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

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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Katy Trail and/or Rock Island Trail.
 
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Clear and Uniform Reporting?
 - 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/16/2019 09:31 AM
Hi, everyone. It seems that many people are seeking information, and that many people have information. It also seems like there's not a good matchup between the two.

Locals are a great source of information. You guys get out and ride sections of the trail on a weekly or even daily basis. You know the trail like the back of your hand.

Without you, the trail would die, because you are THE ONLY up to date source of info! THANK YOU!!!

To those of us who don't know the trail well, we generally think of the trail in terms of the little yellow dots with blue text on the map up above.

So for non-locals, something like the following is really helpful, just as an fictitious example:
Sedalia to Pilot Grove is basically fully rideable.
Bridge washout near Pilot Grove has been repaired, but I had to lift my bike over a four foot plastic fence.
A large tree is down approximately 2 miles west of Pilot Grove, but we were able to easily walk through.
Very close to Pilot Grove, there was a 300 foot section of silt that was dry enough to ride on, but it might turn to mud in a hurry if it rains. There’s an obvious ridearound on a local road, though.

But something like this doesn’t mean a lot to us:
Rode from the old Kiwani’s boat ramp at the Clear Creek Bend to the closed Taylor’s Bait Shop. The parking lot of the bait shop flooded, but the store didn't. We made it, but it was a little dicey. Some gravel and some mud. Watch out where the highway crosses.

We just don’t even know where those places are, or what dicey means to you, or how strong of a rider you are, or what highway, or why a flooded parking lot is significant. Because we only know the little yellow dots and the blue text.

So maybe as you awesome, helpful locals get out and ride, you could make a post with the name of the little yellow dot you started at, and the little dot you rode to, and describe what you saw in a way that makes sense to us poor out-of-towners who don’t get to live next to the greatest bike trail in the world.

The locals are really what makes the trail great. There are plenty of 200 mile gravel roads we could ride on. They just don’t have the amazing support that the Katy does! Our favorite parts of the trail were the beautiful, peaceful scenery, and the great locals we met in the little towns along the way.

Thanks for your help as we all try to figure out our plans!!!

 
MLH from Joplin on 07/16/2019 04:13 PM
Has any one been on the section leaving from Jefferson City then on to Portland and from Portland to Mckendrick?

 
Michael from Mountains from London, England on 07/17/2019 02:10 AM
Well said Bill, most eloquently stated. We really do appreciate the updates from those of you lucky enough to be around the Trail (lucky unless you got flooded).
I also wish that out-of-towners would stop asking the same questions which have already been asked a hundred times: "can we cycle the whole trail?", and "will it be ok by X date?". The answer seems to be come back loud and clear: "We just don't know; watch this space; stay positive".
And a very big thanks to all those working to get the Trail back in shape.
We have booked 26 September to 1 October 2019 (definitely 2019 - I love the thread of reincarnated posts from 2013) and come hell or high water will be cycling somewhere on the KATY.

 
Anonymous on 07/17/2019 08:38 AM
Good on ya both, Bill and Michael. I've had similar thoughts. All of the repetition in questions when people won't read the forum is crazy. And the ramble that often doesn't really clarify where a problem is just doesn't help sometimes.

Perhaps Ray could help with a page to report trail conditions/closures. A form perhaps that allowed the same format of report each time. Tic boxes to select specific locations and conditions encountered that would generate reports in chronological order could be of benefit.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 07/17/2019 09:38 AM
Thanks for the input - you guys are offering some great ideas!

Especially this year, there's a real need for making the most current trail condition info readily available and easy to digest. I've been struggling with how to effectively do this beyond the forum posts, and the ideas above provide a good framework.

I'm thinking of a page where you would enter:
- the date
- Point A
- Point B
- a scale where you could assess that section from 1 (impassible) to 5 (perfect condition)
- a free-form text box to add details

Then there would be a reporting page where you could see all the trail condition entries, with the ability to filter and sort by date and/or location.

It would still take a little effort to digest the info, due to overlapping entries - for example, rider #1 reports on Augusta-Jeff City on Monday, and Rider 2 reports on Portland - Hartsburg on Wednesday. But still, it would be way more organized and understandable than trying to sort through the text of all the forum entries.

I'll work on this over the next few days, and hopefully have a handy trail conditions reporting tool within a week or so.

Thanks for the input, and happy trails!

 
Anonymous on 07/17/2019 09:50 AM
That would be fantastic Ray.

Is there anyway that locations could be pinpointed on a map to readily see where the issues are?

Again, thank you again for all that you do for the Katy community. This website is top notch and all that you do is very appreciated.

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/17/2019 11:05 AM
Ray, that sounds like it would be super helpful. Thanks for the work you do for us.

 
CP from Strafford on 07/17/2019 11:45 AM
Yes, Ray - that information would be super helpful.

I recently printed maps of the Katy and highlighted the sections that the Missouri State Parks Website said were closed. Then I scoured this site for any information related to those closed areas and marked those up on the same map. I then utilized Google Maps to research highway detours, even went as far as going to street level view to understand what the highway would look like for riding. All of this took about 2 hours to put together. My Clinton to Machens trip is scheduled for the end of August. From what I've learned, my trip is a go. We have a car that will be traveling with our group, so we'll just have them pick us up if we get into a detour situation that we don't feel comfortable with. Sounds like there will be some rough sections, but there are many sections that are still rideable - and as other posters mentioned, those stores/restaurants could use our business. I'd like to continue to update my maps as we get closer to the date, so any organized way that there is to be able to share information would be super helpful.

And thank you to everyone who has posted information on here related to the trail conditions. It's been super helpful.

 
Gary from Near Tebbetts on 07/17/2019 11:46 AM
I like the map idea. MODOT does it with road conditions, but still has problems with keeping it updated. For instance, HWY94 shows flooded between our house and Wainwright yet the water finally went down a few days ago. Then there is the problem of inaccurate input especially with multiple people providing the information. If those problems could be overcome, the map would be an excellent source for a quick trip planning tool.


Thru-Hiking
 - 
CindyS from Currently Springfield, MO on 04/15/2013 07:07 AM
It has been decided that I will be thru-hiking the Katy Trail starting the end of May 2014. All the research I have found shows this has only been done by a couple of people and it was 6 years ago. I've been reading cyclists info but I was curious about whether there were more planning a thru hike.

 
Don from Ellisville, MO on 04/15/2013 11:46 AM
Cindy, this sounds like quite an adventure, but not everyone posts journals of their trips. In fact, I talked to two sets of couples thru-hiking during my Katy ride last September. So that's at least 4 people who were attempting it in the last year. I've also run into people who were jogging the entire trail -- not for me!

 
Trek on 04/15/2013 12:15 PM
I just went to the home page and searched "hiking." There are several posts that may be relevant that are as recent as December 2012.

 
Mr.z from Lee's Summit on 04/15/2013 12:45 PM
I am planing to head out on the 25th of this month. I have Hiked the Appellation trail in a season and am looking forward to this hike. If I can help just ask.

 
CindyS from Currently Springfield, MO on 04/15/2013 01:24 PM
That's great! I have seen some who have posted about hiking sections but not many on a thru hike. I'll try typing just hiking. Also, I want to hike the AT but I have 3 kids all under the age of 8 so I have to wait until they won't make my husband mad in the 6 months I'd be gone. That's why I decided on the KT. They're going to "follow" me with the RV.

I've read that the flat terrain has caused some difficulty with people's legs. Is this just something I'll have to deal with or is it a training (or lack there of)?

 
Mr.z from Lee's Summit on 04/15/2013 02:32 PM
Spend good money on good shoos. I learned on the AT how much foot wear means to a hiker. Your feet will swell. I also get inserts for extra support. I use walking poles to help with shock on my knees. As for the flat surface, if your shoes take the brunt of the shock you will be fine. You millage and pack will have some thing to do with feet and leg issue.

 
Don from Ellisville, MO on 04/15/2013 06:19 PM
I am a biker, so I am asking out of ignorance -- how does a flat terrain cause more problems? It would seem like the opposite. As for your husband, he will find plenty to do with the kids, because the Katy was laid out with towns every 10 miles for the purpose of bringing on water for the steam engines. Lots of local history, and your 8-year-old could read up on the Lewis & Clark expedition and follow their (your) progress along the trail. The rest of the family can even take short day hikes with you, which is much more difficult to do on the Appalachian Trail.

 
Mr.z from Lee's Summit on 04/15/2013 08:59 PM
I would say it is more due to the firmness of the ground rather that it being level that is harder that other surfaces. The lack of give makes our body's take all the shock of each step. It is because that is a packed down railroad bed. Still it is not as bad a a road.

 
CindyS from Currently Springfield, MO on 04/15/2013 09:12 PM
Yes that is how I am to understand it as well as far as the type of ground. Some have suggested because it's more walking rather than hiking but I don't know. I did a small section of the Ozark Trail a couple of year's ago so I don't want to get too excited about the ease of this trail in comparison.

We homeschool and the 8 year old boy is into Lewis and Clark and the 3 year old loves trains. Basically it should be full of win.

Any specific recommendations on shoes? I was in need of a new pair of running shoes and just bought a pair of New Balance minimus. I haven't tried them yet but I thought I might try to condition myself as "barefoot". But your shock absorbing comment makes me think I should not. Many things to ponder.

 
Mr.z from Lee's Summit on 04/16/2013 07:34 AM
Everyone is different so I could only tell you what worked for me. I came across a few people doing the barefoot thing. I bow before them. On the AT I had a few issues with my feet and they were due to poor foot wear choice on my part. Lafuma and Salomon brands worked best. they also lasted the longest. I fond a cross trainer worked best for me. Gortex did not breath well for my feet and now I stay away from it.

 
Trek on 04/16/2013 08:11 AM
I'm not a long distance hiker, but I have put many miles on both Merril and Keen hiking boots and shoes with good luck. They are similar in style and price to those mentioned by Mr.z.

Keen sandals are great on the bike too.

 
El Toro on 04/16/2013 06:56 PM
I too have done a small section of the Ozark Trail (and have climbed several 14ers in Colorado, etc) and walking the KATY Trail is NOTHING LIKE those experiences. The surface is flat and well-maintained. You will not find large rocks and roots, etc. It will feel more like a walk down the road....but it is a VERY LONG ROAD. For me, it would be a significantly different kind of training and preparation. I would be very much focused on endurance, endurance, endurance...and on blister prevention.

That's my 2 cents. Good luck. Keep us posted.

 
Tom Cody from Topeka, Kansas on 05/10/2013 02:07 PM
I'm currently training and planning to do this myself in early fall 2013... currently undecided if I will do it one-way or round-trip. I'm keeping a training and preparation journal in addition to the journal I plan on keeping on the trip and hope to post transcripts along with photos and maybe videos when I'm done. Like you I didn't find many reports from thru-hikers other than the two from 2007 linked from this site.

 
Mr.z from Lee's Summit on 05/11/2013 01:39 PM
It can be done. 12 days it took me. I gave myself 3 dollars per as to allow for food and lodging. I made my hike the end of April into may.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 05/14/2013 05:31 AM
I set up a web page for through-hikers (and single-day bike riders). Anyone who has done either of these feats, let me know if you're not listed there.

 
Doug Knox from Troy, MO on 11/20/2013 10:18 PM
Feel free to contact me about my thru hike. It took 17 days but it was soooooo worth it. My e-mail is LMS346@netzero.com

 
Michael Conley from Camdenton, mo on 07/15/2019 03:52 PM
I thru-hiked the trail in October 2019...it’s a great trail to thru-hike lots of places to camp and resupply!

 
Doug from Bluffton on 07/15/2019 06:14 PM
So Mike, how does that time travel thing work? Do you come back on the same day you left? Did they have all the flood repairs done? Was that date just a typo? Just pulling your leg a little. Stop in last year on your next trip.

 
Anonymous on 07/15/2019 08:55 PM
Must be a new thing time travel. Replying to posts that are years old like they were new yesterday seems to be a thing now. Go figure.

 
Doug from Bluffton on 07/15/2019 09:57 PM
Well if he's already been to October maybe that WAS just yesterday for him.

 
Michael Conley from Camdenton,mo on 07/16/2019 06:08 AM
I was merely saying that a thru-hike of the Katy Trail was completed in October of 2018...the First recorded!!

 
Michael Conley from Camdenton,mo on 07/16/2019 06:10 AM
Get on your little bike and pedal down the road, real men hike!!??????

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/16/2019 09:33 AM
The first through hiker recorded was in 2007, with several since. See Ray's post above.

 
Michael from Camdenton on 07/16/2019 10:25 AM
Several form Clinton to St. Charles...none but mine all the way to Machens ????

 
BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 07/16/2019 05:13 PM
I see that "Madeline and Lizzy" went from Clinton to Machens in June of 2017. They even posted a day-by-day blog of their trip, as noted on Ray's post. http://madelineandlizzykatytrail.blogspot.com/

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/17/2019 11:10 AM
Keep scrolling.

Doug Knox of Troy, MO
When: June 2007
Not only did Doug hike the whole trail from Clinton to St Charles - he continued on to Machens (before it was a finished part of the trail)!
Read Doug's blog.


Kim's Cabins in Windsor
 - 
big mike from Hartsburg, MO on 07/16/2019 08:10 PM
We just got back from Windsor and we saw Kim's cabins for the first time. Wow, what an addition to Windsor, and the Katy Trail. Right on the trail and look like just what is needed all along the trail. Go Kim!


Katy-Rock Junction in Windsor
 - 
Anonymous from Centralia MO on 07/16/2019 04:50 PM
Best campgrounds we have found on all of the trail. Super clean and quiet. Very good prices and very convenient to the trail and town. The owner was very nice and helpful. Let's you lock your bikes in the building there.


Rocheport to New Franklin opening no time soon it appears
 - 
Sharonbikes from Kansas City on 07/13/2019 02:35 PM
I think it will be awhile before we can ride between Rocheport and New Franklin. If you go to the link below to a FB page (This Town we call Boonville) and look at some photos posted by Danny Green on July 10 - you will see why. The damage to the Trail is significant - a bridge was completely washed off of its moorings. It will be an expensive repair.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1212281372149238/

However, it appears that hi way 40 between Boonville and Rocheport has re-opened.

Sharon

 
Bill in Houston from Houston on 07/15/2019 03:51 PM
Where's that bridge? I don't remember riding on anything like that anywhere between Boonville and Rocheport.

 
Sharonbikes from Kansas City on 07/15/2019 06:26 PM
You know, I thought the same thing...

Sharon

 
RP from Sylva NC on 07/16/2019 04:44 PM
You can see that bridge on google maps satellite images where the trail goes under 40 east of Boonville. (How it was before the flood)

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