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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Katy Trail and/or Rock Island Trail.
 
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First Trip
 - 
acahill from Kansas City on 07/01/2005 11:44 AM
I'm thinking of a trip starting in Sedalia. I'm not a very experienced biker, but I am a runner in pretty good shape. Can someone give me a range of how many miles is recommended per day? Any suggestions on buying vs. renting a bike the first time around? Can someone give a range in price of a recommended bike? Any help suggestions would be appreciated.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 07/02/2005 08:30 AM
Your leg strength and cardiovascular endurance from running will help a lot. But cycling uses some different muscles from running so you can expect some soreness, especially in the quads, glutes, and a sore "saddle" (the area just south of the glutes). Before I got into cycling, I used to run marathons - when I was in marathon condition but rarely cycling, a 30 mile ride was no big deal but a 40 mile ride left me with aches and pains. Obviously this varies from person to person - you won't know your pain threshold until you get out and ride a few times. Many of the organized Katy Trail tours have 50-60 mile days, but a full tour requires some training.

Unless you only plan to ride a couple of times a year, don't buy a bike from a "big box" sporting goods store or Walmart type place. You'll want to go to a bike shop where they know how to help you find a bike that fits your body. Fit is important (they say Lance can tell if his seat is off by a millimeter) - a poorly fitted bike could leave you with mysterious pains that keep coming back each time you ride.

Your own budget is the biggest factor in what to spend. Most bike shops will let you try out several models on their parking lot, and you'll quickly feel the difference between a $300 bike and a $1000 bike. And of course how often you plan to ride - if you're only riding a few times a year then you really don't need an expensive bike. If you just want the occasional ride on the Katy Trail, you might be better off just renting. Sorry I can't give a more precise answer, but it's something each person must answer for him/herself after visiting a bike shop or two.

If you do buy a bike, don't forget to reserve some of your cash for accessories: helmet, car rack, computer (odometer), lock, bags/panniers.

 
Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 07/02/2005 01:56 PM
Good answer!



I've been there before and others have posted similar questions also. They are legitimate questions when you simply do not know.....but the answers do lie within each individual and their own personal discoveries in the cycling world.



On a personal note....as far as the question that comes up "How far can I ride on the trail?"...I usually ride 3 to 4 times a week on rides of 10 to 15 miles. I find 40 miles comfortable when on a trail though.....probably because I have more time than I do when riding for the evening after work. Thats how I'm equipped physically. I know people who ride 40 miles plus after work and three to four times that on the weekend.



As far as buy vs. rent.....personally and no offense to anyone, but the least expensive bike shop bike is far superior than the most expensive "big box" or Wally World bike. That aside, in making the decision to buy or not....I would have to keep in mind the rental cost. If you are looking to go for a bike ride.....rent! If you are looking to go on a "trip" as the poster stated....consider the cost to rent the bike for the whole trip. Riding for 5 days and having to pay $40 a day for the bike would tell me that I would need to seriously consider putting some extra cash with that $200 bucks and own a new bike. Renting is a good deal for the day perhaps, but not something that I would do for a "trip."



Very simply.....how far and buy/rent?......go to a bike rental shop on the Katy for a day ride. Rent a bike and head out......keeping in mind that no matter how far you go, you've got to turn around and ride that distance back to return the bike.



When you get done, evaluate what just happened and ask yourself some questions. Could I have gone farther? Did I go too far? Can I do that two or three days in a row to satisfy the trip urge? Do I need more water and supplies (snacks/gel/etc.) than I can carry on a rental bike with no bags in order to convert a day ride int

 
Anonymous on 07/05/2005 02:01 PM
Do I need more water and supplies (snacks/gel/etc.) than I can carry on a rental bike with no bags in order to convert a day ride into a "trip."



Do your own little science experiment to see what you can do physically and financially. Only you know what works for you.

 
CP from Grain Valley on 07/05/2005 10:18 PM
Well, I have been riding only for about 2 months. I borrowed a Cannondale but have since been given a new Specilized-I have put about 200 miles on (split even between both)...the Cannondale had the slim seat & the mountain type handle bars (straight), the Specilized has the wide seat and the road type handle bars (upright).

My preference is the wide seat and the road handle bars. But that is a personal choice.

Find a good bike shop close to your home, try several types of seats, bars, gear shifts, etc.etc...all will either add to your enjoyment or make each ride a nightmare.

My first ride on the trail was a R/T from Sedalia to Calhoun (58 miles) a good experience since I thought the trail was flat!!! I was really shocked with the up grades (2%), doesn't look like much till you pedal up one for 1 to 1 1/2 miles...Good Luck!!

 
Sarah from Denver CO on 07/10/2005 08:56 PM
We did 30-40 miles per day on the Katy and thought we could have easily done 50 or more. I'm a very experienced cyclist and ride my bike to work 20-30 miles round trip, but my companion is much less experienced. He walks a lot, but only rides the bike occasionally and felt 50 miles to be quite do-able. We're both in our 50's. It does help to go from west to east (Clinton to St Charles) because you do get more downhills, even though they're only slight. The padded shorts, a comfortable saddle and some kind of lubricant for chafing are really helpful.

 
The Dalton Boys from Austin, TX. Columbia MO. on 07/13/2005 07:41 AM
These are not good answers....they're great answers!!! Having gone Car-less 6 years ago I can vouch for all advice in this vein. One slice of advice I would like to reiterate....don't go "cheap" if you're going to ride a lot....accessories are necessary (water bottles etc.), and those cycling clothes have many true functions...they're not just to make us look good. Heh, Heh. Never thought I would need a cyclometer....then I got one and I'm data hungry at the end of every day whether on my commuter bicycle, or road bike. Enjoy the Voyage Mark of the Dalton Boys

 
Hooked on biking from close to KC on 07/27/2005 11:52 AM
Definately agree with renting & riding a couple of 10-20 mile rides first. Just to make sure you're going to actually enjoy it. I've known several people that went out & bought expensive bikes & then found they really hated riding. Personally, I bought a Wally World Schwin touring bike last spring, rode a couple of short Katy Trail trips & I was hooked. Ended up riding almost all of the legs from Clinton to Rocheport several times & then went out & bought a good road bike in the fall. Since then I've changed the tires to 35s to make trail riding easier. Am riding the the MS 150 this fall!!!!!

One last comment..make sure you get a good helmet. I crashed my bike in May .. ended up flying over the handlebars into trees & brush with the bike on top of me. Luckly, I only ended up with cuts, bruises & a lump on my leg that still hasn't gone down. IF I hadn't been wearing a helmet it would have been alot worse.





Marthasville
 - 
Cameron from Fenton, MO on 06/18/2005 09:47 PM
We road from Augusta to Marthasville today with plans to have lunch at Marthasville. We arrived at 11:30 planing to eat lunch. There was no place close to the trail to eat. We spoke with someone there and she told us that the only place to eat had closed at the first of the year.

Please do not come to Marthasville planning to eat a meal! Please update the site, we went by the information here and our group was very hungry and disappointed (especially the kids). We did back track to Dutzow and ate at the Dutzow Diner.

 
Kathleen from Upper Marlboro Maryland on 06/18/2005 11:16 PM
I agree, we too were discouraged when we saw that Loretta's was closed. We did find Twin Gables off of HWY 47, approximately 1 block off of the Katy Trail. Awesome home made hamburgers and fries and ice cold iced tea.

 
John K. from Webster Groves, MO on 07/03/2005 11:56 AM
Another choice for food is to go west to Peers. The little general store there has great sandwiches and tables to eat at. They also serve breakfast.

 
Barb Bennett from Hawk Point on 07/26/2005 11:04 PM
I am sorry your experience was not a favorable one but if you had waited just 1/2 hour Choo Choo's would have been open.


katy trail, rocheport to boonville / hartsburg to no. jefferson
 - 
frank umbdenstock from festus,mo on 07/26/2005 09:42 PM
got to ride the katy trail for rocheport to boonville and back on monday 7/25/05, also got to ride from harstburg to no. jefferson and back on 7/26/05, while spending time in columbia ,mo for my grandsons state allstar games. i enjoyed the hartsburg to no. jefferson trail much more than rocheport to boonville. it appeared to be more of a change of scenery. i did enjoy the katy through franklin, stopped and took lot of pix of the old railroad turn table and such, and of the old grain silos at pearsons. if ever at rocheport, stop at the trailside cafe and bike rental. the folks there are wonderful and will go out of their way to make you feel welcome. have stopped at the cycle-depot at hartsburg. owners were great and very friendly. the katy trail over the missouri river at boonvile is a dedicated lane on the bridge, but for me it left a lot to be desired. i am scared silly of heights, and the bike lane is only bouts 4 ft wide and only has a metal guard rail bolted to the bridge between you and the river. it's a L-O-N-G ways down to the river. it took all i could to to cross it and then realized i had to cross back. i made it though and thourghly enjoyed the rest of the trip. stopped in at the boonvile chamber at the old boonvile depot for some a/c and cold water. very friendly people. the DNR office is right next door. they are also fairly friendly. office not as cool. trail was in good shape and all in all i thoroughly enjoyed both rides. the trail for hartsburg to no. jefferson was harder to ride. lost of soft areas, almost like sand, but still enjoyable. HAPPY BIKING!!!!!!!!!


Rocheport
 - 
Brent P. from Kansas City on 07/26/2005 03:26 PM
Rocheport is the greatest little town I think I have ever seen. What a rich history of not only Missouri but America. The buildings and the way they are preserved is impeccable. My family and I loved it.


Trail side bike shop &Cafe
 - 
Anonymous on 07/26/2005 03:23 PM
After spending the Hottest day in July of 2005 on the trail, Going to the cafe to have lunch was great. It was nice and cool inside and the food was outstanding. I would recomend the Cafe to anyone.


Katfish Katy's (Huntsdale)
 - 
Brent P. from Kansas City on 07/26/2005 03:13 PM
I spent the hottest weekend in July of 2005 on the trail between Rocheport and Huntsdale with my wife and two kids. Seeing Katfish Katy's was a welcome sight unlike any in my life. My son was totally drained and had taken a spill early on our ride. Coming around the corner and seeing the establishment was like an answered prayer. We got a candy bar and a water and called my parents to come pick us up. What a Godsend Katfish Katy's was. Thank you for being there.


Klondike Park (Augusta)
 - 
Hiker from Belleville, IL on 05/31/2005 02:12 PM
This park is very nice and laid out, but very spartan as well, if that's what you are looking for. Made the mistake of parking around the Weldon Springs area and then hiking up the trail to Klondike to camp overnight. Problem with this is that the town is not within walking distance and the camp does not have a store, just some vending machines. Have plenty of provisions if you are planning on hiking here.

 
mp on 07/24/2005 06:19 PM
Does this campground have electric and water for campers? I have heard that this is some of the best hiking in the country, do you agree? Is it good for kids? Thanks.


Calhoun
 - 
mike from sedalia on 07/23/2005 10:20 AM
we rode to calhoun on the trail and the whistle stop was open, and we loved the food. will eat there again. but they need out side tables


Biking from Clinton to St. Charles (Round Trip)
 - 
Dale Nimmo from Springfield, MO on 07/21/2005 10:29 PM
Planning to leave Clinton on Sunday Jul 31 and return on Aug 7

This will complete my personal goal of 2000 miles on my new LeMonde bike. What ever happens happens, I'm going without a care in the world (packing my cell phone of course and my mp3 player!!!)

Anyone wishing to have a riding partner feel free to contact me.

I'm not a speedy rider, but I do perservere. Plan to either motel it, B&B it or camp it, doesn't matter.



HAVE FUN!
dsnimmo@gmail.com


parking at Sedalia trailhead
 - 
alison hagan from fairplay. colorado on 07/20/2005 06:19 PM
Is it safe to park a pop up camper at the trailhead while we ride? How long can you park there?

 
Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 07/21/2005 09:03 AM
Perhaps refer to the post "Parking in Sedalia" a few pages deep. Personally, I'd let those in Sedalia tell me where a "safe" place to park was. Below is my reply to the above post.....



I have been planning a similar trip for this summer and have emailed the Sedalia Chamber of Commerce and this was their reply:



You have 2 choices you can leave your vehicle at 2nd and Osage 2 block from the Amtrak station and across the street from the police station, or you can leave it at the Katy Trail State Park Trailhead in the DNR parking lot on the east side of the Katy Depot, that is 6-7 blocks away and is next to the Katy trail. Both are secure.



Annette Ray

Visitor Services Manager



Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce

Convention & Visitors Bureau

600 East Third

Sedalia, MO 65301

800-827-5295

660-826-2932 ext.16

aray@visitsedaliamo.com



- posted 5/12/2005 8:47:47 AM by Trek Biker , St. Joseph, MO


about hartsburg
 - 
30milemistake from st. charles on 06/09/2005 09:01 PM
Some friends and I are planning a trip in July to do the Katy from Clinton to St. Charles in 4 days. On of our stops is (possibly) in Hartsburg and after reading this site (which is so great by the way) I'm reading mixed revues that the Globe is great, but Hartsburg itself is iffy? If anyone else has info on Hartsburg they were willing to share it would be much appreciated. Any other words of wisdom would be great, too. I'm extrememly excited for this trip, but I want to be prepared so I'm trying to learn all I can. Thanks!

 
Savage24 from KC MO on 06/10/2005 01:34 AM
30milemistake, (I like that handle, bet there is a story behind it!)



I think Hartsburg is a cool town. I've always thought that a perfect weekend trip would be to leave the car at Rocheport, ride to Hartsburg and camp (or stay at the Globe), then return to Rocheport on Sunday - I'm going to do that someday! Most of the time I have spent in Hartsburg has been on the MO DNR sponsored ride (we camped there a few years ago and will again this year). I have had a cold beer at the Hitchin' Post and enjoyed the 'ambiance' and eavesdropping on the locals' conversations. I have enjoyed the wine and live entertainment at Thornhill Vineyards (temporarily closed?). I've enjoyed ice cream while browsing through the merchandise at Scenic Cycles. I have always heard great things about The Globe Hotel. I have not been to Dotty's Cafe (maybe this year).



I suspect that the signs in the parks that one poster described as "unfriendly to campers" were placed there to deter certain people who are indeed unfriendly to campers - vandals, drunken teenagers, etc. As always, if planning to camp in city parks, CALL AHEAD and get permission/reservations. I also suspect that there are a few "college graduates" from the Columbia area that patronize the Hitchin' Post and are not offended by other patrons' colorful language. Hopefully some of them will post here. I would not hesitate to spend a night in Hartsburg if I were planning a ride on the Katy Trail.

 
Sarah from Denver CO on 06/11/2005 06:51 PM
We biked the trail in 6 days starting 6/1/05. Four or five would probably work just fine. We found the Globe Hotel to be adequate, nothing special. Dotty's Cafe was also adequate--clean, "white bread" food, nice people. The smoothies at the bike shop next door to Dotty's are great! Hartsburg is a pretty spot.

 
Sarah from Denver CO on 06/11/2005 06:54 PM
I wanted to add one more thing. Granted, we're from Colorado, but we found the heat in June to be unbearable. I can't imagine what July would be like. We had to start out at 6:30 every day in order to survive. One day we got a late start and ended up cycling in the middle of the day and thought we would die. I would think the best time to do the trail would be fall, followed closely by spring. If I never see Missouri in the summer again, it would be too soon.

 
Pete from Denver on 06/12/2005 11:06 AM
If you like quaint villages, Hartsburg's your place. As for the Globe, our room faced west and was very hot when we checked in late afternoon; as such it really didn't cool off by the time we went to bed. However, if you want the experience of staying in an old hotel you'll love it. Jeannette, the owner, is very nice and is attentive to the needs of bicyclists.

 
ET from Columbia,MO on 06/12/2005 04:17 PM
With the closing of the winery, the big problem with Hartsburg is food on Sunday nights, Mondays and Tuesdays, when Dotty's is closed. There are smoothies at the bike shop, and a fried menu (burgers, poppers, onion rings, etc.) at The Hitchin' Post, but nothing else. If you are travelling west to east, you might think about trying to get dinner at Cooper's Landing near Easley before you get in. Great Thai food, plus a few grilled items.

 
Austin from Longmont, CO on 06/14/2005 11:35 PM
A friend and I rode from Pilot Grove to Hartsburg around the beginning of May. We stayed at the Globe, which was nice. I'd stay in Hartsburg again, but next time I wouldn't do it on a Monday or Tuesday because almost everything was closed along the way. It's a good thing that the Hitching Post was open, or we would have gone to bed hungry. Here's a link to my pictures for anyone that wants to see what that part of the trail is like http://www.pbase.com/rkymthiker/katytrail05_2005

 
Marylin from Jefferson City on 06/18/2005 02:28 AM
Hartsburg is a very tiny, sleepy little town, that does come alive on weekend nights occasionally with the bars in town, although less so now that the winery closed (sad) and Dotty's I don't think caters to much nightlife, although there still is the Hitchin Post. If you just want a quaint get-away-from-it-all kind of place, you'll like it. Also for food, there is the Claysville store, about 3 miles east of Hartsburg for fried chicken, etc., although I don't know their hours exactly, I think it's on weekends. This is right on the trail, the red building you'll see when you come to the signs for "Claysville". Close enough to bike to in the evening - anyone in Hartsburg could give more info.

 
John from Jefferson City on 06/18/2005 09:04 PM
Dotty is now open some hours on Monday and Tuesday and doing breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.

 
Kathleen from Upper Marlboro Maryland on 06/18/2005 11:22 PM
Keep in mind that Jefferson City is only 10.4 miles further down the trail from Hartsburg. Great city and several shuttle services from the N. Jefferson T/H to hotels and B&B's in Jefferson City.

 
JO from ST Louis on 07/21/2005 07:49 AM
What kind of comment is "white bread" They have other breads.It is a fabulous Cafe!! I am thankful to have a place like that on the trail with clean bathrooms and nice clean place. The best food and COBBLERS!!!


A Rhoades Car
 - 
elaine, mark and alex from Jackson, MO on 03/26/2005 01:45 AM
I just recently saw an advertisement for a Rhoades Car it was a 4 seater with the front 2 seats able to peddle. It's 55 inches across. Would this be too large on a bike trail? Have any of you ever used one or seen one on the katy trail? I'm trying to find a dealer somewhere around that carries them to give it a test drive. My husband and I aren't in the best of health and thought it might be the way to go for us. Thanks for any feedback

 
savage24 from KCMO on 03/29/2005 07:19 PM
At 55 inches wide, I don't think it would fit through the 'squeeze gates' (the locked gates that keep yahoos from driving unauthorized motor vehicles on the trail) that are at most road crossings.

 
Steve from Kansas City on 07/18/2005 02:21 AM
You would be a menace on the trail.

 
Mark of the Dalton Boys from Austin TX/Columbia MO on 07/19/2005 08:48 AM
....yes, at 55 inches getting through the gates would be difficult, maybe not undoable, but a manace might be a bit strong. As with anyone on the trail follow the rules and anyone should be good to go.

 
Dennis M. on 07/20/2005 08:39 AM


Unfortunately there are people on the trail who are a menace.....it's usually those who think everyone else is a menace. Why not show some grace and compassion to fellow man? Someone did with the vision of the trail for you to ride.

 
Et from Columbia, MO on 07/20/2005 08:12 PM
I don't know if it's the same thing, but there are side-by-side 2 person bikes rented at the Trailside Cafe in Rocheport. they are big, but they certainly don't menace other trail users. You might call them to find out what they have, or even go and try one out to see how it works for you before buying something like that.


Les Bourgeois Winery & Bistro (Rocheport)
 - 
Dave and Jean from Lincoln, NE on 07/19/2005 05:09 PM
We came off the trail hot and sweaty,with our three year old son, and walked into the Bistro, which was very spacious with a riverside view. However, we had been looking for the A-Frame of Les Bourgeois. We went over to the A-Frame and were thrilled. We had a lovely outdoor balcony view of the river. We had a "pincic" lunch which was a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread with cheese, summer sausage and mustard. Good place to take a break.


Katy Trail to Downtown St Louis Directions
 - 
Butler from Columbia, MO on 07/17/2005 06:03 PM
We will be biking from Columbia to St. Charles on the trail with a group of Boy Scouts - about 10 of us in all. We would like to visit the Arch. I have looked at the suggested routes to the Arch from the Katy Trail and I would appreciate any comments about current conditions for the suggested routes to downtown via the Page/364 bridge and if, in your opinion, these routes are suitable for 13 to 18 year old riders who are strong but not experienced in city traffic. Some leaders have done city riding but the boys have not. We would like to make the ride to downtown on a Sunday morning to minimize traffic considerations. Thanks for any information.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 07/19/2005 03:28 PM
Planning for Sunday morning is a great idea - traffic will be very light. The earlier you can get started, the better. Downtown especially will be deserted on a Sunday AM, except during football season; Rams "tailgaters" flood downtown early in the morning on game days. Early-day Cardinals games will also generate some morning traffic, but not too bad until 1-2 hours before game time.

The worst part of your ride will be coming out of Creve Coeur park, going up Marine Dr. It's a very steep hill on a 2-lane road, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 mile, and without a shoulder. And I mean steep - many will probably want to walk it, though of course that's dangerous on a shoulderless road. Once your boys get past that hill, everything else should be a breeze.

Katy Trail to downtown St Louis is about 18-20 miles. Add 3 more miles if coming from downtown St Charles. The ride will be more hilly than what you experienced on the Katy Trail of course, but will get progressively flatter (kind of) as you roll towards downtown.

As a scout leader you already know this but I'll say it anyway: do not attempt this without a good, detailed St Louis area map. It's very easy to get off-course, and a good map can save you untold time, distance, and aggravation.

Have a great trip!


Riverside Restaurant & Bar (St Charles)
 - 
Roger B from St. Charles on 07/18/2005 12:33 PM
Riverside is a quant little bar located in the middle of historic Main Street, St. Charles. The interior is rustic but don’t be fooled, the food is fantastic, the staff is friendly and the prices are very reasonable. If it’s a nice day, you may opt to sit outside on the deck where you will find a great view of Frontier Park and the Katy Trail.


Amazing
 - 
Cassidy from Phoenix on 07/18/2005 12:19 AM
My father took me on the katy when i was about 13 years old (4 years ago) and i still remember what an amazing experiance it was. we went from Piolot Grove to some town that started with a "W" and even though it was tough i loved every minute of it.


thanx ray
 - 
frank umbdenstock from festus,mo on 07/17/2005 09:37 PM
i found the bikekatytrail.com website strictly by accident, and have enjoyed it ever since. i get rays e-mails concerning important events on the trail and truly appreciate them. i hope to someday get to ride the entire trail end to end. till then, i have been ridin bits and pieces. first time got to ride 10 miles west from st. charles and back. then, while puttin in time at the mo state fair fire department during the state fair, had a few hours off, my engine company captain let me go ride for a couple of hours, rode out 7 1/2 miles east of sedialia and back. me and wifey have rode from defiance to augusta and back, and from st. charles 10 miles out and back. this is her first bike ever. she just learned how to ride. rode from columbia to rocheport and back to mc baine,and then back to columbia. then from mcbaine to hartsburg and back while in columbia for my grandsons state all star games, and should be going back this week to columbia again for the games, have plans on riding from hartsburg to north jefferson and back, and from rocheport to boonville and back. have eaten at the harstburg bike shop, owners were great, snackbar and bike shop at rocheport, and the snack shop at augusta (don't know its name). thanx to everyone that has sent in their expierences. all the info is a big help. frank umbdenstock


Mokane Bar & Grill in Mokane
 - 
John K. from Webster Groves, MO on 07/03/2005 12:19 PM
The Mokane Bar & Grill has incredible hamburgers. Best lunch on the trail.

 
frank umbdenstock from festus, mo on 07/14/2005 09:00 PM
mokane bar and grill. just seen on the bike the katy trail web site that you opened a business on the katy tril. i will certainly stop by if i ever get the chance to ride past your business. best of luck. frank umbdenstock


Best Western Colonial (Clinton)
 - 
J R from Springfield, MO on 07/14/2005 07:53 AM
This is a very clean motel and is only 1.5 miles from the trail head, although you do have to ride along the busy highway to get there.


Emergency Medical Services along the trail
 - 
CP from Grain Valley on 07/09/2005 04:07 PM
We are riding the trail from St. Charles to Clinton the end of July--what Medical Services are available if an emergency arise????? Thanks!

 
mcd from Rhineland, MO on 07/10/2005 04:10 PM
Hermann has a hospital. Hermann is about 65 miles into your ride.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 07/10/2005 11:37 PM
I believe emergency services (ambulance/paramedic) fall to whichever county you happen to be travelling through, or the closest town. Not to scare you, but there are many stretches of trail where you will be several miles from the nearest town. Also, do not count on cell phone coverage - definitely bring one along, but coverage is spotty. If you are really concerned about this, pay close attention to the mile markers as you ride. If there should happen to be an emergency, knowing the mile marker number will make it easier to help authorities find you or your riding partner. Also carry a trail map or list of towns with mile marker numbers - then at any given time you'll be able to determine whether the closest town is ahead of you or behind you. You'll also see the occasional farm house where you might be able to get emergency assistance, but not along the stretches of the trail beneath the river bluffs.

In addition to Hermann (as mcd mentioned), I know there are also hospitals in Clinton, Columbia, Jefferson City, Washington (near Dutzow), and St Charles.

 
Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 07/11/2005 11:01 AM
Prior to each different trail that we ride, I spend some web time researching each town/county that we will pass through to determine what the emergency contact numbers are.
If 911 is not applicable, I enter the local contact number as well as the number for the state highway patrol in that area in my cell phone.
We have never had to use these numbers, but they are in the phone and each of us in the group is aware of that just in case.
Would be good info to have on this website.
Plan ahead and enjoy your ride!

 
The Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 07/13/2005 07:32 AM
Ditto to all missives concerning EMS assets. The KATY Trail Guidebook, and I dare say the MO DNR Web site have EMS/Contact phone numbers listed for each county the KATY passes through. Additionally, all of the barriers where the KATY intersects with a road can be opened for EMS vehicles to drive down the trail. Enjoy the Voyage Mark of the Dalton boys

 
Ray (webmaster) on 07/13/2005 11:53 AM
For those who are interested, I built a page of emergency phone numbers along the Katy Trail (i.e. county sheriff numbers).

 
Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 07/13/2005 02:52 PM
You're the man Ray!


61 Year old Grandma Biking Clinton to Dutzow
 - 
Sandollar from Gray Summit on 10/09/2004 09:37 PM
I'm a very active 61 year old grandma biking the KATY for the first time Clinton to Dutzow. I want to camp along the way. Is it readily available and safe? Any comments welcome.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 10/10/2004 10:01 PM
  Yes, there's plenty of camping. You can follow this link for a list of all the camping options that I'm aware of along the Katy Trail.. This puts you on the "Plan a Ride" page where you can further customize the list by clicking the checkboxes for other types of businesses/services.
  Regarding safety, I have never heard of any bad incidents involving camping along the Katy. The only problems I've heard of were rowdy campers on a Saturday night, but again this was just a noise nuisance and nothing threatening or dangerous. Just stick to the campgrounds listed on the web page; do not try to camp on private land without the landowner's knowledge.
  Some of the camping options are at city parks. In these situations, some touring cyclists like to drop by the local police station just to let the officers know they're there. If they know you're there, they are more likely to watch out for you throughout the night, and you won't have them shining a flashlight in your tent at 2AM to see if you're "legit".
  I highly recommend that you call ahead to make sure campgrounds will be open and available when you need them. Many of them close for the season, particularly after the end of October.
  If you have general questions about camping while touring by bike (or any other aspects of bike touring), check out Bicycle Touring 101, a fantastic resource. Also you might want to subscribe to the "phred" mailing list. These people are serious bike tourists, riding trips of hundreds or thousands of miles, and most of them camp most of the way. They discuss all different aspects of camping while bike touring.
  Have a great ride!

 
savage24 from K. C. MO on 10/15/2004 05:33 AM
I want to echo Ray's advice to call ahead to be sure camping is available - this goes for the city parks also. Most city parks allow camping 'with permission'. Getting permission can be difficult if 'city hall' is only open 8 - noon on Wednesday! You may also want to ask about stores and restaurants when you call. I often see comments on forums like this from people who were counting on a certain place being open but found it closed when they arrived tired and hungry.



If you don't mind a little company on your ride, the DNR (state parks) sponsors a 5 day ride every year in June which includes camping, hot showers, breakfast & dinner, sag stops, baggage truck, and a T-shirt & water bottle for around $225. It is limited to 300 riders. I have done it the last four years and feel it is a great value!

 
MAH from KC area on 07/13/2005 10:07 AM
Not sure if you are still checking replies, but curious if you did your trip. I've done the Katy end to end twice, but always stayed at motels/B&B. This year thinking of doing the camping thing, but hesitant as I would be a lone female.

If you made your trip, any problems camping along the way? Any tips to share?

Thanks!


Turner Katy Trail Shelter Hostel (Tebbetts)
 - 
Anonymous from Shawnee Ks on 07/12/2005 10:08 PM
I went with Grace Christian Fellowship Church and it was very nice to have a AC and showers, after a long ride.


Swimming near the trail?
 - 
Lynne from Seattle on 07/08/2005 10:02 AM
My husband and I (kids at Grandmas!) would like to explore the trail and nearby points Sunday - Thursday next week (7/10-14). We have our mountain bikes, camping gear and inner tubes (for floating) and a van, but failed to bring racks and panniers. My husband, who grew up in the midwest, thinks I'm nuts to want to bike in Missouri in July, but this is the time we have! Seems like outdoor swiming opportunities would help. I see there's public camping and swimming pool in Pilot Grove. Any motels with pleasant outdoor pools? Any swimming/tubing recommendations along/near the trail - or elsewhere? We don't have to stick to the KT (though this board might...) Or general tips for how Seattlites might survive Missouri in July? Shade? Beer? Thanks!

 
Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 07/09/2005 12:38 PM
I'm not aware of any outdoor swimming/tubing opportunities along the trail. I would not consider swimming or tubing in the Missouri river.



The Katy is good for hiking and cycling.....a good place to get away from the hustle and bustle. A good place to enjoy each other while cycling in the great outdoors.



If you don't mind a drive further south in Missouri, I'd check out tubing on the Niangua River (pretty lazy float here) that flows next to Bennett Springs State Park west of Lebanon or the Current River (a bit more aggressive on this one)that flows next to Montauk State Park just south of Rolla/Salem. Johnson's Shut-ins is a pretty good place to get wet too.



Check out Missouri State Parks at http://www.mostateparks.com/



Enjoy!






 
ET from columbia, MO on 07/09/2005 02:02 PM
Besides the very pleasant little pool at Pilot Grove, there is a public swim area on the Columbia Spur, at about the 3.5 mile marker. It's called Twin Lakes and features lake swimming plus a pool-type area with slides and sprayers for small children. Coming from the State trail, you will see a spur going off to the left around one lake, which is for fishing. Follow it around to the swim area. We also saw local people swimming (well, more like standing in the water drinking beer) under the Lamine River, near Clifton City. It wouldn't appeal most of the time, but if you are on the trail on a July afternoon, I would think it would look pretty good.

 
Thomas Hobbs from Webster Groves MO on 07/09/2005 05:05 PM
Please be aware that Missouri heat can be oppresive due to the humidity and as an additional hazard, thunderstorms in July can pop up quite rapidly and go severe especially in central Missouri. Lots of storms will start near Washington and Hermann and New Haven and cross into Saint Charles County and move to the northeast towards I-70 and then near Troy and Bowling Green near Hwy 79 and 61. I do not think the Missouri River should be used as a cooling swim at any time due to rapid currents at most access points along the trail

 
Lynne from Seattle on 07/10/2005 09:59 AM
Thanks for your responses - we will check out the recommmendations and check back for more!

 
Sarah from Denver CO on 07/10/2005 08:49 PM
It will be plenty hot, unless you get lucky. We biked the trail in June and wished we gone in the fall. However, we did find if we got a really early start (6:30 AM) it was bearable. We took six days, so were usually finished with the day's cycling by noon. We thought it might be possible to stop for lunch after the early start, rest for a few hours, then cycle again in the evening. Six days was more than we needed--figured we could do it easily in five or even four.

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