Trail Condition -
Brian L. from Wichita on 01/19/2006 11:06 AM
I'm a newbie that's considering a long KATY ride in the spring, and since I've never visited, I'm wondering if some of you can share some more details about the composition & condition of the trail. From reading these forums, I've gotten the following impressions. Are they true or false?
- The trail is very dusty and you & your bike will be, too.
- The trail has a couple of major ruts (one for each direction) and getting in & out of them is a challenge for your balance.
- The trail is pretty hard-packed, but soft enough to slow you down a lot (compared to a paved trail or road).
- The trail is not very crowded, even at peak seasons.
Can anyone comment on any or all of these assumptions? THANKS!
The Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 01/19/2006 12:03 PM
Very dusty - no, some dust yes, but no more than any non-paved surface unless its a plainly dirt trail. Pug (crushed limestone) is the surface on the KATY and when dry is hard as concrete. If its wet (not just moist) it will get slow going and will "mung" up your shoes and bicycle drivetrain but again its got to be wet, or soaked. While there are ruts on the trail there aren't a huge proliferate amount of them, be wary after heavy rains as there will be wash-outs and ruts normally will be found only on the sides of the KATY. Minor exceptions do exist, but then again its not paved. Again, when the trail is bone dry, the surface is hard as concrete. Density of use depends mostly on ones proximity to population centers with easy access to the KATY. Starting about 40 miles out from St. Louis/St. Charles and on week-ends, it may well be crowded but it won't be like a mass start at the Tour de Tucson, or Ride for the Roses...you will be able to navigate easy enough. Other populations centers where you may encounter "crowded" conditions: Columbia and 30 miles on either side of its access to the KATY, Sedalia (kinda), Boonville. If its Wichita Kansas you're from (is there any other Wichita?), then you know that in the summer it can be oppresively hot and humid. Autumn on the KATY will be a bit more crowded as its cooler, and of course colorful. Hope this helps...Regards....Mark of the Dalton boys
frank from festus on 01/20/2006 09:50 PM
brian, i rode the KATY 3 yrs ago the day after a regular toad strangler of a rain storm. not one problem, and that includes no dust obviously. experienced a few soft spots east of hartsburg bout 3-4 miles last yr when i rode, but other wisegreat biking. never have i experienced the ruts that you described. i have experienced a little dust, but nothin major. as far as crowding, there are a few more people out of the st charles area, but nothin drastic. it is certainly not neck to neck. the trail is hard packed, like concrete, however there are a few soft spots, but nothin that can't be pedaled through. happy bikin. frank
Rose from New Haven on 01/21/2006 05:32 PM
I rode the trail by myself for three days a few years ago. I took the train from Hermann to Sedalia and rode to Pilot Grove the first day and to Hartsburg the second day. If you want to take your bike on Amtrak call ahead to make sure they have space for the bike. It will be a slight grade down if you travel that direction. No problems. I never noticed the dust and the ruts. Sounds like an avid trail rider wants to keep the trail to themselves. Ha! No crowds during the week but like everywhere weekends have more traffic. Carry a tent, raincoat, cold camp and have a great trip. If you list your email I can give more details if needed.
Brian L. from Wichita on 01/23/2006 10:29 PM
Thanks for the great detailed comments, y'all. It's great to be able to draw on your experiences. I'm hoping to ride from Sedalia to Dutzow in April or May, but personal circumstances may push it to Sep or Oct. The enthusiam of folks like y'all make me more excited about going! BTW, what's a "cold camp"?
Anonymous from New Haven on 01/23/2006 10:46 PM
Cold Camp--you simply eat cold food and you don't carry a stove. A little cooler strapped on the back with a few frozen sandwiches, fruit and peanut butter and jelly and you're set to go. It's the budget way to travel for those who want to sleep under the stars and avoid the amenities and expense of B&B and restaurants.
Yesterday the trail around the Dutzow area was hard packed and pleasant riding. It may tend to get a little soggy after freezing and thawing, depending on the remainder of the winter but should be in good shape in April/May.
Katy Trail ride in June -
Derek Turvey from Kelowna B.C. on 01/22/2006 11:30 PM
I plan on doing the Katy Trail Ride in June and wonder about the transportation of bicycle and gear upon completion of the ride BACK to the east where it started.I will be by myself and also wonder about accommodation all along the entire length of the trail during the ride.
Ray (webmaster) on 01/23/2006 02:18 PM
I assume you're talking about the big organized ride in June, sponsored by the MO Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Transportation of bikes and gear is provided by the DNR, and included in the price of the ride (at least it always has been in the past). Probably within the next few weeks, the DNR will release more details about the ride, including information on overnight accommodations. Whenever I hear any details, I'll post them on the BikeKatyTrail.com home page.
Solo oddy-knocky -
Travis Bickle from St. Louis, MO on 01/21/2006 06:46 PM
I want to take the Katy from Clinton to St. Charles this season ('06). I'll probably be doing
it solo. In the interest of keeping the weight down at this point I don't plan on taking
anything other than a hammock, a poncho, a coffee thermos and a fleece blanket for
camping. I plan on getting my food along the trail.
Any suggestions on camping (ie: actual camping, not B&B) along the way? With the
hammock, I'll need some trees. I'd like to do the trip in less than 70 mile stages, maybe
over 4 or 5 days.
How are the indigenous populations along the way? I'm wary about small town people. Is
personal safety a major consideration?
savage24 from KC,MO on 01/22/2006 12:23 AM
Don't forget the insect repelant!
Some suggestions for camping:
Pilot Grove. City park has trees - call ahead and get permission.
New Franklin. Katy Round House campground - hot showers!
Hartsburg. Volunteer Park. Check with the bike shop or Globe hotel.
Tebbetts. Turner Katy Trail Shelter hostel. Call ahead for info.
Marthasville. Community park - call ahead.
Wary of small town people? Why? Do you look like an ax murderer?Being a former small town person, I can't decide if I should laugh at this or be offended. I have been told to "get back on the trail" as I rode on a public street in Treloar, but I've also been called a "fag" by a pre-teen girl in my own suburban nieghborhood (presumably because I was wearing spandex?). Ignorant people are everywhere. Ignore them and practice the golden rule with everyone else.
Ray (webmaster) on 01/22/2006 05:44 AM
Good recommendations from savage24. Here's a full list of all campgrounds along the way
The vast majority of the "locals" along the trail are more friendly
than what you usually encounter in urban areas. As long as you stay off of the private property along the way, you'll most likely experience nothing but friendliness and overwhelming hospitality.
Personal safety: you're far safer on the trail than on the streets of your hometown St Louis, where there always seems to be some guy in an SUV trying to assert his dominance over us lowly bike riders (OK, maybe it's not that
bad, but I ride often in suburban St Louis, and there's a reason why I prefer the trail).
The Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 01/22/2006 06:14 AM
I don't know Ray, I think it just may be that bad....even here in Austin, TX. Car-free since 2000......Mark of the Dalton boys
drheidi11 from Crystal City, MO on 01/21/2006 09:13 PM
I'm training for a marathon, and have discovered the trail is great place for my long runs! I was hoping for some help on mileage, though; I recently parked at the Page extension lot, and ran east until I ran out of gravel. I don't believe that the mileage stated for this segment includes the stretch of trail past Frontier Park. Any one ever mapped it? Thanks!
The Page Avenue Bike Path is Closed -
Nails on 01/20/2006 12:48 PM
So, why is only the bike [sic] trail closed and all lanes of traffic?
The bike path will be open on the weekends. The work is under way right now and the path is closed. MoDOT felt that it would be best to do this work during the winter when temperatures are typically colder and fewer riders were utilizing the path. Barricades and signs have been posted on the bike path notifying riders that it is closed. This work is not associated with any problems with the bridge. The bridge was supposed to be designed with certain features to accommodate future maintenance on the bridge bearings. MoDOT is correcting the issue now so that it will not have to be addressed in 25-30 years.
For more information, please contact MoDOT's Customer Service Center at 314-340-4100.
Tommy from Lawrence, KS on 02/22/2005 03:30 PM
The listed parks in Hartsburg had signs unfriendly to campers. We camped anyway. The Hitchin' Post is fairly expensive for bar food, and one customer was very vocal about his disdain for "g*dd*mn college graduates".
Jim from Hartsburg on 04/22/2005 11:36 PM
Stay in Kansas.
savage24 from KC, MO on 04/23/2005 06:13 AM
Heh, heh. The border war continues.......
Anonymous from Jefferson City on 06/18/2005 02:52 AM
I wouldn't pay too much attention to the ramblings of some Hartsburg Hick in a bar .... there are some people with some kind of superior attitude there, but Hartsburg is used to seeing lots of college students, hippies, and everyone else there... ignore them, enjoy yourselves, and have fun.
Anonymous on 07/04/2005 07:16 AM
Hartsburg is a great little town and So far I haven't seen any"Hicxs" If you go to a small town you will not see all the crime and filth you see in the cities, so give me a "hick" anytime.
mike rodemeyer from hartsburg, mo on 09/14/2005 05:11 PM
His complaint was probably because you were from Kansas. Probably the fool was not from Hartsburg but a visitor as the town actually tries to draw visitors. The Mayor, Nancy Grant, is working hard to make our town a place to stop and visit a while. Call ahead and giv eus another chance.
Jeff from Hartsburg on 10/03/2005 12:25 PM
Signs unfreindly to campers? What are you talking about?
The Bar Hick from Hartsburg on 10/07/2005 01:12 AM
Tommy, I apologize to ya son for all my rantin'. I had a little to much to drink and when I realized that my secret camcordin' of yer college sweatshirt wasn't that rare red-headed woodpecker, I got a little outta control. Woman and I been lookin for that durn bird fer months. Again, I am sorry. If you all would like yur sweatshirt back, I left it hangin' on the hitchin post for ya.
savage24 from KC,MO on 10/07/2005 10:29 PM
I don't care who you are or where your from - THAT'S FUNNY!!!
Ann from Wichita, KS on 10/17/2005 09:06 PM
Went to the Hitching Post and found the locals to be friendly. In fact, over 20% of Hartsburg's residents stopped by in the hour we were there. Great little stop--even had pumpkin ale beer.
MA WHE from FLOR. MO on 01/16/2006 03:10 PM
Hartsburg a great town. went to the local bar, had a great time the english guy at the bike shop was very helpful with my problem i`ll be back thank you
John from West Plains on 01/19/2006 03:31 PM
Great little bar. We stayed at the Globe Hotel... it was a great place to stay the night. We are going back in March to do it again. We'll say hi to the bar hick for ya.
Historic Treloar Mercantile and Bank, Treloar Missouri -
Anne Deschenes from Concord Hill on 01/19/2006 02:50 PM
Hi, I am the listing real estate agent of this wonderful historic building along the Katy Trail in Treloar Mo. It is currently in a "re-hab" state, which means, anything is possible! We would love to find a buyer who could restore the splendor of this old brick gem. I know many of you who frequent the Katy Trail know of this building and I wanted to get the word out that it is for sale and would make a wonderful business of any kind or simply a beautiful residence. Please call me for any questions or comments. Thanks, Anne
636-358-3066 my cell
firstname.lastname@example.org my email
**I will be out of town 1/23 to 1/28/06, in case you try and cannot get me!**
Ashley's Rose Resturant in Augusta -
sarah from little rock on 04/02/2005 09:58 PM
We had dinner at this resturant Wednesday night. It was terrible. The food was gross and overpriced and the service was terrible. Save your money.
However, Jeanette at The Globe Hotel in Hartsburg was amazing!! If you're passing through or planning a trip, you need to spend a night in Hartsburg. The Hitching Post has good food and company, the bike shop is friendly, and Jeanette makes these amazing muffins. It was the best experience of our whole trip.
The people in Clinton were really rude the night we spent there. They yelled at us for riding on the shoulder and stared at us while we ate dinner (we weren't even in lycra).
Herman was a great town, though. Everyone was amazingly friendly and nice. The Stonehill Winery Resturant was the best meal that we had. It was expensive, but well worth the $$$. If you plan on treating yourself, this is the place to do it. Great food and great service.
savage24 from KC MO on 04/03/2005 07:20 AM
Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Ashley's Rose Restuarant. Where did you stay between Hartsburg and Clinton? How was it?
Sarah from Little Rock on 04/03/2005 08:49 PM
We stayed at the Safari Motel in Clinton, the Best Western in Sedalia, and the Comfort Inn in Booneville, which has almost direct access from the trail and a shuttle to the casino. Then we stayed at the Globe Hotel in Hartsburg, which was amazing and the Lindenhof in Augusta. The Lindenhof has nice rooms, a hot tub, jacuzzi's in the rooms, walking access to the winery and brewery, and a tasty stuffed french toast for breakfast. All in all, it was a great vacation. We're considering the organized ride in June, as well.
dad_5ks from Northwest, Arkansas on 04/12/2005 11:14 PM
In September 2003, I rode the Katy Trail. Spent the night at Ashley's Rose (bed and breakfast) in Augusta. Had a nice French Dip sandwich for dinner, and a great breakfast. They even fixed my breakfast a bit early, as I wanted to get an early start.
Only odd thing about this bed and breakfast, no one lived at the facility. The owners left at 7:00pm, gave me a key to the front door, told me to lock myself in at night.
Only bad thing about Augusta, I had to ride up a long, steep hill to get there.
John from West Plains on 01/19/2006 02:49 PM
Dont get me started on Jeanette's muffins. We really enjoyed staying there. That whole town is great. Give Jeanette a hug on the way out!
St Charles Bike Rental -
gary from denver on 01/17/2006 04:36 PM
Touring Cyclist has closed - Chamber said Momentom Cycles is new but didn't have a phone # - can anyone help?
Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 01/18/2006 11:06 AM
Most always Google can help......
Shuttle back -
Louise from Michigan on 01/15/2006 10:19 AM
My husband and I just completed a 200 mile trip in France, the Loire Valley area and love it. We are now looking for a place closer to home. We found the Katy trail on the web. My question is: Let's say we would arrive in St. Louis and head out to do the Whole Katy trail in about a week, just one way. How do we get back to our car? I know we could bike back there but we only wanted to go one way. Is there a shuttle service that could take us back to our car? I see that some B&B's have suttle service, is that what it means? They will take you back to your car. We will be riding in middle Sept. or Early Oct. Any comments or suggestions would be great.
savage24 from KC,MO on 01/15/2006 11:34 AM
Louise, You can find contact information for shuttle services in the towns and services section under the map at the top of the page. I have not stayed at any of the B&B's, but based on what others have posted here, I think most of the B&B shuttles are for their immediate area; for instance if you are staying in a B&B in McKittrick, they will shuttle you to Hermann and back if you do not wish to ride across the the state highway bridge that is quite narrow with no shoulder. Amtrak is another option that has been discussed at length in the comment forum. I know you wrote Sept. or early Oct., but if June would work for you, then the MO State Parks Katy Trail ride is another option: http://www.mostateparks.com/katytrail/2006ride.htm
Rhona Lococo from St. Charles on 01/16/2006 08:42 AM
Louise ---- I am a B&B ownner and we offer shuttle service, for the Katy Trail ------ there are a number of ways you can do it ----- we can take you to the other end of trail Clinton and then you can ride back to St.Charles ----we will keep your car in our parking lot -----or you can ride to Clinton and we will pick you up there and bring you back home --------or we can take you to train station in Kirkwood and you can ride the train with your bike (I think it only goes to Sedila)then ride your bike back to St. Charles ------ there are many ways to do it ----contact us for info -----www.lococohouse.com -----Rhonaloc@charter.net
Summer Ride -
Kwill from Indiana on 01/06/2006 12:37 PM
Three of us are planning a quick attack on the Katy Trail in early June. We are all acomplished cyclists, but have never "toured" before. We are thinking of doing the entire route from St. Charles to Clinton in 3 days, camping each night. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
savage24 from KC,MO on 01/06/2006 10:53 PM
Are you carrying everything on the bikes or will you have a support vehicle hauling your camping gear? I would not want to ride the entire trail self contained in three days. Not that it can't be done; it just doesn't sound like fun to me.
dale nimmo from springfield missouri on 01/07/2006 11:36 AM
I rode the entire trail last summer, in 6 days
it's about 504 miles total. I took very few off trail excursions.
that's about 88 miles a day for me
I'm thinking 3 days might be just a bit tooooo ambitious?
thanks!! btw... i loved the trail and the ride... my only regret was that I did it solo.
dale nimmo from springfield missouri on 01/07/2006 11:37 AM
i fogot to add....
i did the entire trail round trip
that might make a BIG BIG difference
duh...sorry about that
MLH from Overland Park on 01/09/2006 05:58 PM
Great plan! One suggestion that I would have is to consider going west to east instead of that as you have suggested. The prevailing winds tend to be from the west and that will make a huge difference on such an ambitous task. Also, the trail is very slightly net downhill west to east. And yes, a support vehicle is highly recommended. I am planning a 2-day self-torture trip from Clinton to St. Charles also in early June but will carry as little weight as possible by using a support vehicle. Hopefully I will see you all on the trail.
MLH from Overland Park on 01/09/2006 06:10 PM
One more thing: here is a link to a post in this forum by K French who pulled the 3 day megatour off, WITH FULL GEAR. If the link doesn't work for some reason, go back a couple of pages on this forum.
Riding to Family Arena -
Meg from St. Louis on 01/05/2006 09:44 PM
Has anyone ridden their bike to the family arena? I am going to the US figure skating championships and I know I've passed the arena the one time I rode that part of the trail, but I don't recall how far it is from the nearest parking lot. Does anyone know what the nearest lot would be and if there are bike racks there?
Ray (webmaster) on 01/06/2006 11:00 AM
The 364 / Page Avenue Memorial Bridge is just under a mile from the Family Arena. There is a parking lot there, with easy trail access. Just head north on the trail from there, and you'll see the area within a few minutes. Follow this link for more details on the Page Bridge and how to get there
I do not know whether the arena has bike racks.
Cross Country Trip -
Jon from San Diego on 12/30/2005 03:45 PM
On April 15th 2006, two of us are leaving San Diego on bicycles, heading for Rhode Island on no particular route other than always trying to head north or east. We figure (based on no experience) that it should take us about two months for the whole crossing. We should be at the west end of the Katy trail sometime late May.
I'd appreciate any advice on riding the Katy Trail from west to east. Keep in mind we have not attempted anything even close to the magnatidute of this coast to coast venture before.
Any tips will be appreicated - Thanks - Jon
frank from festus,mo on 12/30/2005 08:24 PM
just enjoy the trip. i admire ya'll for taking on this feat.
savage24 from KC,MO on 12/31/2005 05:47 AM
Well Jon, With no experience, no route, and seemingly no plan I figure if you are tough and able to 'think on your feet' well enough to make it as far as Missouri, you will not need any advice from me!
Good luck and please keep us posted on your progress. Oh yeah...
Watch out for tornados in Oklahoma and Kansas in April/May.
Ray (webmaster) on 01/02/2006 06:49 AM
What an adventure - good luck! When you say "no experience", do you mean no bike touring experience, or just no cross-country experience? I'd recommend reading as much as you can on the Bicycle Touring 101 website
, to help fill in the gaps from any lack of experience you may have. Also check out Adventure Cycling
, and consider getting some of their cross-country route maps. Even if you prefer to go without a planned route, it might be nice to have an Adventure Cycling route to fall back on for parts of your trip - they research these routes pretty extensively to find the roads that are best for bike travel.
If you're keeping a journal or blog of your trip, let me know so I can link to it or publish it on this website.
El Toro on 01/02/2006 01:55 PM
Good luck with the trip. Sounds great. The KATY will be a good way to get across Missouri in my opinion.
How wide a tire will you be running on your bike? My experience says you want to probably look at something around 32cm, which is a bit wider than I would want to run on the roads, but it certainly can be done.
I would think about slowing down a bit on the KATY in terms of daily mileage and enjoying a couple of the stops and nice B&Bs along the way...kind of a middle of the country recovery.
Just my 2 cents. Have a great time. ENJOY and BEST WISHES.
The Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 01/04/2006 10:35 AM
....and whatever you do stop for one night for sure at the KATY Roundhouse Campground in New Franklin, MO. Right on the trail, hot showers, very, very kind staff, very clean campground, and push comes to shove the local pizza place delivers to camp sites!!! Enjoy the Voyage...(I'm so jealous) Mark of the Dalton Boys
Anonymous from Columbia on 01/05/2006 07:32 PM
I would recommend the Katy Trail Guidebook by Brett Dufur. I ordered it online from pebblepublishing.com. It covers the entire trail and has lists of bed and breakfasts, diners, etc. all along it. It's very useful, especially if you're inexperienced. Good luck! I hope you enjoy Missouri! :)
Mike from Lawrence on 01/04/2006 08:48 AM
Hiking the trail would be a great adventure. How is the camping along the trail? Do you have to B&B it the whole way?
Ray (webmaster) on 01/05/2006 05:40 AM
There are definitely camping options along the Katy Trail, although they might not all be within one day's hike from each other. Here's a list of campgrounds along the trail
. If you follow that link and go to the bottom of the page, you can use the "Lodging" checkbox to also get a list of B&Bs, hotels, & motels.
I've heard that other campsites will be opening in 2006, but no details yet on where.
gc from Columbia, Mo on 01/05/2006 01:19 PM
Good to hear about the potential new campgrounds. I am planning my walk for around September. Thanks in advance for any info you pass on. This is the best site for planning a Katy excursion.
history of KT -
spiral on 01/01/2006 03:44 PM
I just rode part of the KT for the first time, and I wondered if anyone knew any history about the old telephone/electric poles that survive in places along the western edge of the trail. I was a bit fascinated with them.
Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 01/02/2006 12:06 PM
Quite typical in Missouri and probably other states as well, with new technology to protect human life and the integrity of live lines, as new transmission and distribution lines were added.....the old defunct poles were simply abandoned. They are of little value other than perhaps an insulator that has missed being shot and broken by an irresponsible gun owner. Those are rare and not worth much other than knowing that you have one. They do serve to remind of days gone by.....simpler times.
gc from Columbia, Mo on 01/03/2006 12:11 AM
My Dad was a pole lineman for the Wabash in the late '40s and '50s. He tells me that when they replaced poles from time to time then, that the poles often were dated back to the 1880s. So yes, those poles can get pretty old. There a quite a few all along the trail, I am sure. I know there are some in Mid-Mo.
james from kcmo on 12/29/2005 05:08 PM
You can't tell me you do'nt have Yahoo maps,or mapquest?
highway 94 goes past Machens and not too busy for bikes-have spent all nite at machens trains coming from galesburg,ill(bnsf)or from st luois. floods of 1993 made deep holes on old m-kt-rr
but old reminants of right-of way interesting-near highway 94.
Mile Markers -
Kris from Indiana on 12/19/2005 10:30 AM
Why do the mile markers start at 39 miles in St Charles. Is St Charles where the trailhead is, or is there another trail head?
By the way, great site.
Ray (webmaster) on 12/19/2005 10:39 AM
The mile markers follow the numbering system that the railroad used, back when this route was an MKT rail line. So the actual numbering on the rail line started some 39 miles east of St Charles. Using the railroad mile numbers results in a slight mileage discrepancy, in places where the trail briefly leaves the old railroad route (in Rhineland
Actually there are trailheads in almost
every town in the map at the top of this page, plus a few others. St Charles has three trailheads (Greens Bottom, Page/364, and the main one in downtown St Charles). Click any town name in the map above, and you'll see the town's trailhead (if any) listed on the resulting page.
Glad you like the website!
The Bridge at Boonville -
MTTwilly from Kansas City on 12/14/2005 05:13 PM
Currently "general agrrement: says Rocheport east is the most attractive segment. There is quite a lot of effort being put into restoring the bridge and returning it to its lowered position to accomodate bikers.
What effect would restoring the bridge have on bike tourism in Boonville?