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Katy Trail Mid October
Paul Naftel from Littleton, Colorado on 08/27/2005 03:49 PM
My wife and I are planning to ride the Katy Trail (5 Days) in early to mid October. Two questions come to mind.

Is it getting too late in the season weatherwise and do we miss the FAll Color?

Also, as we are unsure of the exact dates, will we need to make reservations at Band B's or is there plenty of accommodation without reservations?


Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 08/28/2005 12:14 PM
In the Fall...and most other times tooo.....the weather in MO can be unpredictable. October is a good time to ride though...nice cool weather along with Fall color. Weekends seem to book fast so my advice would be to use this site to check availability for those locations that you'd like to stay. Herman may be difficult as they seem to party the whole month of October. Below is from a previous post:

The peak for fall color varies for many reasons.....so the "best" time is sometimes difficult to determine. For the past two years, the second and third weeks in October have been very beautiful around Rocheport.

We rode the second weekend in Oct. last year and it could not have been a better time....also rode on Halloween day and most all of the leaves had fallen....still a very pretty ride tho.

The Missouri Department of Conservation tracks peak times throughout the state and is relatively accurate. Their web addy is: http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/

See ya on the trail!

- posted 6/4/2005 7:26:15 PM by Trek Biker , St. Joseph, MO

Trail condition...what bike to ride?
Jason from Huntsville, AL on 08/01/2005 12:54 PM
My dad, brother, and I are going to be riding the Katy Trail in October. We will be doing the entire trail out and back in 8 days, so basically 450 miles or so. We have never been to the trail and are torn on whether or not to ride our road bikes or mountain bikes. We will have a full load on our bikes and are concerned about the packed limestone type trail. For those who have ridden long distances on the trail, what would you recommend? We could probably get 700 x 30c tires on our road bikes that would help a little. The mountain bikes are so much heavier but would probably offer a more comfortable ride. I ride a Fuji Finest AL road bike and it is not very forgiving on bumpy surfaces. Any info or help would be greatly appreciated as we try and decide what bikes to take on the trip. Thanks a million...really looking forward to the ride!

TM from Gunnison, CO on 08/02/2005 05:23 PM
We used our road bikes with some fatter tires and it worked quite well, personally being both a mountain and road biker, couldn't imagine using a Mt bike - the joy of this trail being flat a pretty smooth is being able to motor along when you feel like it - I tires we used were tires one might use on a cross bike - 700c x 35 Contenential 'City Grips' - you'll see a mix of both kind of bikes but even some of the hybrids - mt bike looking rigs - will have 700c wheel set - you just get further with each pedal stroke - so - personally the idea of using a mt bike on what I (and most riders from the middle of the CO rockies) consider a flat trail would make it more boring than it already threatens to be!

See how fat and knobby a tire you can fit on your road bike and have a blast - TM

Dale Nimmo from Springfield, MO on 08/05/2005 02:59 PM
I just finished a round trip on the KATY using a LeMonde road bike with 700 x 28. Had zero trouble with the bike. Carried rear packs of about 50lbs. Here's what I'd suggest....

The trail itself for the most part is hard pack, BUT, be careful!!! there are places particularly near dirt road crossings and such that are treacherous. The gravel is loose, coarse and sometimes deep enough to cause slippage. There are also 'fissures' (for lack of a better word) in the trail at times due to the natural movement of a packed trail, but also I think due to the extreme dryness. These fissures or cracks are EXTREMELY hazardous to just about any bike but more so for the 28 size tire. I was very very lucky. I only 'kissed' KATY one time and now i have a matching scar on my left shoulder to go with my existing right shoulder mark.

Due to the extreme heat I would recommend waiting if you can. But if you have to go be forewarned. CARRY WATER. A few of the T.H.'s do not have a water source and many of the services are closed for the summer do to the lack of activity. The trail is GREAT for the fall and spring seasons but you're basically on your own for the summer.

Now don't get me wrong....I LOVED the trail. Just be sure you carry a tire patch kit and perhaps an emergency first aid kit. You probably already do. I'm the only nutcase who would forget such things!

Feel free to email me anytime. Oh, one more thing...due to the slow traffic, they are 'maintaining' the trail....cutting branches, mowing, spraying, etc etc. sometimes the excess debris can be frustrating to manuver around and the leftover twigs and branches could cause a possible flat tire just as easily as a misplaced sharp rock.

I had a BLAST...hope you do too

savage24 from KC MO on 08/05/2005 11:55 PM
Jason, Being on the trail for 8 days in October, you will experience a lot of different weather conditions. I rode 4 days in Oct. 2000. It rained and was cool (60-65 degrees) the first day, then the weather got better each day after. Some freinds rode in Oct. 2001 and it was cold and rainy all week. The fall colors can be beautiful (usually at their peak the 2nd-3rd week, though it varies some from year to year), but be prepared for temps ranging from (at least) low 40's to mid 70's. Here is some October weather info for Jefferson City, MO:

Alex on 08/06/2005 03:18 PM
I rode the trail for the first time two weeks ago and loved it. My experience, though limited, would totally support what you've been told in the previous posts. I rode a Fuji Cross with 700 x 32 tires and thought they were about perfect for the trail. I would not want to ride a mountain bike, but I prefer a road bike set-up to begin with. I don't think you'll have any trouble at all with a tire that is 28-32. Have a blast!

MLH from Overland Park on 08/10/2005 12:39 PM
I have two Cannondales: an '05 Road Warrior 1000 lightweight hybrid and a '99 F900 hardtail MTB. I would put in a plug for using the MTB on the Katy. Use Continental Travelcontact 1.75 x 26 (measure 44mm),inflate to 55# and make certain your saddle is right for your anatomy. You may mount a rear rack as I have done and I have also found that a carbon fiber seatpost helps to reduce vibration (and some weight) although $$$. Also, gel handgrips, such as Specialized BG's help to reduce hand numbness. I don't find the set-up to be slow or difficult at all as I cruise along at about 15mph usually. Perhaps others wouldn't use their own MTB's of they are quite heavy but for lighter bikes such as Cannondales, Treks etc., I think the combination is more ideal for comfort, fewer punctures, less concern regarding rain, ruts, loose gravel etc.

Jason from Huntsville, AL on 08/30/2005 11:35 AM
Thanks for all the great info! I have decided to ride my road bike and go with probably 700 x 32CC tires. Thanks again!

Mark of the Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 09/01/2005 02:30 PM
When I did the KATY I took my hard-tail MTB, put large (26X1.95) city slickers on it, hooked up the BoB YaK and amazingly never got close to being bored, but then again I never signed on for anything other than a cruise. The bike I left at home was my Litespeed road bike because I didn't want pug surface up in my drivetrain. Regards......Mark of the Dalton Boys (Couldn't resist Webmeister please forgive).

First trip
Lori from Springfield on 08/25/2005 09:33 PM
We are planning a one-day round trip out of Rocheport. Which way and how far should we go? Middle aged with teen-agers, haven't ridden a bike in years. Also, we will rent bikes, what should I consider in selecting one? Thank you.

frank from festus,mo on 08/26/2005 10:32 AM
hey there folks, i have rode from rocheport both east and west. my advice to ya'll would be go to the east. it is along the mo river for a ways, and i think just more beautiful over all. however, be sure and ride through the katy tunnel at rocheport, just west of the rest area. as far as bikes go, check with the trail side cafe at rocheport. give them a buzz couple days before you leave. they will be a major help to you. have fun and enjoy the trip.

Stay in Hermann?
Jason from St. Charles on 08/21/2005 12:21 AM
Are there any cheap motels in Hermann that a group of 5 riders could stay in? Also, I saw on another portion of this site that you can cross the bridge from McKittrick to Hermann and back with and escort van behind you to make crossing the bridge possible. Where do you have to go to arrange something like this? Thanks in advance!

Ray (webmaster) on 08/22/2005 01:00 PM
Hermann has tons of B&Bs but only one motel that I know of, the aptly named Hermann Motel: www.hermannmotel.com. The shuttles and bridge escorts are offered by some of the B&Bs, but I doubt that the motel offers such a service. I don't know how you could arrange one outside of being a guest at a B&B. Check out the Hermann page, in the right-hand column under lodging it lists which ones offer these services (to the best of my knowlege). Also, Meyers Hilltop Farm in McKittrick will drive their guests across the bridge.The other option for cheap lodging is camping: lots of campgrounds along the trail.

bikerLaura from Round Lake, IL on 08/25/2005 10:08 PM
I have a reservation at the Hermann Motel and was told the following from the owner about shuttle service: The motel

does not have a shuttle service, but here are two phone numbers to call; the Hermann Express (573-486-2877). They run Monday thru Friday 6a.m.-6p.m.. They do need to know 24 hours in advance. If you are coming in on Monday, they would need to know the Friday before. The other number is Hermann Ride, Rest & Go Shop (573-486-9170). I am not sure of their hours, but they are a bicycle shop. Sue (Hermann Motel)

Bill from Lenexa, KS on 08/25/2005 08:52 AM
The bike stop in Defiance is a MUST stop. The owner is the must helpful person. They have most sports drinks and water and are open much earlier than anything else in town.

Touring and Camping ?s
Anonymous from Chicago on 07/26/2005 04:30 AM
My sister and I were planning on biking from sedalia to st louis (I am planning 5 days of solid biking) this summer. I have gone on camping and biking trips before, but this will be the first time camping while biking. Any thoughts on necessary equipment, safety while camping, stove and food recommendations (we are both veggies), etc? Thanks!

Ray (webmaster) on 07/26/2005 03:18 PM
A great resource for this is the Bicycle Touring 101 website: http://www.bicycletouring101.com/index.html - all of the topics you mentioned are covered in detail, plus many other topics related to bike touring. Check out the "Table of Contents" link in the wheel logo.

savage24 from KC MO on 08/20/2005 07:35 AM
Another great source of information & inspiration:


ET from columbia, MO on 08/21/2005 08:13 PM
You probably want to do some planning if you want vegetarian fare all along the way. We had a vegan on our last trip, and there was one time that the only thing we could find for him to eat was french fries! That was in Hartsburg, when only the Hitchin' Post was open. I do know that the Trailside Cafe in Rocheport has vegetarian fare, and of course many of the more full-range restaurants will have salads and other vegetarian options, but this is the Midwest, where even the vegetables are often cooked with meat!

Jamie and Dan from St Louis, MO on 08/24/2005 11:16 AM
When we camped and biked we basically used backpacking equipment. I think the lighter the better. You can get some great backpaking meal ideas by googling. These work great on a bike trip like this as well. You can always do foil packs with veggies if you have a campfire. This is delicious. If you are a vegetarian and not a vegan I don't think you will have too much trouble finding stuff to eat are restaurants along the way. Just like any restaurant there are always salad options etc that you can eat. Have fun on your trip.

Klondike Park (Augusta)
ws from St Charles on 08/22/2005 04:08 PM
It's a very nice place to visit, be advised of rock slides. One happened within 300 feet of me!!!

West to East or Vica Versa?
Derek Turvey from Kelowna B.C. on 08/13/2005 01:41 AM
I am planning upon riding this trail in the next year or so and since I am coming from western Canada I would like some opinion on which end to start. Are there spots along the trail for my wife to meet me in our 5th wheel? Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thank-you. my e-mail is: dturvey@shaw.ca

Mark of the Dalton Boys from Austin, TX./Columbia, MO. on 08/16/2005 09:25 AM
Derek - Technically speaking its downhill from West to East on the Katy Trail. I got that information from the Missouri State Geological web site. The loss in elevation is in the neighborhood of 400-800 ft. so its not that noticeable. Many and plenty places for your wife to rendevous with your RV starting with Sedalia then to Boonville, Columbia, Jefferson City, Herman, and Marthasville. There are many other places that your wife may wish to visit even though you may not wish to necessarily rendevous there as you may not have attained your "mileage" for the day but those locations will have shopping etc. points of interest. I recommend doing the KATY in Spring, or Fall. Enjoy the Voyage...Mark of the Dalton Boys

Rob from Parker, CO on 08/19/2005 02:24 PM

My wife and I just finished a west to east trip of the whole trail on August 11. We went that direction on someone's advice, but I believe it would be fun in either direction. We were told that the prevailing winds are to the east, but we actually encountered some westerly winds along the river. They were actually nice cooling breezes. I'd say that doing it in either direction would be fun and rewarding. Your wife could meet you in the many towns the trail goes through along the way. We had a great time-hope you do too.



Staying in Holts Summit
bikerLaura from Round Lake, Il on 08/19/2005 08:16 AM
I'm planning a trip for late September and was considering staying in Jefferson City one night. I 'finally' got my new Katy Trail Guidebook and it mentions Holts Summit as an alternative. Has anyone stayed there? I like the fact that you can bike to the Best Value Inn. How far is it to get there and what is the trail/road like to get there?

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 08/19/2005 09:37 AM
Read the thread below:

Subject: summit plaza best value inn -- holts summit

I has some insight from others who have stayed there.

Ray (webmaster) on 08/19/2005 09:53 AM
I would not recommend riding your bike to Holts Summit. It's only 4 miles, but you would be riding on the shoulder of highway 54, a 4-lane interstate. I think the speed limit is 65 or 70 there. If you read the thread mentioned in the post above, you see that Best Value Inn offers a ride from the trailhead - the key thing is to let them know you need the shuttle at the time you make your reservations.

best segment for a one day ride
rogead from Minneapolis on 08/17/2005 08:45 AM
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.


savage24 from KC, MO on 08/18/2005 12:37 AM
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.

trinjboro from Jonesboro, AR on 08/18/2005 12:08 PM
I give a hearty second to Rocheport to Hartsburg. This is by far the most scenic portion of the trail.

Tom from St. Louis on 08/15/2005 07:52 PM
Nothing in this town! I have been there twice. The trailhead is nice, but do not plan on eating or picking up any supplies.

Ray (webmaster) on 08/16/2005 09:55 AM
You won't find anything on the town square, but actually there is a small convenience store 1/4 mile west of the Calhoun trailhead & square: Jug Town Food & Feed. Look for the big red grain elevator; the store is located in the eastern part of this building. Not a huge selection, but you can get basic snacks and drinks.

Katy Roundhouse (New Franklin)
Jean and Dave from Lincoln, NE on 07/19/2005 04:54 PM
The Katy Roundhouse has tidy grounds, reasonable rates and nice showers!

D & K from Blue Springs, MO on 07/23/2005 10:51 PM
We enjoyed camping at the Katy Roundhouse over the Independence Day weekend. John, the manager, was very helpful. He installed a grill on our fire pit, sold and delivered us ice, and gave us the combination on the women's showerhouse (a nice security measure). It was a great place to crash in our tent each night after riding. We went from 184 to 210 round trip one day and Sedalia to 210 roundtrip the next. John is out and about the campgrounds on his 4-wheeler...you can't miss him and his faithful dog.

Mark of the Dalton Boys from Austin, TX./Columbia, MO. on 08/16/2005 09:52 AM
The Dalton Boys gave the Katy Roundhouse a 5 Star rating when they camped there on their 2002 Katy Ride!!! All previously noted on other missives this vein are absolutely and wonderfully true. When we arrived at the end of the day the manager told us that the local Pizza place delivered to the campground and then whipped out his cell phone to order for us....dreamworks!!!! Had we giggled while piledriving pepperoni pizza down our gullets we would have been mistaken for hyenas in a feeding frenzy. Regards....Mark of the Dalton Boys

Dotty's Cafe (Hartsburg)
Sally from st charles on 07/04/2005 06:54 AM
If you haven't stopped at Dotty's you don't know what you are missing!

The Nicest restaurant and people around!

Tom from St. Louis on 08/15/2005 08:00 PM
I can't say enough great things about Dotty's. You are missing something special if you don't eat there. The bike shop is great too! I had a bad wreck about 10 miles outside of town and lost most of my higher gears. This guy had my bike fixed in a few hours. He saved the trip.

CP from Grain Valley on 07/05/2005 09:36 PM
Very nice stop on the trail! Casey's General Store is about a stones throw from the trail----good deal since we needed GatorAid ASAP!!!!

The Subway was excellent and about two blocks south. Good Stop!

Sarah from Denver CO on 07/12/2005 05:13 PM
There's also a little main street just beyond Casey's. We ate at a great little ma and pa cafe whose name I can't remember. Does anyone know? After turning left coming into town, it's about a block. There's also a cafe the other directions.

Tom from St. Louis on 08/15/2005 07:55 PM
Raymond's is a fantastic spot to eat. Great breakfast and good service. It is about two blocks from the trail.

MO weather at Thanksgiving
Mark from Houston on 08/12/2005 06:24 PM
I may be in St. Charles for Thanksgiving and was looking for roadrides. However, the Katy Trail thing looks very cool. Although I live in Houston I grew up in Omaha so I know what winter can be like. Omaha occaisionally got early lite snow in November. I have clothing to cycle in Houston down to about 45F, w/o rain. I assume the weather in MO can be quite variable around Thanksgiving but there's a reasonble chance of decent enough weather. Is there much chance longsleeve jersey, ear protection, arm & leg warmers will be adequate for riding the Katy trail in the 3rd week in November? Am I kidding myself??

savage24 from KC, MO on 08/14/2005 06:59 AM
Quite variable indeed. Here is some November weather info for Missouri (I hope the link works):


Lewis & Clark Marathon and Half Marathon in St Charles
janie smith from paducah ky on 08/12/2005 09:25 AM
What hotel (cheap but clean)do you reccomend? I like to be able to walk to the start!

Ray (webmaster) on 08/12/2005 05:35 PM
That depends on how much of a "warm up" you hope to get before the marathon. Unfortunately the closest hotels are over a mile away. The starting line is at the Family Arena - this page has a map of the location. Several "chain" hotels (probably your cheapest option) are clustered around the hwy 70 / 5th Street intersection: Best Western, Comfort Suites, Quality Suites, to name a few. The B&B's are even further north, mostly around the Main Street historic area and just west of there.

daily shuttle service availability
Jerry from Maria Stein, Ohio on 08/08/2005 09:52 PM
First time riders, (2). Is a shuttle service available that will take one of us back each evening to our starting point to pick up our vehicle ? We want to eliminate packing luggage. We will also go 30 to 40 miles per day, starting at Sedalia, and ending in St. Charles. Also interested in the rates. We plan to stay in hotels or b&b's. Ideas and e-mails welcomed to jschmack@adelphia.net

Friend from Sedalia on 08/10/2005 12:25 AM
Have you called B-L Shuttle? 660-221-4406

Ray (webmaster) on 08/11/2005 01:34 AM
Here's a web page with a list of all the trail shuttles. Can't tell you about rates - you'll have to call them.

Jerry from Maria Stein, Ohio on 08/12/2005 12:34 PM
Appreciate your reply. I was hoping for a recommendation for a shuttle service, since I am not familar with them. I plan on calling them right now.

Camping in Hartsburg and Bluffton
Anonymous from chicago, il on 07/31/2005 12:57 AM
Does anyone know anything about the three campgrounds in Hartsburg (volunteer park, busch's landing, or hartsburg inn) or the two in Bluffton (steamboat junction and rendelman home)?

backpacker from southern Indiana on 08/03/2005 11:29 AM
I visited the steampoat junction campground this weekend and it is a quaint little place with 10 or so sites some with electric. there is a shower room, clean, with small tables and two chairs at each site. The sites are shaded and cheap ($9 w/o electric). Looks like no problem getting in there.

ellen from Springfield, MO on 08/11/2005 02:54 PM
Our group of nine camped in volunteer park in Hartsburg. It isn't large and it is right off the trial in the middle of town.

The restrooms on trial were open and since we were

tent camping, the running water was welcome. Everyone we met was

friendly and although the local bar was rocking on Saturday night, no

one bothered us. All the town dogs came by for a visit. Hartsburg is a charming town. There was a minimal fee.

Starting in Clinton vs Sedalia?
bikerLaura from Round Lake, IL on 07/03/2005 10:58 AM
I am planning a trip for later this summer. I'm debating whether to start in Clinton or Sedalia. I rode the Katy before and started in Sedalia, which was convenient since the Amtrak stopped there. If I start in Clinton, any suggestions how to get from Amtrak to the trail? We would probably arrive about 7 PM on the train. Is it worth it to ride the extra part from Clinton to Sedalia?

Friend on 07/16/2005 11:37 PM
Many want to start in Clinton because it is the beginning of the trail. You can get to Clinton from Sedalia by shuttle for a very reasonable rate. B&L shuttle is a shuttle service I have used. Their number is 660-221-4406

Dale Nimmo from Springfield mo on 07/21/2005 10:23 PM
I too will be riding the WHOLE Katy trail from end to end and back again within the first week of august. This will complete my goal this year of 2000 miles on my new LeMonde road bike. Am very eager to begin and really don't have a care in the world about what happens. Except perhaps for laundromats!!

trinjboro from Jonesboro, AR on 07/22/2005 04:25 PM
Unless you're simply wanting to say you rode the entire trail, I wouldn't waste the time and money to shuttle to Clinton. The portion of the trail from Clinton to Sedelia is boooooooring, and you stand a good chance of having to dodge horses and the resulting manure piles.

Sarah from Denver CO on 07/24/2005 10:17 PM
2000 miles is a worthy goal--good for you! Have you considered commuting to work? I put 10,000 miles on my bike in less than 3 years commuting. It's fun to watch them add up.

Dale Nimmo from springfield mo on 07/24/2005 11:46 PM
if gas prices don't drop I just might!!!

actually, I only live 1.5 miles from work, but sometimes have to use my car for business purposes.....

It would be good to try and use the bike instead tho for many reasons

peace to you....go carefully out there

J.B. from PITTSBURGH, PA on 08/08/2005 09:28 PM
Take an earlier train out of St. Louis (arrive before noon) and head to Booneville or stay overnight at the Hotel Bothwell and depart east the following AM. A one-word answer to your question is, "No."


Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 08/09/2005 10:45 AM
You may want to check with Amtrak......according to their website they do not stop in Booneville. Stops along the trail are in Sedalia, Jefferson City, and Herman.

Shakespeare in the Vineyard
Loretta from Lohman, MO on 08/08/2005 07:47 PM
Do we bring a blanket or chair to sit on, or does your amphitheater have seating? Thanks!

Ray (webmaster) on 08/08/2005 11:46 PM
"Bring a blanket" according to the Les Bourgeois website.

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