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Katy Trail Forum

Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Katy Trail and/or Rock Island Trail.
 
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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?



Thanks,

 
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.



http://www.trailsidecafebike.com/



http://www.hartsburg-cycledepot.com/hartsburg_cycle_depot_001.htm

 
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


Hermann
 - 
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
THE REASON FOR THE MINIMAL SERVICE AT THE BIKE SHOP IS BECAUSE IT IS OWNED AND OPERATED BY OML ONE OR TWO MEN

 
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
MY HUSBAND,CHLDREN & I BIKED THE KATY TRAIL IN ST CHARLES. WE FOUND A WONDERFUL RESTAURANT, MARYLAND YARDS. IT'S IN THE OLD WATERWORKS BUILDING. YOU CAN SEE IT FROM THE TRAIL. THAT'S HOW WE HAPPENED ACROSS IT. THE SERVERS WERE WONDERFUL, ESPECIALLY BECKY. I REMEMBERED HER NAME BECAUSE IT'S THE SAME AS MY SISTERS. THE FOOD WAS GREAT AND THE PRICES VERY REASONABLE. WE WILL BE BACK. I JUST WANTED TO SPREAD THE WORD ON THIS HIDDEN JEWEL.


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



http://www.techkc.com/TrainingTimes/July%202005/tttjuly1.htm

 
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,

Jeff

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).


Best view
 - 
Rebecca Everett from Shawnee, KS on 09/05/2005 08:39 PM
My husband and I are only going to be riding the trail for a day or two on our way back from the Lake of the Ozarks. We'll be going the second week of October. For those of you who have traveled the whole trail, what would you say is the most beautiful area to ride (and the fairly easy since my husband is not a biker!)? What town would you suggest for our home base?



Thanks!

Rebecca

 
Trek Biker from St. Joseph on 09/06/2005 02:31 PM
It's all an easy ride, as the trail is what once was the MKT train bed.



Rocheport most always comes in as the favorite:





Subject: best segment for a one day ride

I'll be driving from K.C. to St. Louis next month. I'll have one full day to ride on the trail. Where I begin is open, however, it will need to be a round trip ride of about 60-80 miles. I'm looking for a segment of the trail that travels through less developed areas--preferably along the Missouri River. I would appreciate any suggestions.



Thanks

- posted 8/17/2005 8:45:48 AM by rogead , Minneapolis Add Your Reply



>>>>> That's easy! Rocheport!



Rocheport to Hartsburg is 50 miles round trip, or ride on to North Jefferson for a 70 mile round trip.



Trail access at Rocheport is about 2 miles north of I-70. Many people feel the area around Rocheport is some of the most scenic of the trail.

- posted 8/18/2005 12:37:13 AM by savage24 , KC, MO Add Your Reply



>>>>> >>>>> I give a hearty second to Rocheport to Hartsburg. This is by far the most scenic portion of the trail.

- posted 8/18/2005 12:08:04 PM by trinjboro , Jonesboro, AR Add Your Reply


 
Russ & Cindy from Jeff City on 09/06/2005 10:11 PM
Hands down Rocheport. Great restaurants and BBs. Rocheport to Hartsburg and back is a nice ride.

 
JOHN from PLEASANT HILL on 09/07/2005 10:04 AM
I have ridden the entire trail at least 10 times and have found the route from Columbia to Rocheport to be the best scenery without a doubt. The trail hugs the river on one side and is shaded by majestic bluffs on the other. Lots of good places to eat in Rocheport. Home base can be Columbia (about 8 miles down the MKT spur to Katy) or Jefferson City where you can drive from many hotels to trail head just North of the river.

 
Rob S. from El Dorado Springs, MO on 09/07/2005 02:12 PM
I have to agree with the previous posts. Rocheport to Hartsburg is beautiful. The path is smooth and very level, so a beginner should be able to complete it with no problem. The bluffs, caves, Missouri river, old bridges, and beautiful foliage make this section a must see. Take your camera. Also, if you time it right, you can stop for lunch at Hartsburg and enjoy this laid-back Norman Rockwell type community. There is a very nice restaurant located in Hartsburg (I forget the name) that is comfortable and very affordable. I'm going with a group on Sept 30 - Oct. 1 to ride the trail and we will definitely ride that section.

 
Dale Nimmo from Springfield MO on 09/08/2005 02:56 PM
Rocheport once again

but I also like the area between Pilot Grove and Booneville, this is the area where the 'bluffs' begin to show themselves.

I also liked the section between Jefferson City and Tebbetts.



Awww , what the heck, I liked it all. It's all in the attitude with which you ride. Hope you enjoy it all as well.

 
Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 09/08/2005 04:38 PM
I hear that....I don't of any trails that I've ridden that I didn't like. They all have their own character and can all be enjoyed for many redeeming qualities.

 
Rebecca from Shawnee, KS on 09/08/2005 07:43 PM
Thanks so much everybody! I've booked a place in Hartsburg and Rocheport! It should be a great trip.

 
Savage24 from KC, MO on 09/09/2005 06:31 AM
Rebecca, Please be aware that many of the businesses in Rocheport are closed on Mondays. The bike shop in Hartsburg is closed on Tue. & Wed. in October. Check the hours of the businesses on this website. I highly recommend Les Bourgeois Bistro in Rocheport!


Support
 - 
Suzette from Edwards CO on 08/29/2005 12:06 PM
Does any one know of a bike shop or "tour company" that would organize and support a group for the whole trial? Thanks

 
Henry Curran from Columbia, MO on 08/29/2005 01:43 PM
Our tour company organizes self-guided cycling tours for end-to-end tours of the trail. Check our website www.independenttourist.com or contact me by e-mail or phone. Most of our customers are in small groups and our web pricing is based on 2 persons in a room but we create custom tours to meet the needs of our customers. Support includes luggage transfer, transport to the end (beginning) of the trail and more.



Good luck on planning the tour.

Henry@independenttourist.com

 
Suzette from Edwards on 09/06/2005 05:13 PM
Thank you Henry I will contact you as soon as I know the dates, how many people, etc...........S


Rocheport - McBaine - Easley - Hartsburg
 - 
Old Lady Biker on 09/06/2005 09:43 AM
Our family rode these four check points recently and had a wonderful time. Food at the Cracked Crab and LeBourgeois in Rocheport was delicious, new services at McBaine over the years means we can have food at Lucy's, water and a bathroom plus information. New stop at Hunstdale is quite nice and a good addition and Dotty's in Hartsburg make this a place worth riding towards. One negative, we wanted to camp and stayed at Cooper's Landing, the book describes this place as eclectic, this is true and then some. The many rules given on their website might lead one to think this is a quiet campground with full services right on the trail, however, the rules about quiet and no drunkeness are not enforced, neither are the ones about no pets. There is only one available shower which is used by some of the locals, outdoor bathroom is a porta potty. Campsites are too close together and all share a common water faucet as well as common fire pits. The sites are difficult to get RV's into and out of and the main road is not in use during the live (loud) music which plays from early afternoon until past midnight. If you want a party this is the place, if you want some rest while bike riding choose another.


Amoco (McKittrick)
 - 
JULIA from HERMANN on 09/04/2005 08:10 PM
AN EASIER WAY TO GET HERE IS TO GO TO LOUTRE MARKET AND RIDE DOWN THE PARKING LOT


Lack of Water
 - 
Mel on 04/23/2005 06:47 PM
When will there be water fountains installed along the trail???? It is vital that there be water available to exercisers, particularly in high-trafficked areas, such as the St. Charles westbound section. I was out running on a very hot day recently, and the trail was packed with bikers, walkers and runners, but there was NO WATER available. In Columbia, the MKT trail (which conects with the Katy Trail), has half-mile mile markers, as well as drinking fountains spaced out along the route. I realize the Katy Trail is a state park, rather than a city one, however, I feel it is very irresponsible for the state to not provide proper drinking stops for users of the trail. The energy and money required to install at least a few fountains, spaced about 2 miles apart, are absolutely outweighed by the health risks involved in rigorous exercise in humid, hot Missouri weather, when water bottles run dry!!

 
savage24 from KC, MO on 04/24/2005 01:04 PM
Nails, I feel your pain! I've been trying to post a response, but I keep having to stop and count to 100!



Mel, I do think drinking fountains are a good idea for the trailheads that have water, though one can refill their water bottle from the tap at the sink. I think it is unrealistic to expect the state to provide drinking water at regular intervals on a 200+ mile trail. Despite your apparent views to the contrary, the state is not responsible for your personal hydration; plan accordingly.

 
Nails on 04/24/2005 07:22 PM
Glad I'm not alone in my thinking. I'd be careful about drinking water from a sink at a trailhead that doesn't have a drinking fountain. There may not be a drinking fountain because the water isn't potable.

 
Dan from the East from St. Peters, MO on 08/11/2005 02:10 PM
I agree that water is important. I'm a runner not a biker. I hope to have water available every 5 to 10 miles of some sort from say May to September. Water at every trailhead should be enough though. To carry enough water as a runner is hard but you have to plan it out. To run say 10, 15 or 20 miles to the trailhead and find no water can be a problem. For a biker not to carry enough water for the whole day seems like poor planning to me. I agree with the post on this page that talks about getting water from the sinks. I would think this would be pottable or marked if not. It may at least be well water which could be risky.

 
Mark of the Dalton Boys from Austin, TX./Columbia, MO. on 08/16/2005 09:35 AM
...Yeah, what "Nails" said....right on!! You get angel food cake and you won't or don't like it for lack of frosting. Jeez! Mark of the Datlon Boys

 
Nails on 09/02/2005 12:34 PM
Better yet, my mom's homemade buttercream frosting. Mmmmmmmm!



I run too. Unless it's a sanctioned event, on my long runs, I carry my own water. Yes, it's a pain with the CamelBack rubbing my shoulders for 20 miles, but that's the price you pay when you're not elligible for a Darwin Award.


Katy Trail to Downtown St Louis Directions
 - 
Alan Barker from St. Peters on 09/02/2005 11:12 AM
As a long time cyclist, and a long time Scout leader I would not under any conditions try to take a group of Scout cyclists on ANY of the routes suggested from the Katy trail to the Arch. Perhaps arrange for a shuttle bus to meet you transport you and the Scouts to the arch, and bring you back.

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