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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Katy Trail and/or Rock Island Trail.
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St. Charles to Columbia
Brian from Lake Saint Louis on 03/30/2006 02:18 PM
I was interested in biking from somewhere in St. Charles county to Columbia, where I went to school, and staying overnight in Columbia. Has anyone done this route, a friend said he heard from someone that the gravel turns into larger rocks halfway to Columbia and I should expect a few flat tires and bring spares. Is there any truth to this? Can someone who's biked in this area let me know about trail conditions, Thanks.

Mark of the Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 03/30/2006 04:10 PM
No - no truth to it. Spare tube(s) always good just for preventive measures. Trails great when dry (like concrete for the most part), and maybe the surface might be just a little different on the MKT spur (8+ miles), going from the KATY into Columbia.....go Mizzou!! The ride is great, have a great time!!

frank from festus,mo on 03/30/2006 05:43 PM
hey brian. i have biked the MKT trail from the beginning to the katy and back. there is little difference, and i emphasize little, on the MKT trail. unless u experience a regular toad strangler / gully washer of a rain storm, you should have no problem at all. i rode it after a good little rain fall and had absolutely no problems at all. this was bouts 2 yrs ago, but can't imagine it would have changed any. if any questions, contact columbia, mo parks department or city hall. i think it is www.gocolumbia.com they can help you with more info than i could. as far as flat tires go, good tires ought to eliminate part of that chance, however, like mark of the dalton boys said, you need to carry a spare. a good place to start the trip would be at the trail head in st. charles. what ever you choose to do, be safe and happy bikin.

bike friendly bridge over the missouri river and suggested bike route from st. charles to st. louis
patty from indianapolis, indiana on 03/23/2005 10:53 AM
does anyone know of a bike friendly trail crossing the missouri river from machens or st. charles toward st. louis? also, any bike trails or routes from the same to st. louis?

Ray (webmaster) on 03/23/2005 11:04 AM
The most bike-friendly bridge I've ever ridden (other than those without any cars) is at mile 42.8, just three miles from downtown St Charles. Check out this link to learn more about the Page Avenue Missouri River Bridge.

There are no trails that will take you all the way into St Louis, but follow this link for route suggestions for getting from the Katy Trail to downtown St Louis. I welcome any feedback you might have on these routes, or any other suggested routes that you come up with.

Ocicat from St. Charles on 03/30/2006 04:35 PM
Ditto on the Page bridge; there is a wonderful, wide, walled off biking/walking lane along the south side of the bridge. On the south (St. Louis) side of the bridge, that bike lane then turns into a bike trail that departs from the highway goes down to Creve Coeur Lake. I have ridden from Creve Coeur Lake across the bridge, picked up the Katy, and gone on into downtown St. Charles; it's a lovely ride.

First year biking..need suggested place to start
RH from Dayton, OH on 03/14/2006 11:47 AM
First time trying the Katy bike trail..would like a starting point for a two female beginners. What two or three towns would you suggest we bike to/through? Thanks!

Mike from East Prairie, Mo on 03/14/2006 12:22 PM
It is according to which end that you want to start on. You for sure don't want to start in Clinton. Roacheport east is very nice.

MLH from Overland Park on 03/14/2006 12:26 PM
The most scenic and popular portion of the trailseems to be from Rocheport east (or actually southeast). Make certain you see the tunnel on the west side of Rocheport first. Check the milelage calculator on this site to estimate how far you can go but in general barring a strong headwind, the trail is very easy.

The McBaine trailhead is another good place to start as it gives you the option of going north, doubling back then heading south then doubling back again to your car all the while remaining within the very scenic areas and Hartsburg to the south is a good place to eat lunch. I would echo webmaster Ray's comment elsewhere on this site that is is best to park your car in the middle of your ride if possible. Note that McBaine is harder to get to in a car but the trailhead also gives you the option of riding the portion into Columbia.

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 03/14/2006 03:07 PM

Rocheport usually wins the prize. Depending on how far you like to ride.....Booneville to Columbia is a good ride(Also, Columbia to Rocheport/McBaine). Although, not the Katy, I appreciate the spur to Columbia. It too is scenic, and lodging near I-70 is a short distance north on Stadium Blvd. from the Martin Luther King Trailhead.

frank from festus, mo on 03/14/2006 11:18 PM
r h, the three previous replies are absolutely correct. rocheport east has to be the prettiest part of the trail. st. charles to augusta is also a very nice ride once your out of the immediate st. charles area. which ever way you choose, be safe and happy biken. enjoy the Katy.

gee on 03/16/2006 01:32 AM
How many miles a day do you want to achieve? If 50 miles is a good weekend ride for you may I sugest starting in Hartsburg and riding to Rocheport, spend the night at a B&B then head back the next day. You can leave your car in the public parking lot next to the cycle shop.

RH from Dayton, OH on 03/16/2006 11:51 AM
gee..for us, 50 miles to and from for 2 days may be just what we do for a little 2 day thing..we're not serious bicyclist..at least not YET..we're planning a trip in September or October and as soon as our weather breaks here in Ohio, we're planning on "training" ..I personally would like to try as much as possible..but we'll see how our training this summer goes first :) Reading these posts are very much helpful and any suggestions are greatly appreciated. I've hiked sectionally in the appalician mountains but never biked..

ET from Columbia on 03/20/2006 01:01 PM
Here's a suggestion: Start in Columbia (trailheads at Flat Branch Park, Forum Blvd, and Scott Blvd) ride to Boonville, and return with a stop for lunch at Les Bourgeois (has a spur trail with a bike rack at the bottom, and I recommend walking over trying to ride it). Do check on overnight parking, though, because i don't know if there are any rules about that) Les Bourgeois closes at about 3:00 on Sundays. Or similar, starting in Hartsburg instead of Columbia. Or Start in Boonville, and do the same in reverse.

sbikes from KCMO on 03/22/2006 07:21 PM
Start in Hartsburg, ride to Coopers Landing (about 10 miles), have some thai food for

lunch. Ride back to Hartsburg, stopping in Wilton along the way to look at artwork for

sale, have dinner in Hartsburg and spend the night at the Globe. Next morning, ride the

other direction and go to Jeff City (again, about 10 miles), Stop in Claysville for lunch on

the way back (call and make sure the place is open), then back to Hartsburg.

Then, your next trip go Hartsburg to Rocheport, spend the night, then come back to

Hartsburg. An advantage to starting in Hartsburg is there is a place to stay, a couple of

places to eat and most importantly, Hartsburg Cycle Depot where you could either rent

bikes or else have them check out your bike to make sure it is trailworthy. There is also a

place to park your car overnight in the lot next to the bike shop.

mamawolfie from SE Ks on 03/30/2006 11:21 AM
I am a beginner bike and am wanting to dothe Katy Trail. How is the trail with regards to hills and flat areas?

Stacey from St. Charles on 03/30/2006 11:29 AM
Start in Columbia and ride to Rocheport. It's the most beautiful stretch, especially in the fall. Theres a bookstore they make the Katy Trail Guidebook. You can get it online and choose some place else if you are in another part of the state.

St. Charles to Defiance
J.L. from IL on 03/29/2006 09:45 AM
Can you give me information on the trail from St. Charles to Defiance. Is this a wooded area? or is it community/urban setting? Will we be crossing roads, major ones? Thanks

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 03/29/2006 11:27 AM
Sometimes fun to do when ya wanna know stuff like this.....go to Google Maps and key in Defiance Missouri for the location. You can choose between street, satelite, or hybrid views. Hybrid view shows both road and satelite views. If you zoom in enough, the Katy Trail is named in the road and hybrid views.....so you shouldn't miss it.

frank from festus,mo on 03/29/2006 07:17 PM
the trail from st. charles west is not exactly wooded entirely. there are some slightly wooded areas, but the start of the trail from st. charles is in town on the river front, passes a park, then the casino, then some homes, then a sand quarry area, around the st. charles family arena, then through a slightly wooded area, ride next to the missouri river for a bit, then across some bottom land, cross green bottoms road and then it's mostly fields on one side for a while, then cross another road. havent been past this far yet. from st. charles to this point is 10 miles m/l. defiance to weldon springs is a nice little ride, mostly surrounded by a row of trees, but no major wooded area.

might want to check out what tek biker said. i'm cetainly goin to. except for the mile or so from st. charles, it's a pretty nice ride.

what ever you do, have fun, be safe. happy bikin.

Ray (webmaster) on 03/29/2006 10:32 PM
Frank's description took you almost to the point where highway 40 crosses over the trail, which is 11 miles from the downtown St Charles trailhead. From highway 40 to the Weldon Spring trailhead is another 5 miles. This section is wooded and has a "remote" feeling (once the buzz of hwy 40 traffic fades away). Also some nice views of the river.

The street crossings between St Charles & Defiance are pretty minor. Mainly it's Greens Bottom Road, twice, but that's usually not a very busy road. Needless to say, however, you should always proceed cautiously at any road crossing.

Lodging Sedalia & east
kasko from STL MO on 03/02/2006 10:52 AM
We are planning entire trail starting in Clinton. Want to spend 2nd night in Rocheport. I think we want to ride a bit further than Sedalia on 1st day-or- at least to eastern side of Sedalia. Otherwise 2nd day ride of 50plus miles may be a bit too much for my companions. ( I think I can handle it but they are anxious aboutit ). Can anyone recommend place to stay in East Sedalia or slightly beyond ?

Thanks !

savage24 from KC,MO on 03/03/2006 12:23 AM
I'd check out the Hotel Bothwell. It is about 5 blocks from the depot in old downtown Sedalia, which is in the northeast end of town. There are no services beyond the Sedalia depot until you reach Pilot Grove.

Sarah from Denver on 03/04/2006 06:41 PM
We biked the Katy last June and found 40-50 mile days quite do-able. It's a gradual downhill, after all, from Clinton to St Charles, and that helps. There's a great downhill from Pilot Grove all the way to Booneville, naturally, because that's where you join the Missouri River. We had hybrid bikes.

ET from Columbia on 03/09/2006 12:17 PM
Sedalia House B&B is on the East side of Sedalia, as I recall, and they will shuttle you to Griesen Road in the morning if you want.

Mike from Southeast Missouri on 03/12/2006 06:01 PM
Hotel Bothwell. You need to call about the restaurant because it is only open on certain days. If it is closed you can get a cab to McGruder,s. It has very good food. There is also a bar across the street from the Bothwell but the smoke is so thick that I can't go in.

Mark from Sedalia on 03/28/2006 03:17 PM
The Sedalia House B&B is @3 miles from both the Greisen and Beaman trailheads. They cater to KATY trail riders with snacks/beverages when they arrive, a garage to park bikes overnight, and a full breakfast tailered to their needs. Shuttles are also available to and from the trailhead, as well as into town for dinner.

Tim from Columbia on 03/28/2006 03:55 PM
There's some great bed and breakfasts all along the trail. Get the Katy Trail Guidebook for lists of towns along the Katy and lodging, dining close to it. It's real helpful.

Ray (webmaster) on 03/29/2006 10:03 AM
A couple of people mentioned Hotel Bothwell in Sedalia - here's a link you can use to check availability and rates there.

Also, here's a list of all B&Bs along the trail. If you decide to go beyond Sedalia, there are a couple of places to stay in Pilot Grove (about 25 mile past Sedalia).

Ride Report for Spring Break Week.
bryan from Springdale, AR on 03/24/2006 06:50 PM
Greetings Earthlings. Some of you may remember a post for two from me about our ride plans for this past week. Well, we took off from home as planned. Checked into our B&B in Hermann, everything going as planned. We spent the night, rode around Hermann the next day, visited a couple of wineries and shops and in all had a great time. This was Saturday. Sunday was much the same as Saturday, only colder. Then we watched the weather. We were planning to head out on the trail Monday morning. Then the sleet started. That's ok, we'll just stay an extra night and roll out on Tuesday. Then the weather service issued a winter weather advisory for that whole area. I looked at my wife, she looked at me, and I said, "How bout we call the kids to come pick us up before it gets any worse?" She agreed, and we got home about 6 a.m. Tuesday morning. Loaded up the next day, and went to Hot Springs, Ar. Got snowed on there too.

Oh Well, maybe next time.

sbikes from KCMO on 03/25/2006 02:05 PM
Welcome to Missouri. I think we had an entire year of seasons in one week...one weekend it

is in the 80's and we have hail and tornados and the next they are predicting 12 inches of

snow. It's a mad, mad, world. But, it sounds like you had a great time for a while. So, try

again. Who knows what will happen next!

Matthew from Kansas City, MO on 03/27/2006 04:47 PM
We enjoyed the weather last week. There were bouts with some intense cold headwinds that cut us down, particularly on the unsheltered highway-tracking sections of the trail. We also got some sleet but nothing too intense. For the most part, it was above freezing, which makes it much easier to stay warm.

Fresh snowmelt made the trail very sticky in spots, however. The condition of the trail changed dramatically after passing Jefferson City. We were westbound, which is definately uphill.

bryan from Springdale, AR on 03/28/2006 07:21 PM

I was just wondering where you started. We were in Hermann on Saturday, Sunday and Monday till we bailed. I'm glad you got to do your ride. We were also going to ride west, and our plan was to ride from Hermann to Jefferson City on Monday. We opted not to do that and wait till the next day since it was sleeting when we got up and had most of the night before. When the TV station in St. Louis predicted 6-8 inches of snow for Tuesday, we chickened out completely. I hear that it didn't happen, but was really cold. Oh well, there's always the Memorial day weekend. We may try again then.

Mark of the Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 03/29/2006 08:29 AM
Weather....discretion is the better part of valor. Because my sister lives in Overland Park, KS. and brothers in Jeff City, Lake of the Ozarks, and St. Charles I watch the weather up there and remember well that week. Baling was better....better to ride again. Hey could have ended up like a small version of the Donner Party where you were looking uncomfortably at each other (as potential food). So when (not if) you do the KATY send in progress reports, impressions for they are great reading! Regards......Mark of the Dalton Boys

Kirkwood Amtrak to Katy Trail Directions
Jose from Kirkwood on 03/28/2006 02:12 PM
One small comment to the directions "Kirkwood to the Page Extension Bridge".

fter getting to Olive from Mason Road, instead of turning right on Fee Fee, I would continue a little bit west and turn right on Creve Coeur Mill Rd. Creve Coeur Mill Rd gets directly to the Creve Coeur Lake Park.

Biking, hiking, wining, and dining along KATY
Tracy from New Franklin on 03/28/2006 12:52 PM
I've been riding my bike on sidewalks and in local parks for years. That was until I biked from Columbia to Boonville and stopped in Rocheport to eat at the winery there. There's a great book store there, Pebble Publishing. They had a great variety of biking and hiking trail guidebooks, plus one for Missouri Wine Country. They lists camping spots, bed and breakfasts along the ways. You can rent a bike near the trails and near many wineries. pebblepublishing.com for guidebooks, but I'd recommend going there. Oh, and they do guided canoe floats too.

Direction of prevailing wind
stevefree from Springfield, MO on 03/24/2006 04:51 PM
What are your thoughts on best direction to ride,according to prevailing winds?

Nails on 03/24/2006 06:20 PM
The answer is: it depends.

Where and when are you going to ride? Decide for yourself from the wind rose data at:


Everyone I know that has done the trail end-to-end has gone West to East. The slight average downhill (even though it doesn't feel like you're going downhill) is probably the determining factor.

Matthew from Kansas City, MO on 03/27/2006 04:49 PM
Prevailing wind is hit or miss, but the trail is definately downhill going east. You notice it when you work against it. We also had either no wind or headwind on our east-to-west trek. I'd definately do it west to east unless you are looking for more of a challenge.

Tuners Bar & Grill (St Charles)
Tina "InkLady" from O'Fallon on 03/21/2006 04:13 PM
My girlfriends and I always have a great time dancing to the Wonderful Bands that are hired to entertain. It's always an upbeat place to hang and relax! You are guaranteed to forget your troubles and have a Great time!!!

~The InkLady

Camping between Pilot Grove and Rocheport
bogus from Lee's Sum on 03/20/2006 07:06 PM
I know camping on private property is like asking the Spinal Tap guitar player about his axe. Don't even look at it, don't think about it----but are there any spots that are private property between Pilot Grove and Rocheport, where they will let you camp for a small fee?

sbikes from KCMO on 03/20/2006 07:35 PM
There used to be a campground at New Franklin...not sure if it is still open or not. When I

was looking for places to camp, I called the local chamber of commerce, or city hall or a trail

friendly business and just asked and was quite successful in finding places to camp. Folks

are usually happy to help out. I know in Hartsburg, the city park is available for camping.

Nails on 03/20/2006 07:54 PM
KATY Roundhouse in Franklin:

Ray (webmaster) on 03/21/2006 06:12 AM
Here's a list of all camping options along the trail: http://www.BikeKatyTrail.com/planner.aspx?chkCampground=on

Note that camping is available at the Katy Roundhouse this time of year, but restrooms and shower facilities are not. Bobber in Boonville caters to RVs but allows tents - you may want to call to see if they're open this time of year.

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