/17/2020 05:04 PM
We are looking forward to our first time on the KT, and we will becoming by car from the west. We wonder what is a good section of the Trail to try. We can of course start in Clinton, but is there a better place to start that will result in a more enjoyable two day ride? Thank you.

Jim from St. Thomas on 07/17/2020 06:41 PM
Assuming you’re going to do an out and back I would vote for the Section between Rocheport and either Hartsburg or Jefferson City for first time riders. Rocheport to Hartsburg is about 25 miles. Rocheport to Jefferson City is around 35 miles. Lots of tree cover and river views on that section.

Jeff M from Chesterfield on 07/18/2020 09:16 AM
I agree with Jim, but be aware of limited spots for water etc. There is Coopers Landing about half way, which saved me a few weeks back and a cafe at Rocheport trailhead, but I was just through there and nothing at Hartsburg or Jefferson City trailheads. I could have missed it, but no services besides restrooms at Hartsburg or Jefferson City trailheads.

Ned on 07/19/2020 05:22 PM
Thank you, Jim and Jeff. We will take your advice. Also, is there a service available the get a ride back your car, or are round trips the only way to go? Just thinking about what options may be available. Thanks again. Ned

Dave from Kirkwood on 07/19/2020 05:43 PM
There are some shuttle services in different towns along the Katy: See the planner page on this site and click on shuttles: https://bikekatytrail.com/planner.aspx

Amtrak is another option if boarding at St. Louis or Kirkwood stations (or Washington or Hermann), heading west on train with bike, and then riding back to the station where you parked. There is a limit on bikes per train (4?), so make sure you book your spots ahead of time.

St. Charles to Machens
Larry R from St. Louis on 07/08/2020 03:45 PM
I rode St. Charles to Machens today for first time this year. I love that section of the trail. Wasn't sure if all the flooding had subsided but found the trail in great shape except for a huge washout immediately before getting to the end at Machens. Looked like a few had bushwhacked around it but I didn't try since I was almost at Machens anyway. Plus the temp was pushing 90! What a great resource the Katy Trail is.

brad wilson from st louis on 07/09/2020 01:28 PM
I rode that section for the 1st time a few weeks ago.

I was expecting empty fields with no protection from the sun.

Instead it was a nice mix of fields and trees. And it wasn't all flat and straight! There was actually more variation in terrain than you encounter in most of the Katy.

When I encountered that washed out area near the end I just walked my bike around it.

Overall I was happy to have made the trip, even on a hot day.

Rick Hetzel from Cape Girardeau on 07/18/2020 02:03 PM
We rode the trail yesterday. Very nice combination of shade and open sun. Near Machens the bridge is washed out, but it is very easy to walk or ride around it in the softer sand. Saw a new fawn along the corn fields. Great ride.

Clinton Trailhead
hc on 07/15/2020 03:25 PM
Are there any good ways to get my bike and myself from the Kansas City area to Clinton, MO to ride the entire trail? I can easily get from the amtrak station to my house on the return trip via bike, but I am not sure how to start the trip.

Alternatively, I could drive to Clinton and park there if anyone has suggestions for parking in Clinton and getting back to the trail head (preferably not by biking the entire trail in the reverse).

Thanks in advance!

Bryan from Austin,TX on 07/15/2020 04:35 PM
We parked at the train station in Lee's Summit and pedaled to the trail head in Pleasant Hill. From there we rode to intersect the KT in Windor and followed the trail to St Charles. We rode the train back to Lee's Summit.

Wingate Trailhead in Pleasant Hill
Anonymous from Greenwood on 07/13/2020 08:28 AM
Just rode the trail from Pleasant Hill to the Wingate Trailhead and back last night. Two dogs who apparently live at the junkyard next to the trailhead tried to bite me. Is this a common occurrence at this location? Otherwise, the ride was great.

maduniboomer from op on 07/14/2020 12:54 PM
thanks for the info time for some mace to the face!

Bluffton Barn
Anonymous from Shawnee, KS on 07/11/2020 07:10 AM
Just NO! Don't stay here if sanitary is important to you. We walked in and saw crumbs all over the table and counters. Should have turned around then, not because of a few crumbs, but because they were a sign of things not yet seen. The place was filthy. The pillows smelled like other people's grossness and made it difficult to sleep. Toilet had not been cleaned in quite some time, shower dirty, floors dirty, refrigerator dirty, even a dirty sock from a previous tenant found. Doug, you are a nice guy and your dogs are sweet, but clean your place after each visitor, wash the pillows and dry them with some dryer sheets in the dryer to kill all the bacteria.

Gary from Near Tebbetts on 07/11/2020 01:34 PM
I once considered opening up our extra bedrooms to Katy Trail travelers after the kids moved out but then there are those that would rather post bad comments here than resolve issues directly with the owners. Who needs the hassles?

Doug from Bluffton on 07/11/2020 02:25 PM
Yeah Gary it would have been nice if they had said something to me other than Just "Thanks for having us." It also would have helped if they had given more than just a few hours notice that they needed a room. They called at 2:00 PM asking if I had room available and then at 6:00 to tell me they were on the way. With the covid I try to stay out of the rooms if no one is coming. I had to stop the work I was doing on the house to do laundry wash dishes etc. The dishes DID get left in the sink but the sheets pillow cases towels HAD just come out of drier. They must not have liked the drier sheets I use. I got done what I could in the short time I had. From now on no last minute bookings. The people either don't show up or expect that you will drop everything you are doing to prepare for them. I am on hard well water and it stains sinks toilets showers and is difficult to remove without more time. By the time I put tools away from other work, A couple hours is not enough to be thorough.

Bruce Laubach from Williamsburg on 07/11/2020 02:56 PM
How far in advance do you prefer?

Doug from Bluffton on 07/11/2020 03:11 PM
A week or better gives me time to plan trips to market, other guests, gardening, mowing, work on the property and all the things that need to be done.

Dave from Paola from Paola, Ks on 07/11/2020 05:51 PM
Having stayed at Doug's several times, we've never had any problems or reason for complaint. Everything was always clean and fresh, and the food and host were excellent! We did have reservations as Doug's place is not a last minute motel. Would not hesitate to stay again!

Jim from St. Thomas on 07/12/2020 02:44 PM
We shouldn’t feel sorry for Doug. Everyone knows that he and his corporate conglomerate are getting mega-wealthy off the Katy Trail riders.

Cinco de Mayo in Windsor
Doug from Merriam, Kansas on 07/11/2020 07:16 PM
Had a great Saturday evening meal at Cinco de Mayo after about 50 miles on the trail. It was only a few blocks east of the trailhead. The food was good, and the service was great. I pounded down quite a bit of water, and the pleasant staff kept the glass and the chip bowl full! I would definitely stop here again.

Maxine's Rooms for Rent in Sedalia
Andrew from Fort Leonard Wood, MO on 07/04/2020 08:32 PM
Maxine and Pete were amazing hosts! Their house is right on the KT detour through Sedalia, extremely convenient. They have multiple rooms and are very quick to respond, they’re definitely the best way to go for a last minute place to stay. Their hospitality was out of this world-they insisted on driving me into town to get food and had a continental breakfast waiting for me when I woke up. They are very warm and make you feel comfortable as soon as you arrive. Will definitely come back here if I come through Sedalia again.

Dfarrar from Owensville on 07/09/2020 02:54 PM
I had dropped off a couple on the Katy and there was a lady that asked me if I was apart of a group that housed tourist riders. She said it was a group of people along the way that were basically safe houses. Is there where you found out about Maxine's Room? Cannot find the information about this group anywhere.

Brian L. from Austin on 07/10/2020 04:45 AM
Not sure about “safe houses” (sounds like something from a spy novel), but they may have been referring to warmshowers dot org.

KT closures/detours
TJ on 07/08/2020 07:30 AM
Planning a Labor Day 2020 ride end to end. Is there an "official" trail closure website? I am not familiar with the area nor the trail and was curious is there is a place to can go to get up to the day/hour closures as I plan.

Ray (webmaster) on 07/08/2020 08:56 AM
Here is MO State Parks' Trail Conditions web page. Check this page and the links from it:

You should also return here to the Katy Trail Forum ("KT Forum" link near the top of of every page in this website) because people often report trail issues here, before the problems have had a chance to get onto the State Parks web page.

Finally, here is a page where people can post current trail conditions:

Enjoy your Katy Trail adventure!

Katy Bike Rental
Linda from Pocahontas, Il. on 07/07/2020 04:19 PM
Do you sell ladies electric bikes?

Meriwether Cafe and Bikes from Rocheport, Missouri on 07/07/2020 05:11 PM
Hi Linda.
We do not sell bikes. However we love Tryathletics, CycleX, and Walt’s in Columbia
Cee Jaye Pecorak

Cee Jaye Pecorak, Owner
Meriwether Café & Bike Shop
700 First Street
Rocheport, MO 65279

Holzhauser's Bar & Grill in Portland
Gman from Erie PA on 05/13/2019 09:19 AM
We stopped here last week after a long day on the trail and not a lot of places to stop. Only had 5 more miles to Doug's ( Bluffton Barn ) so we had a great Bloody Mary to finish the day. Good place to get a bite and nice people!

Marla Calico from Fair Grove on 07/06/2020 05:46 PM
I stopped here on Friday, July 3 (only think open between Jeff City and Hermann). It is typical country bar; great for a beer and sandwich. HOWEVER....it is a smoking bar, so be prepared for cigarette smoke. They didn't have an option for outdoor seating.

Trail closure
Jeff from Benton Ky on 05/29/2020 08:38 AM
Does anyone know if the trail is still closed between mile 117 and 118? Or a way to detour. Planning a trip from Rocheport to Hermann June 6. Thanks!

Trail Rider Tommy on 06/04/2020 01:01 AM
It is still blocked and you will have to go over the bridge and on the hwy. Be careful, cars will be flying by at 60 to 65 mules per hour. You will go about 1.5 miles and the road to return to the trail will be on your right.

Jim from St. Thomas on 06/04/2020 07:02 AM
Tommy, I think you’re talking about the detour west of Rocheport. Jeff is asking about the detour around the rockslide west of Portland. Jeff, I think this the route we took. Just west of the rockslide you get on Schmid Way and take it to 94. After a little under a mile on 94 you’ll cross the bridge over Logan Creek. Just past the bridge you’ll turn left on 476 to loop back down to the trail. If you look at google maps it’s easy to see the route. That section of 94 isn’t all that busy and you’re not on it very long.

FDowell from Manhattan, KS on 06/05/2020 11:07 PM
We did that route this week and the detour is very not bad at all. Just be sure to get on or off the trail at the east end of the bridge and to not attempt to ride up 94 into town as there are many very steep hills.

Glenn A Rowley from Dardenne Prairie on 06/14/2020 11:42 PM
As of June 11th when I rode the trail, the trail was still closed. Coming from the West, I saw no warning signs of the closure until I got to the closure. So plan your detour ahead of time to avoid backtracking.

Marla Calico from Fair Grove on 07/06/2020 05:44 PM
Just did this section July 3 (from West) with return July 4. From west, there is notice posted at Portland TH and a couple of times on mm posts. If you're tracking the mile markers, look for two driveways after MM116. Take the second driveway (it is about 100 yards before closure) out onto gravel country road. It exits onto Hwy 94. Traffic is fast, but lanes are wide. It is about 3/4 mile from there to the entry onto the trail, across the bridge and to your left. From the east, when you cross under the Hwy 94 bridge (clearly marked), immediately exit trail (to your right up gravel road) and then take Hwy 94 to the west. You'll turn on to the county road (marked dead end) to the first driveway, and there you are on the trail! Very easy to do.

Yates House B&B in Rocheport
Bradley Scroggs from Jefferson City on 07/06/2020 03:37 PM
Permanently closed.

Meriwether Cafe and Bike Shop in Rocheport
Bradley Scroggs from Jefferson City on 07/06/2020 03:35 PM
Hooray! Hooray! Merriwether Cafe and Bike Rental is back in business!

Turner Katy Trail Shelter Hostel in Tebbetts
Naresh K Gurung from Saint Paul, MN on 07/06/2020 01:43 PM
I stayed there for one night in July 2020. Perfect place for a short stop over, shower and quick dinner fix. One additional thing to note is that there is no cell reception for Tmobile and Verizon here.

Update on detour between Rocheport and New Franklin
BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 06/08/2020 03:28 PM
Today I talked to MO State Parks regional coordinator. She said that the old Salt Creek bridge is irreparable, and there are no immediate plans to start replacement (and it is going to be expensive). The State budget starts on July 1st, and she did not know if funds had been allocated for replacement. If budget is not approved, then there is little to no chance of the bridge being replaced in the next year. MO State Parks wants the trail re-opened as quickly as possible.

This weekend I drove the "official" detour and another mostly gravel road detour that was suggested in the forum. I would definitely advise against the mostly gravel detour. These are poorly maintained country roads. They were muddy, hilly and with limited view. The unofficial detour adds about 4.5 miles and to me is no safer than riding Hwy 40.

The official detour has you riding on Hwy 40 for about 5.5 miles. Given the traffic, speed and hills, it's better to limit the amount of time on Hwy 40. I suggest the following route, which minimizes the time on 40:

If going East, continue on the Katy past the orange netting barricade at Pearson (where Katy intersects CR 467, next to the "Peppermill" silo). Ride exactly 3 miles and that will put you under the Hwy 40 bridge and at the site of the Salt Creek washout. The new levee will be in your way. Walk your bike up it and turn right onto the levee. Walk down the other side and onto the gravel service road. Then turn right onto the shoulder of Hwy 40 and go up the bridge. Ride exactly 1.5 miles until you get to CR 440. Turn right. This road is still a little rough, but you will only be on it for 1.45 miles. Then turn right onto US 240, which does not have a lot of traffic. Ride 240 down to the Katy, about 2/3 mile.

The reason I like this route better is that it keeps you off of Hwy 40 more (only 1.5 miles versus 5.5).

When riding Hwy 40, I would strongly suggest that the rider with the brightest colored shirt should be the last in line, or that you have a flashing taillight. There is a shoulder, but it has rumble strips, so that makes it almost useless. You may consider walking your bikes up the Hwy 40 bridge or even the whole way, so you could bail if some driver is not paying attention. The walk on 40 should take about 30 minutes, whereas riding would be less than 10 minutes.

Jharte from Kansas City on 06/08/2020 06:04 PM
BikerBoy from Maryville, thank you for the update. I have ridden that detour to get to Rocheport. When I rode it, traffic was heavy and fast moving. I'm a seasoned tourer/bikepacker and agree with you, a better plan needs to be in place instead of attempting this.
Some folks have said during the day or Sunday afternoon is better. Maybe true. Even the local folks advise against riding the Hwy detour.
Thank you also for the 'alternate' route/plan. I copied it and will take it with me on my next trip to Rocheport.

Safe travels, my friend.


Shawn from KC on 06/09/2020 08:52 PM
That detour is horrible, someone in Rocheport with a truck should advertise shuttle, or MO State Parks work on a better detour. Also the last bit of trail before the detour was 5 inch deep mud and then gravel. If you ride though the mud, and gravel, it end up so think you might break componants.

Jenny from OKC on 06/09/2020 09:46 PM
BikerBoy thank you for your help. We are heading west and aren't from around here. Can you help us understand your directions backwards?
Today we rode from Herman to Jefferson and it was difficult slow riding. Headwinds and soft sandy trail. After 3 flats and averaging less than 9mph,we got off the trail and opted for Highway 94. We have a lot of experience and the traffic wasn't bad. The shoulder is small and the rumble strip takes up most of it, but overall drivers are respectful and allow a wide berth. (we were honked at 3 times. Ugh. Scares me every time)

BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 06/10/2020 08:11 AM
No problem, Jenny.

Heading West from the Rocheport trailhead:
(If this is your first time in Rocheport, be sure to ride the extra 1/2 mile west to see the tunnel.) Ride west from the trailhead to Central Street (aka Hwy 240). Turn right onto Central and go 2/3 mile up (past Abigal's; across the Moniteau Creek bridge, etc.).
Turn left onto County Road 440 (note that if there has been rain, you may need to skip 440 and continue on to Hwy 40). Ride on CR440 for 1.5 miles to Hwy 40. Turn left onto Hwy 40 and ride 1.45 miles until you get to the bottom of the bridge and hill. Cross Hwy 40 to the left (to the south side) and onto the gravel road. Left on the gravel road and then walk your bikes up the levee. Go under the bridge and then left down the levee and onto the trail. This direction is a little easier because you are mostly riding down the bluff on Hwy 40.

Safe riding!

BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 06/29/2020 08:57 AM
The MO state rep for the area is Chuck Basye. I got in touch with his office and one of his assistants contacted various agencies. Here is what he got back from MO DNR:

"This bridge and portion of the trail is a project we have identified and is a part of our Capital Improvement(CI) budget plans. We are also looking at potential FEMA reimbursement to assist with costs. The project is still in the early phases of evaluation and design."

So, still no definite timeline on replacement of the Salt Creek bridge. The assistant also checked into the replacement of the Hwy bridge over that same site. MODOT said it is currently scheduled to start replacement at the end of 2021. I am sure that replacement will require the trail to be closed for months (hopefully during the winter). And of course, there will likely be no detour on Hwy 40 at that time.

Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/29/2020 02:41 PM
Thanks for the update, BikerBoy.

Triker Troy from Monroe City Mo on 06/30/2020 01:32 AM
Going west to east..My way would be to cross the little walkway bridge (at the baracade) that leads to the Davisdale parking lot. Cross straight across Hwy 40 to gravel road and go left.. The road will fork. Stay on gravel to the right ( Missouri Conservation Road) and walk up the levee.. Cross the little creek (usually only ankle deep).. Once you cross the creek you will see the trail to your left.. Easy Peasy.

otto44 from Waterville, NY on 06/30/2020 02:18 PM
Thank you all for the helpful alternatives. Plan to do an end to end ride in a few weeks and knowing the safer ways is helpful. Please keep posting updates, those of you able to ride the Katy on a regular basis.

Happy Biker from Dunnellon, Florida on 07/04/2020 08:32 PM
Triker Troy, I'll be biking east to west later in the summer, can you give your directions in reverse?

Triker Troy from Monroe City Mo on 07/05/2020 11:02 AM
Happy Biker,, going East to West..
Once you pass thru the Rocheport tunnel you will ride approx. 2.5 miles then you will come to the barricade.. You will see the washed out trail bridge. If you look to the left there is a gate (gate was on ground last time i was there).go thru gate and cross the creek and go up the levee and down on other side. Ride up the gravel and cross straight across Hwy 40 into Davisdale parking area. On the far side of the parking lot is a little pedestrian bridge that will take you to the trail and you will turn left onto the trail that leads to New Franklin.

Tom from Tucson on 07/05/2020 11:43 AM
Just gotta ask, if this route is so easy and obvious, why is this the first time anybody has mentioned it?Are there any trespass concerns? Also, how difficult is walking through the creek during low water? What is the condition of the trail from Salt Creek to the tunnel? Thanks for the information. We don’t want to do the suggested bypass on 40 if possible. Last year we shuttled around.

Rocheport Tunnel in Rocheport
Trek-rider from St. Charles on 06/29/2020 12:13 PM
Is the beautiful Rocheport tunnel what now has this detour I've been reading about?

Anonymous on 06/29/2020 12:27 PM
Is the tunnel what now has this detour?


Bill in Houston from Houston on 06/29/2020 02:38 PM
There is a detour, and on the detour you would not ride through the beautiful tunnel. But, most people would backtrack just a little to ride through it.

Triker Troy from Monroe City Mo on 06/30/2020 01:58 AM
Going west to east..My way would be to cross the little walkway bridge (at the baracade) that leads to the Davisdale parking lot. Cross straight across Hwy 40 to gravel road and go left.. The road will fork. Stay on gravel to the right ( Missouri Conservation Road) and walk up the levee.. Cross the little creek (usually only ankle deep).. Once you cross the creek you will see the trail to your left.. Easy Peasy.

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