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

FLOOD CLOSURES: Large portions of the Katy Trail east of Boonville are closed due to flooding. Check MO State Parks website and Katy Trail Forum discussions for the latest details.

Katy Trail Forum

Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Katy Trail and/or Rock Island Trail.
 
FORUM ALERTS: click here to receive an emailed copy each time someone enters a Forum note, or a daily digest summarizing all Forum discussions for the day.
Display format:
Expanded (see all replies)
Contracted (starting posts and reply counts)
New feature: Search the Katy Trail Forum [beta]
Page: 1 ... 508 509
katying with children
 - 
s from Evansville, IN on 09/12/2004 10:27 PM
I may be crazy, but my three children and I are planning to do the stretch either between Bluffton and Jefferson City or Rocheport and Jefferson City sometime in October. They are between the ages of 8 and 14 and we aren't avid cyclists but want to begin somewhere. What is a reasonable amount of distance one could expect to cover given reasonable weather and relatively happy children in a "light" day? Is there a particular stretch of the trail that is best for a family ride? I noticed several B&Bs aren't particularly accommodating to the under 10 set. . .Any suggestions for one such as myself??

 
Ray (webmaster) on 09/13/2004 12:18 AM
We'd love to have you come visit Missouri, but I highly suggest that you first try out some trail riding closer to home. This gives you an idea how far your kids can ride before they run out of gas. Best to find out while you're still close to home. I'd hate for you to be stuck on a remote part of the Katy and discover that your 8-year-old can't ride any more after 10 miles. You might try the Rails-Trails Conservancy's trail finder at www.traillink.com. You can search for trails by state (try IL & KY too) and probably find something near Evansville.
Having said all that, the Katy is great for kids - it's flat and scenic (esp the sections you mentioned), and you can usually spot some wildlife.

If you plan to split your trip into 2 days, your kids probably will easily handle the distance: Bluffton to Jeff City is 32 miles, so 16 miles / day; Rocheport to JC is 35 miles. The big problem might be finding lodging around the halfway point. As you mentioned, B&B's often do not accomodate kids, but some do. The Tebbets Hostel is midway between Bluffton & JC, but some people don't like the no-frills atmosphere of a hostel (and we heard of one guest who had problems with noise there). Then again, your kids might like the novelty of bunkhouse style lodging. If you come from Rochport, the Globe Hotel is in Hartsburg, 25 miles from Rocheport and 10 miles from Jeff City - not exactly in the middle. There are lots of hotels in JC, though I don't have a list (try www.jcchamber.org).
If you haven't already, you might try the Plan a Ride page - put in a start and end town, select the types of services you're interested in (e.g. Lodging), and you get a customized list. Experiment with changing the start/end towns, to figure out what works best for you.
One more catch - the trail is busy in October (foliage time) so make lodging reservations ahead of time.
Good luck, and have fun!

 
s from evansville on 09/14/2004 08:06 AM
Thank you so much for your ideas. I do realize that I'm taking a risk not to have done any other "trips" so far (actually, I'm far less worried about my 8 year old petering out than I am the 44 year old). But, I think we're still game and I will check out the hostel you mentioned. I was wondering if you could give me some idea of how the shuttling works. I was hoping to arrange something via Amtrak (I'd read they allow some bikes to be put on) but it's rather far between stops and it sounds as if that fills fast. Can you give me a rough idea what we should expect to pay if we go that route? Thank you so much!

 
Ray (webmaster) on 09/14/2004 09:42 AM
Amtrak travels to Washington, Hermann, and Jeff City, which are near the Marthasville, McKittrick, & N Jefferson trailheads, respectively (it also goes to Sedalia, but that's beyond the section of trail you mentioned). Unfortunately, the train stations are on the south side of the river and the Katy Trail is on north side of the river, and you won't want to attempt any of those bridges by bike - some experienced cyclists tackle the Hermann or Jeff City bridges, but it can be harrowing with cars rushing past just inches away.

Which brings up shuttles: the shuttle services carry people and/or bikes from point A to Point B along the trail. As far as I know, they will go to the Amtrak stations, so they could probably get you across the bridge. Or if you decide the train is too much hassle, a shuttle service can simply pick you up wherever you end your ride, and drive you & the bikes back to wherever you left your car at the start. This link has a list of the shuttle services along the Katy Trail. Honestly I don't know the cost; but if you contact them I'm sure they'll give you an idea.

I also don't know the cost of Amtrak, but this FAQ question has Amtrak's 800 number, and a link to their website so you can contact them for details. You'll need advance reservations, because fall is a busy time for this Amtrak route. Especially October - Hermann hosts a big Oktoberfest and tourists love to ride the train there from St Louis & Kansas City. And like you said, there are a limited number of bike spaces available.

If all the planning gets to be too much, another option is to use a tour service, which arranges all the transportation and lodging issues for you. It's a more expensive option, but it frees you to just ride and not worry about the details. Right now I'm only aware of one touring company on the Katy Trail.

Hope this helps.

 
s from evansville on 09/14/2004 08:07 PM
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my questions. We'll see how this goes!

 
Russ from Jeff City on 09/14/2004 09:49 PM
My family (H&W and 3 kids) ride the Jefferson City stretch regularly. I have a 6 and 8 y.o., and they usually are ready to give it up after about 10 miles.

 
Amanda from Rhineland on 09/15/2004 08:32 PM
Our B & B is located in Rhineland, and we are happy to accomodate children any age. You can check out our website at www.thedollhousebandb.com

Thanks,

Amanda Schaefer

The Doll House B & B

201 Lewis Street

Rhineland, MO 65069

573-619-9623

www.thedollhousebandb.com


 
David from St Louis on 11/16/2004 04:59 PM
I took my 8.5 year old nephew biking. He lasted about 15 miles twice, took around 2.5 to 3 hours. It was 7 miles of flat paved trail and 8 miles of street conditions including a couple of small hills. Good Luck!



Trail Conditions early November
 - 
TRinJboro from Jonesboro, AR on 11/04/2004 07:55 AM
Going to try to ride from Marthasville to St. Charles Monday or Tuesday. Anyone been on the trail the last week or so, and if so how has the rains affected it.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 11/04/2004 11:46 AM
I had heard that it's muddy between Weldon Spring and Greens Bottom (St Charles), due to some construction work they were doing around there that removed a lot of the gravel from the trail surface. Haven't had a chance to see it myelf, so I don't know how bad it is. Talked to the DNR about this on Tuesday 11/2, and they said they would report it to their field people in that region and hopefully have fresh gravel out there within a week. So be prepared to get a little dirty toward the end of your ride.

Please let me know if you run into bad conditions, and I'll try to spread the word, or just post a message here.

Enjoy your ride!


 
CSCman from Chapin, IL on 11/08/2004 09:18 AM
A friend and I biked from St. Charles out past Augusta and back and did not find any places really muddy. There were some areas close to Weldon Springs that looked like they might have done some work recently but they were very ridable.

 
troy ratliff from Jonesboro, AR on 11/10/2004 12:19 PM
Rode from Marthasville to Weldon Springs and back on Monday. The trail is in excellent shape in this area. The only problem is everything is pretty much closed this time of the year and there is no water at the rest stops and food and drinks are hard to come by.


great B & B (Concord Hill B&B, Peers)
 - 
Jamie and Dan A from St Louis, MO on 10/26/2004 02:53 PM
This was a nice B & B. We have never stayed in a Bed and Breakfast before but this will set a high standard for us. For less than $100 for the night you get to stay in a warm bed, soak in a hot tub and meet some great people (Vicki and Tom). This was great after a long days ride on the trail.


Great food and service; homey (Trailside Bar & Grill in Rhineland)
 - 
Anonymous on 10/22/2004 09:37 AM
This is a friendly place with great specials, delicious food, and reasonable prices. Prompt service. Very clean. So comfy that it was difficult to get back on the trail! Met some bikers (mid October) who said they had no restaurant for 26 miles going east from Rhineland. They had enjoyed the food so much at Trailside that they had returned the next day. There is a bar/restaurant at Portland (looked ok). Guess the bar at Treloar is not reliable on the hours?

 
Ray (webmaster) on 10/22/2004 04:54 PM
Thanks for mentioning the Treloar Bar hours - I just called them to get their hours, and updated our listing for them. Seems they changed their hours since the last time I talked to them a few months ago.

 
Dan and Jamie A from St Louis, MO on 10/29/2004 08:23 AM
By the time we got to the restaurant we were so hungry. There is not really any good place to eat until you get to Rhineland (between Tebbetts and Rhineland). We were really just expecting to find something, anything to eat but it turned out the food was really good. Between the two of us we had barbeque pork, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, WONDERFUL german potato salad and green beans. This was definitley a refreshing stop. You can even order sandwiches to go (which we did for the ride to Peers). PS on Sunday they close at 2:00pm.


KCbaggers
 - 
Nick(kc) from smithville on 10/14/2004 10:59 PM
I have started a yahoo group to try and get some baggers together for trips of different kinds. Check out http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kcbaggers/



Open to talk and discussion on any kind of self contained camping, overnight or weekend, at least until next summer... trying to keep it shorth for the rest of the fall.



Nick



Missouri River Floats, Rocheport B&Bs, Guidebooks...
 - 
Brett Dufur from Rocheport on 10/14/2004 10:02 PM
Hi there all! Great website. Thank you!!! A few notes: Katy O'Neil B&B in Rocheport is now called the Katy Trail Bed & Bikefest. www.katytrailbb.com. If you are interested in adding a Mo River float to your cycling trip next year, check out www.mighty-mo.com. I am offering guided float trips most Saturdays next year from May through October. The Katy Trail Guidebook I write is now in its 7th edition. ($16.95) You can order it at www.pebblepublishing.com. Have a great trip! Brett


summit plaza best value inn -- holts summit
 - 
heidi from st. louis on 09/02/2004 03:04 PM
Although there are numerous signs along the trail offering free shuttle service from/to the trailhead to the Best Value Inn, the week of August 9, no shuttle was available. We had, therefore to cancel our reservations and used the Jefferson Inn B & B's shuttle service. The hotel still charged us for the accommodations we did not use. No amount of negotiating has budged them from their stance on this issue. If you feel compelled to stay at the Best Value Inn, I suggest calling in advance of the 24 hour cancellation notification time to confirm the shuttle is available or risk being charged for accommodations you don't use.

 
Best Value Inn Hotel from Holts Summit, Mo on 09/08/2004 03:16 PM
Heidi of St. Louis, Mo made her reservation though an internet service and only request was for a non smoking room. It was never indicated by Heidi that they were traveling the Katy Trail and were going to need the shuttle service offered by the hotel. She was not understanding that sometimes for one hour or more that the individual

doing the shuttle service is not available with no prior notice. Also since reservation was made through an internet travel agency service, those reservation can only be cancelled through the internet travel agency as any reservation made via a travel agency for any reason. All reservation made indicating need for shuttle service are accomadated or are informed that on that particular day for some reason it might not be available at time of making reservation. Even without prior notice shuttle is available 99% of the time and people are picked up within 20 minutes of calling.

 
nick(kc) on 09/29/2004 12:27 PM
I am with heidi on this. She didn't ask you said, did you bother to tell her? If it is available 99% of the time, then perhaps you should let EVERYONE making a reservation or using your hotel when it will not be available (that 1% of the time). The "internet" booking thing also sounds like a cop out...

 
Steve Case from Loveland, Colorado on 10/06/2004 11:00 PM
I just wanted to say that when my wife and I got to the trail head and found no phone we flagged down a policeman on patrol and he took us to a phone. When I called the hotel (no reservations) they very nicely said they would be there shortly. The next morning they shuttled us our two bikes and two bob trailers back to the trail head. As far as we were concerned they were the salt of the earth and we plan to stay there again one of these days.


Jefferson City to Sedalia
 - 
KD from KANSAS CITY on 09/27/2004 09:38 AM
We are taking the train to Jeff City and biking to Sedalia the weekend of Oct 15th. Anyone have any suggestions for us as to scenic stops or events along the way? Any suggestions on that one thing you wished you would have packed but didn't? Anyone going to be on the trail that weekend?

 
T-Dawg on 09/27/2004 08:38 PM
I'm going the same date! Hey, maybe we can hook up for a beer and to swap stories!

 
KD from KC on 09/28/2004 09:28 AM
Yeah, T Dawg that sounds good.......I like Miller Light in bottles..you pack 'em in and I'll meet you for one! I was really directing this question to someone that wasn't going on the trip w/me :)

 
Ray (webmaster) on 09/28/2004 10:00 AM
>suggestions for us as to scenic stops or events along the way?

You're riding one of the most scenic parts of the trail, along the river between JeffCity & Rocheport. There will be lots of nice scenery. Don't know of any events that weekend, along that part of the trail.

Be prepared: the ride over the bridge from JeffCity to the Katy Trail may be frightening - very fast cars zipping by very close to you!



>thing you wished you would have packed but didn't?

Kleenex/toilet paper. No, thankfully I don't have an interesting story to go along with that, but I wouldn't want to need & not have any. Extra water bottles too.



>Anyone going to be on the trail that weekend?

This is one of the busiest times of year on the trail; you'll see lots of riders out there, enjoying Missouri's great fall colors!


Old Town Augusta Inn (Augusta)
 - 
David S. from Indianapolis, IN on 09/12/2004 08:32 PM
It is not published, but the Old Town Augusta Inn is ONLY open on weekends. I could have saved a long distance phone call if I had known that.


Gotta try out Emma's! (Augusta)
 - 
Bill from St. Charles on 09/12/2004 07:45 PM
You HAVE to try the New Orlean's snowballs. I didn't believe that they would be better than a sno-cone, but, boy was I wrong! Great atmosphere and location! 3 thumbs up!


Augusta Touring Cyclist
 - 
Rider on 04/21/2004 02:49 PM
I see that The Touring Cyclist is not listed for Augusta. Did they close this store?

 
Ray (webmaster) on 04/21/2004 06:22 PM
Yes, unfortunately the Augusta Touring Cyclist is permanently closed.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 09/11/2004 10:16 PM
"Emma's on the Katy Trail" is now doing business in the former Touring Cyclist building. They have bike rentals, in addition to snacks and drinks. Their specialty is New Orleans snowballs - a refreshing treat after a hard ride on the trail.


3 day 150
 - 
Russ S from Jeff City on 09/07/2004 09:02 PM
My wife and I are planning to ride Pilot Grove to Defiance - approx 150 miles, staying in Hartsburg and McKittrick (or close by). Any suggestions or words of advice?

 
Ray (webmaster) on 09/11/2004 07:06 AM
Although I can't personally make any recommendations, be sure to read the Boonville, Hartsburg, McKittrick, & St Charles comment thread, which has some recommendations for Hartsburg and McKittrick.


St Charles Parking
 - 
Anonymous on 07/31/2004 11:17 AM
Where is the safest place in St. Charles to leave a car parked for two nights?

 
Trevor on 07/31/2004 09:10 PM
St Charles Trailhead is the best place. There's plenty of parking, and overnight parking is allowed. It's a busy enough area that there are usually people around, since the historic district is right there. And best of all, you're right on the trail!

 
Anonymous on 08/26/2004 07:50 PM
Trevor, You were right on! We had no problems leaving our vehicle there for two nights. Just to be on the safe side, I contacted the St. Charles PD to let them know it would be there... Thanx!


Shuttle service swap
 - 
savage24 from Kansas City, MO on 08/13/2004 02:37 AM
If you live in another state that has good rail trails and would like to ride the Katy Trail, contact me for a 'shuttle swap'. I will haul cyclists and bikes to any location on the Katy Trail in exchange for a similar service for myself on another trail. I am particularly interested in: Elroy-Sparta (WI), Little Miami (OH), Caprock Canyon (TX) and will consider other trails/states.

Contact: dwalc@netzero.com Put shuttle swap in the subject line so I know its not spam. Thanks!


Camping in Bluffton
 - 
srbella from lawrence on 05/24/2004 12:48 PM
Tried to contact the campground, and recieved a recording that the number was wrong. I then tried the B&B phone, and recieved a recording said # no longer in service. Is the campground open if so does anybody have the new number?

 
Scott N from Davenport on 08/09/2004 07:43 PM
Talked to the owner today, August 9th, 2004, her name is Sandra Benz. (314) 831-4807. The campground is open but the B&B is closed. Reservations only needed during Holidays and Peak times, otherwise they use the honor system and there is a drop box for fees.


Steve's End-to-end Ride July 2004
 - 
Steve from Grapevine, Texas on 07/29/2004 10:43 AM
We rode the entire trail from Clinton to St.Charles from Monday July 5 to Friday July 9. The storms on Sunday and Monday evening blew a lot of trees and branches on the trail between Sedalia and Booneville. It was still great fun though. We spent the night in Sedalia, Rocheport, Tebbets, and Treloar(actually drove up to Warrenton for the night). When we rolled into St.Charles on Friday evening, there was a band playing a concert in the pavillion near the final St.Charles trail kiosk. Very cool! It was a great trip!


End of the trail
 - 
BJM from Chesterfield on 07/23/2004 04:08 PM
Does anyone know the mile marker # at the end of the trail just north of the 370 bridge? Thanks.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 07/27/2004 04:56 AM
MM 38 is just south of the 370 Bridge; 37 is the first one to the north of the 370 Bridge.

By the way, the Mo DNR hopes to open the Katy Trail all the way to Machens (MM 27) within the next month or two. I've posted some basic information on the home page, and will update this info whenever I learn more.


trailer on the AMTRAK
 - 
heidi from st. louis on 06/22/2004 04:18 PM
our family is planning a trip to clinton via amtrak with bikes in tow and then riding east to st. charles in august. does anyone know how amenable amtrak is to hauling bike trailers in storage. i'm assuming we have to pay a surcharge, but is it even possible?

 
Jon from St. Louis on 06/22/2004 09:13 PM
I didn't understand your question completely. It didn't say where you were coming from, KC? STL? If your getting on the train in St. Louis (Kirkwood) they can haul a few bikes unboxed. Now, one thing- you can't get to Clinton on a train, they pulled the tracks up when they made the KT Trail. The train will take you to Sedalia, and you will have to find a shuttle to Clinton. Let me know, I have some phone numbers. Cost is 22.00/person 10.00 for the bike. You need to make your reservations ASAP. Like yesterday.

 
Jon from St. Louis on 06/22/2004 09:19 PM
It cut the rest of my message off on the last post. Go buy the book, "Katy Trail Guidebook" by Brett Dufur. It has quite a bit of info. Again, I would make your reservations now. Have fun. Check to see that the train your on takes the bike as is, or needs the handlebars parallel to the body of the bike. You shouldn't have to mess with that.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 06/24/2004 01:00 PM
Here is a link to Amtrak's baggage policy, which discusses "Special Items" like strollers, golf bags, and bikes. I would think that a trailer would be just another special item. Just to be sure, you might want to call them at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

 
heidi from st. louis on 06/25/2004 07:24 AM
I called and spoke to the AMTRAK reservation/information line and when I asked about traveling with a toddler trailer, they had never been asked such a question. They said I could take the item boxed as long as the dimensions of the box did not exceed 22"x28"x14" and did not weigh more than 50 lbs. The reservationist also noted that there would be a surcharge although we never reached consensus about what that amount would be. I think our family is now leaning towards someone driving us to Clinton...it s

 
heidi from St. Louis on 06/25/2004 07:26 AM
...the rest of my comment was cut off. If anyone has traveled from Kirkwood to Sedalia on the train with a toddler trailer I would be interested to hear about your experience. Thanks to everyone for their previous input.

 
Bruce from San francisco on 08/18/2004 05:17 PM
I would like to take the same trip in early October,alone. If you have any info or suggestions I would appreciate them. I plan to rent a bike in St. Louis, Amtrack to Sedalia, ride to Clinton then back to St. Charles. Hopefully a 3-4 day trip. I prefer to stay overnight in lodging and not camp. My email is Bruce@bar-kmortgage.com

Thanks for your help!


Mile marker system
 - 
BikerBev from Chesterfield on 06/14/2004 07:16 AM
I'm new at riding the trail. Why are the mile markers here in the low 40s when this is the beginning of the trail? Is there more north of St. Chas.? Thanks.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 06/17/2004 01:05 PM
The Katy Trail uses the exact same mile markers that the railroad used. So even though the Katy Trail starts in St Charles, the railroad started their numbering somewhere 39 miles farther east/north. The DNR indicates that there is "undeveloped trail" for another 12 miles past St Charles, going through the towns of CuldeSac (34.5), Black Walnut (30.05), and Machens (26.9). But I do not know anything about the condition/ride-ability of this undeveloped section.


It's worth noting that because the trail leaves the railroad right-of-way in Rhineland and Sedalia, your actual mileage will differ slightly from the mile marker mileage when riding through these towns. As you follow the trail off of the railbed in these two towns, you are no longer travelling the measured distance of the railroad mile markers; you're actually riding a bit farther. This difference is minimal, but it's worth mentioning for those riders who wonder why their bike computers have suddenly gotten out of sync with the mile markers.


Page Bridge mile, St Charles bike parking
 - 
Tom B. on 06/10/2004 06:59 AM
What is the mile marker on the Katy Trail at Highway 364 (Page extension, between Saint Charles and Greens Bottom)? Where can we lock up our bikes in Historic Saint Charles? Thanks Tom

 
RayS on 06/10/2004 11:31 AM
The Page/364 Bridge is at mile 42.8, which is just over three miles from downtown St Charles.

 
Hambone on 06/12/2004 11:18 PM
You can find bike racks at these businesses on Main St: Lewis & Clarks Restaurant, Touring Cyclist, St Louis Bread Co, Caffe Tostare. Also at the pavilion in Riverside Park (near mile 39), and near the green caboose.


Safe evening rides in St Charles area
 - 
onefinecow from st. louis on 05/20/2004 09:35 PM
I ride Katy Trail in evening by myself in St.Charles and Weldon Springs area. Is safe for people to ride alone like that?

 
RayS on 05/24/2004 12:01 AM
I've never heard of any crime problems. You're certainly safer from cars by being on the trail.

 
Psychlist on 05/25/2004 10:46 PM
Officially, the trail is only open from sunup to sundown. Doubt that this is enforced though.


Printed Map
 - 
X on 04/28/2004 08:08 AM
Where can I get a printed map of the trail?

 
RayS on 05/23/2004 11:45 PM
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has a glossy brochure which includes a map of the trail. They will send you one if you call them: 800-334-6946 or 660-882-8196.


Almost to 1000
 - 
froggy from NE Mo on 05/06/2004 09:42 PM
Well I'm ready for the first trip of the year tomorrow, almost to my first 1000 on the trail now, and it's different and new every trip. What an incredible resource for our state - if you like to ride, this is just about it. We do need to move it along on both sides...


Lew's October 2003 Photos
 - 
Lew from Elmhurst, IL on 05/05/2004 12:03 PM
I rode the trail in Oct. 2003 with my bicycle club. I don't have a ride report, but my photos are available at http://worthem.com/ktr


Mo state capital
 - 
Ray (webmaster) on 04/13/2004 06:43 AM
Watch for the nice view of the Missouri state capitol around the low 140's mile markers.

Page: 1 ... 508 509
 

The Frenchtown Inn B&B, St Charles MO

Please support our advertisers -
they help make this website possible


Katy Trail merchandise