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FLOOD CLOSURES: Some sections of the Katy Trail east of Boonville are closed due to flooding. Check MO State Parks website, Trail Conditions Report from trail users, 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.
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Shane from St. Louis on 09/25/2005 09:45 PM
me and my gf are in relatively good shape. We are trying to finish the entirety of the katy trail in different segments. Our first ride we did 30 miles is it possible to do 70 miles in one day if we take a lunch break in the middle or is that too strenuous?

CSCman from Chapin, IL on 09/26/2005 10:11 AM
A friend and I have done several 60+ mile rides on the Katy. This summer we even did an 80 mile ride with gear. All of those trips started in St. Charles rode out and back in one day. I would say that being in shape 70 miles a day should be no problem.

Troy Ratliff from Jonesboro, AR on 09/27/2005 09:24 AM
If you're in shape, take several shorter breaks and drink plenty of fluids 70 miles should not be a problem on the KATY.

gretchen from glen ellyn, il on 09/30/2005 09:03 PM
Just back from the trail...my longest day (5 days total) was only 45 and if there had been more places along the way to stop and get food and water, a longer ride would have been a snap! This trail is FLAT...and i mean REALLY FLAT!!! I rode between 12-15mph the whole way. I was self supported too, so think light!...you'll move faster.

Trail to Machens
Ken Kelsay from St. Charles, MO on 09/29/2005 08:25 PM
I rode from Pitman Hill Rd. to the 370 Bridge this evening. I thought the trail ended there. What is the status of the trail beyond that point? It looked rideable, just not as maintained, as far as I could see. Is it rideable for a significant distance?

CSCman from Chapin, IL on 09/30/2005 11:30 AM
While the trail looks like it could extend for miles more past the 370 bridge the fact is that it only goes for about maybe a mile to more further. A friend and I had headed down that way to see just how far over Labor Day weekend.

Ray (webmaster) on 09/30/2005 03:44 PM
FYI: in case you didn't catch the article about Machens in the Post Dispatch, here's what's going on with efforts to extend the trail to Machens

Missouri State Fairgrounds (Sedalia)
Vickie from Kansas City Mo on 09/27/2005 10:58 AM
We were here on the 19th. After arriving we 1st checked out the North campground. It was very nice with lots of trees & several RV's & were directed by some men with golf carts to the public campgrounds across the street. The public campground site has no trees and the shower/restroom is in horrible shape. Only the womens Handicap stall had a shower head...in the regular stall there was just a pipe sticking out. I'm ashamed of our State Fairgrounds.

Community Center Park (Marthasville)
Vickie from Kansas City Mo on 09/27/2005 10:30 AM
This is the ball park you see on the South side of the trail. We had to call the number listed to get the shower/restroom lights & hot water turned on. Only $5. We camped on the backside of the ballfield away from the flood lights. There is a shelter hse. Mosquitos are bad but they have been everywhere so far. Womens showers (2) need some work..1 stall no shower head..both cold water knob didn't work, not getting scalded was tricky. Nice cooled water fountain & hose in front.

Trailside Cafe & Bike Shop (Rocheport)
Vickie from Kansas City Mo on 09/27/2005 10:19 AM
Had a wonderful Portabella Mushroom burger for lunch. Very good.

Dotty's Cafe (Hartsburg)
Vickie from Kansas City Mo on 09/27/2005 10:16 AM
Stopped for some heavenly Blackberry cobbler & ice cream. Best I've ever had. They have great food, service is wonderful. Place is really spotless. You can tell Dotty loves her job. I stop here every time I do this section.

N. Jefferson
Vickie from Kansas City Mo on 09/27/2005 10:09 AM
Twice this year I have stayed at the Ramada Inn 573-635-7171. They have a Katy Special & free shuttle service from/to trailhead, ask about free Breakfast buffet coupon (during week only). Restaurant is moderately priced, very good food. No guest laundry but they said there was one about 1-1/2 miles away. It did take us longer to get shuttled back to the trailhead this time because they were busier...but it was free.

Isle of Capri Casino (Boonville)
Vickie from Kansas City Mo on 09/27/2005 10:01 AM
Its worth the 4mi? ride back from the Katy Round Hse if their restaurant is closed. Bike rack directly out front. Just be certain to have a headlamp or light for coming back. PS...crossing the bridge @ night you are blinded by headlights, so be careful.....

Peers Store (Peers)
Vickie from Kansas City Mo on 09/27/2005 09:50 AM
This is a great store with a little of everything. We arrived 2 minutes before closing and they stayed open long enought for us to buy some canned fruit, cheese & crackers. The nice lady even put the cheese in a ziplock for me. Saved us from eating at the bar in Marthasville.

Trailside Bar & Grill (Rhineland)
Vickie from Kansas City Mo on 09/27/2005 09:31 AM
This was a great lunch stop. They grilled a bunch of vegies for me. Plus they had homemade pies barely cooled from the oven. These people are wonderful...Friendliest we met on the entire trail.

Polly's Perch (Pilot Grove)
Craig from columbia, mo on 09/07/2005 09:53 AM
Polly's is a little piece of heaven. A very nice lady who runs a lovely bed and breakfast a stone's throw from the Katy Trail. She will make you a breakfast fit for a lumberjack.

Also, about a ten minute walk from her place is John El's BBQ, open on Friday and Saturday only. Definitely worth a visit as well.

Anonymous on 09/23/2005 03:28 PM
Another place clost to the trail in Pilot Grove is "Becky's Burgers & Cones" Everything is homemade!!!

Doug from Saint Charles on 03/07/2005 08:33 AM
I was wondering if anyone has put together a Katy Trail race?

Ray (webmaster) on 03/09/2005 12:51 PM
I assume you're talking about bike races -- surprisingly, I am not aware of any. Other than the Race Across America, which uses a small part of the Katy Trail, but you have to ride the other 3000 miles to participate in this coast-to-coast race!

On the other hand, there are usually a few running races on the trail each year. The Lewis & Clark Marathon uses part of the trail near St Charles each September, and there are usually a handful of other 5K/10K type foot races every year.

If/when I learn about any races, whether running or cycling, I'll add them to the Events Page.

Dave from Carrollton, TX on 06/15/2005 01:29 AM
Don't believe racing is the purpose of the Katy Trail...or any trail.

Doug from Saint Charles on 07/06/2005 01:24 PM
Who are you to say what the Katy is for? Of course it is for relaxing but can also be used for Mountain Bike racing.

Trail Rider from Los Angeles on 07/06/2005 03:31 PM
I thought about this while riding the trail the other day. While I took four days to do the ride, if we went more minimalist on the gear, I think the whole trail could be done in around 15 hours. There were so few trail users during the time we were on the trail, I don't think that a group of riders going 20mph would be a problem at all. The Katy trail is a bike path, and racing is riding.

Nails on 07/12/2005 08:19 AM
A small portion of the Heart of America (Columbia) Marathon also uses the KATY trail.


As reported on this website, Sam Baugh rode the KATY trail in one day.


Doug from Saint Charles Missouri on 08/23/2005 03:12 PM
Thanks Everyone. I plan on starting up a Katy Race this fall. 5 mile dash.

Sue from Balwin, Mo. on 09/09/2005 10:27 AM

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 09/09/2005 01:31 PM
That's what I appreciate the Katy for, but it is a state park and Missouri State Park rules apply. It lends itself to many people for many uses. Groups have been known to host benefit rides on the Katy...not for site seeing, but to raise money for their cause.

Looking at the DNR website, it appears that the park can be used for other things. According to the DNR website:

Special Event Permits

All groups or organizations desiring to use Katy Trail State Park for a special event activity must obtain a special event permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. E-mail or call 1-800-334-6946 for information on how to obtain a special event permit.

Doug from Saint Charles on 09/23/2005 12:54 PM

- posted 9/9/2005 10:28:00 AM by Sue , Balwin, Mo

Hey Sue stay home and knit something.

Ray (webmaster) on 09/23/2005 02:18 PM
I agree that the Katy Trail is great for site seeing, AND racing, but let's not get any flame wars going.

I would bet that most people who participate in such a race have already had previous, more leisurely experiences on the trail. Racers who have not used the Katy in a more relaxed manner, will probably be tempted to come back for an easy run/ride after getting a taste of it during the race.

Doug, let me know if/when you organize the race, and I'll help publicize it through this website.

Doug from Saint Charles on 09/23/2005 03:18 PM
I'm sorry Ray. Didn't mean to lash back at Sue the Rule maker of the Katy trail. I'll instead use my energy for the good an put this race in motion.

Raise your hand: riders on the trail Sept. 25-30...east to west
gretchen from glen ellyn, il on 09/22/2005 11:14 AM
Anyone riding the trail from Sept 25-30th going east to west...

raise your hand. My friend and i will be starting in St. Charles and going to Sedalia.

Planning a trip
slp from Memphis on 09/10/2005 09:40 AM
We would like to drive from Memphis to Rocheport and spend the night then ride the trail the next day to Hartsburg. Does anyone know of a shuttle that will take us from Hartsburg back to our car at Rocheport?


Rob from Liberty, MO on 09/10/2005 08:21 PM
I would call or e-mail the Trailside Cafe and Bike shop at Rocheport or Hartsburg Cycle Depot at Hartsburg.



Ray (webmaster) on 09/11/2005 08:49 AM
Also, here's a link to a list of Katy Trail shuttle services - you might want to call a few to check prices and availability.

gretchen from glen ellyn, il on 09/22/2005 07:16 AM
I'm riding from St. Charles to Sedalia this Sunday-Thurs...anyone planning on being out there? Maybe we'll see each other!

Trail Conditions
bikerLaura from Round Lake, IL on 09/20/2005 09:33 PM
I will be biking the trail on a hybrid bike from Sedalia to St Charles starting this Friday. I would like to know the conditions of the trail: any sandy or washed-out areas to watch out for? I had read a while back about a segment near Hartsburg being washed-out.

frank from festus, mo on 09/20/2005 11:40 PM
rode from hartsburg to no jefferson and back in late july / early august. bouts 2-3 miles east of hartsburg, there were numerous areas that was like soft powder. other than that, great riding. have fun / good luck.

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 09/21/2005 04:54 PM
There is a button (Trail Conditions) a few down from the Comments button that got you here......try that or check out Missouri State Parks at http://www.mostateparks.com/katytrail/conditions.htm

Tommy from Lawrence, KS on 02/22/2005 04:07 PM
Before the trip, kept getting told that the Hermann bridge was death. It wasn't really that bad to me or my riding buddy. Perhaps I'm getting to be an experienced cyclist. Very cute city. Stayed in the city park with a bunch of friendly RVers. Never figured out how to pay a fee, so didn't. The Hermann bike shop is a very minimal affair. He had the tool I needed to borrow (lockring remover), though I was certainly more adept at using it. Don't expect major repair work.

JULIA from HERMANN on 09/04/2005 08:05 PM

Greg from KC on 09/21/2005 10:28 AM
Any bike rental shops in Hermann? May need to rent bikes for a couple of people for an afternoon of fun on the Katy Trail on Friday Sept. 30th. Price? Contact? We will be doing a little party/happy hour ride that afternoon/evening. We're staying the weekend so this will be our "opening" activities. Any info is greatly appreciated! Thanks! Greg (aka: "Coach" 20+ years of ragbrai)

Photo opportunities
bikerLaura from Round Lake, IL on 08/10/2005 08:58 PM
I will be biking the trail from Sedalia to St. Charles in late September. I'd like to know what would be some good things of interest to take pictures of, preferably close to the trail; e.g., old barns, railroad stuff, old farm tools, old stores, etc.

Ray (webmaster) on 08/11/2005 12:57 AM
Here are a few web pages to give you some ideas. The MKT Railroad History along the Trail webpage lists a lot of interesting photo subjects: old train cars, rehabbed depots, and more. Also check out the Points of Interest along the trail page - this is a hodgepodge of interesting places and sites, many of which are camera-worthy. And of course, you'll find no shortage of scenic landscapes, especially along the river.

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 08/11/2005 01:42 PM

The Katy Trail Guidebook has some pics of things along the trail that may be of interest such as the tile silo between New Franklin and Rocheport. Just west of Rocheport a mile or so on the north side of the trail is an old barn that sits back in a pasture that is surrounded by woods......it takes a pretty good pic.

I find the bluffs east of Rocheport along I-70 interesting. There are persimmon trees, bittersweet, indian paintbrush, etc. The bluffs are intereting also...I've a few pics of geese perched next to the petroglyphs.

There are plenty of photo ops.....just keep your eyes open. Enjoy!

frank from festus, mo on 08/13/2005 07:58 PM
check out the old turn table across from the katy roundhouse in franklin. it's on the site of an old train garage. it has chain link around it, but very much worth the time to look at it. have fun ridin the katy. frank

Lisa from Peers, Missouri on 09/13/2005 10:41 AM
I would suggest stopping in Peers to check out the old general store. I believe it is the longest continuously operating store in Missouri. It is a small general store that has stayed in the family for over 100 years. The store has survived many floods and the old wood floors show it. In 1994 the flood waters were over 6 feet hight in the building - the store has pictures of all the recent floods. The local farmers are in there every morning for their coffee and to discuss their crops, weather, etc. Just a really quaint little place. Peers is so small that it isn't on all the trail maps - it is between Treloar and Marthasville.

Bill from Jefferson City on 09/21/2005 05:19 AM
At Rocheport,the KATY railroad tunnel,bluffs, and pictographs discussed in William Least-Heat Moon's book "River Horse" and the river view from the bluff-top winery property "A" frame can each give photo opportunities. Also like the "pierced rock" near McBaine, Carnahan Point where the river and trail make a big bend near Claysville, and the spur to the Noren Conservation Access for good shots of a river view of the Mo. State Capitol.

Clifton City water
margie on 09/19/2005 05:01 PM
Last time I was through Clifton City, the trailhead had no running water. Was wondering if perhaps that has changed or if anyone knows if there's a Casey's Store or anything close to get water if needed.

handcycles on the katy trail?
andrew from villa ridge on 09/16/2005 02:23 PM
does anyone ever see or do any handcycling on the katy trail?, i was curious because i just ordered my first hand cycle, and would love 2 hit the trail, if anyone has any info on this hit me up, thanx!!!

Ray (webmaster) on 09/19/2005 12:31 PM
You might want to talk to the guys at Katy Bike Rental in Defiance (mile 59). I believe they have some handcycles for rent; they might be tuned in to how often these machines show up on the trail.

Maryland Yards (St Charles)
jenny from webster groves on 09/17/2005 11:28 PM

Hartsburg - Dotty's Cafe - Local Bike Shop
Ted B. from Kansas City, KS. on 07/09/2005 11:31 AM
WOW! This is a great little place. We had Mushroom Burgers at Dotty's and the greatest peach cobbler anywhere. They filler our water bottles brought us pitchers of icewater for our hydration packs and basically treated us like royalty. This is a great place to stop. The local bike shop operator has a bit of a british accent and was actually fun to talk to. The shop had just about anything you'd need. Hartsburg helped make our Illinois to Kansas Ride a great one. Read all about the ride at


mike rodemeyer from Hartsburg, MO on 09/14/2005 05:15 PM
Marc Alchorn has more than a little bit of a British accet; he's a Brit all the way and we love him. He can build you a bike, make you a smoothie or just entertain you all day long with his rather droll wit. We count him as a "local treasure". At least he can speak English, others of us can't. We really try to make your visit a happy one.

Peers Store (Peers)
Bill and Kim from St. Charles on 09/12/2005 10:13 PM
My Husband and I stayed at here and it was just perfect. The owner was so nice as was the small town hospitality. Can't beat it for the price and the breakfast sandwiches are the best. Thanks Barb!

Katfish Katy's (Huntsdale) WHAT A PLACE!!
Jeff K from South Howard County on 09/12/2005 12:07 PM
Just got back from a weekend float down the mighty MO., and wanted to say thank you for the hospitality at your campsite.

The takeout ramp was more than expected and the c store and HOT showers were a real treat. Our whole gang were very happy with the shaded CLEAN campgrounds, and runnging water at the site was a real plus.

Thanks again,


P.S. Go Texas A&M!!!!

Trail Safety
B from Olathe, KS on 08/05/2005 09:52 AM
I would like to do the trail and wonder if it is safe for two females do it on their own.

John from Jefferson City on 08/05/2005 10:54 AM
I would opine 'yes'. Trained Katy Trail Volunteer Trail watchers ride the trail and help those who experience trouble (I am one). Cell phone service is available except under some clifts. Be prepared, carry water, snack food, tire and tube repairs and a pump.

Ray (webmaster) on 08/11/2005 01:15 AM
If crime is your concern... The only real "crime against persons" type incident that I've heard of was a guy who was relieved of his wallet somewhere on the trail in St Charles around 9 o'clock at night. This was back in June, I think. A couple things I will point about about this incident: it occured after dark, when the trail is officially closed. I don't know exactly where it occurred, but I would bet it was near downtown St Charles, where many people walk on the trail to get between their cars and the Main Street bars and restaurants, not to mention the casino.

I honestly believe your biggest threat when riding a bike, is automotive traffic. And that's one thing you don't have to worry about on the Katy Trail (other than the occasional road crossing).

Nails on 09/02/2005 12:38 PM
Statistically, I'd wager you're in more danger driving to the trail than using it.

Nancy from Kirkwood on 09/10/2005 07:34 AM
Stay out of Defiance. Can be bad.

Ray (webmaster) on 09/10/2005 07:05 PM
Have you heard of any incidents or felt threatened in any way in Defiance? I've never actually heard of anything bad happening there. Yes, the Harley guys do hang out there. But I've had beers at Terry & Kathy's on a couple of occasions, and have eaten dinner at Dave & Jaquie's, and never felt threatened nor even got any odd looks, even though I was dressed as a cyclist and most everyone else was in leather jackets. The attitude that I picked up on was a "do your own thing, live and let live" sort of feeling. I'm sure there are obnoxious drunks sometimes, but you'll find that at any bar in any town.

If you pass through Defiance and feel intimidated by the Harley crowd, just skip the bars there - nobody will bother you, or even notice you passing by. But be sure to visit Katy Bike Rentals, which backs up to the trail. They have snacks and drinks there. The proprietors, Todd & George, are a couple of the nicest guys you'll meet anywhere along the trail.

margie on 09/10/2005 11:41 PM
I've done it alone in 2003 (female and 50) and last year with my sister. Have never experienced any trouble what so ever besides an occasional flat tire. If you're doing it in the fall, you'll meet LOTS of nice bikers doing the same thing! Funny thing last year, we met bikers from quite a few assorted states doing the entire trail, but not a single MO biker (besides us).

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