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Katy Trail to Kirkwood Amtrak Train Station

For general information on taking the train to points on the Katy Trail, see the Katy Trail Amtrak guide
Waiting on the (t)rain in Kirkwood
"Waiting on the (t)rain in Kirkwood" Photo: Kelly Palmer
More Photos by Kelly Palmer

What's the best route from Kirkwood Amtrak Station (in St Louis County) to the Katy Trail?

This question came up on the St Louis Regional Bicycle Federation discussion list, where the following three suggestions were made. We have not personally tested these routes, so we cannot guarantee their bike-worthiness, although the first route is taken from an established national route.  The fourth route, which was posted in the Trail Comment Forum by a rider (thanks Paul!), is in the opposite direction - from the trail to Kirkwood.  Of course, you should be able to reverse any of these routes to go the opposite direction, with the help of a good road map.

You should obtain a good St Louis area road map before undertaking this journey, and of course just reading through the suggested routes will make a lot more sense if you follow along on a map.  Note that the Page Ave/364 bridge opened in December of 2003, and therefore will not appear on older maps.

In the St Charles area, there are two Missouri River crossings that can be made by bike.  The Page Ave/364 crossing puts you onto the Katy Trail just three miles south of its origin in St Charles.  Look for the dotted green line coming off of the Katy Trail on this regional map - that's the Page Ave Crossing, which runs from the Creve Coeur Park Trails to the Katy Trail.  Here's a page discussing Creve Coeur Park and the Page Ave Connector Trail that links it to the Katy Trail. The Discovery Bridge/370 bridge drops you off just north of the Katy Trail’s origin (you can see where highway 370 enters St. Charles on the north end of the St Charles map).  But you’ll have to pedal fewer miles if you take the Page Avenue crossing.  From there you can ride north the short distance into St. Charles, or head south if you just want to head out Westward on the Katy Trail.  Overall, we strongly recommend the Page/364 crossing, as it is way more bike-friendly than 370 and a shorter distance.  On the Discovery/370 Bridge, you'll be separated from 70 MPH traffic by a white line painted on the pavement, riding on a trash-strewn shoulder.  On the Page/364 Bridge, you'll be separated from 70 MPH traffic by a cement wall and fence. 

If you opt for a shuttle instead, you might want to try Show Me Tours Shuttle.

I'm guessing that Kirkwood-to-St Charles is in the neighborhood of a 20-mile ride (this is just my "gut feeling" estimate, so expect some variance).

Here’s a Mapquest link for the Kirkwood Train Station, which is located at 110 West Argonne, at the corner of Argonne and Kirkwood Road.

Here’s a link to a map of the Page crossing, from the Missouri Dept of Transportation.

Route Suggestion 1

The first suggestion was taken from the American Discovery Trail’s official route (http://www.discoverytrail.org/states/missouri/mo_points1.html), so presumably it has been well tested.

Kirkwood --> 370 (Discovery Bridge):

North on Kirkwood Rd. 2 blocks to Adams (turn left/west) [see note in blue below]
Adams through Sugar Creek Valley (turns into Ballas after 2 miles, and curves north) Continue on Ballas across Dougherty Ferry (at 2.4 miles), across Manchester (at 3.8 miles), to Ladue Rd (at 7.4 miles). Turn left/west on Ladue Rd.
Ladue Rd 2.1 miles west to Mason N. Turn right/north at N Mason. (there is a shortcut here at Chasselle Lane - turn right shortly before Mason, after 1.7 miles on Ladue - takes you to Mason
Mason Rd 2.1 miles (or 1.8 miles if you used Chasselle) to Olive
Left/west on Olive, 0.5 mile to Fee Fee
Right/north on Fee Fee, 1.1 miles to Bennington Place
Left/north on Bennington, 0.5 mile to Basston Dr.
Left on Basston, 0.2 mile to Marine
Left/west on Marine 2.4 miles past Creve Coeur Park to Maryland Heights expressway Right on Maryland Heights Expressway - after about 1.5 miles it becomes Earth City Expressway (has shoulders, but not for the faint of heart.)
Earth City expressway to St. Charles Rock Road (1.7 miles after passing under I-70)
Left/west on St. Charles Rock Road, 0.7 mile to Missouri Bottom Road
Right/north on Missouri Bottom Road 1.1 miles to MO 370 - turn left - cross Discovery Bridge - there is a bike trail exit right past the bridge span which will take you down to the MRT. (the bridge is not for the faint of heart also)

Kirkwood to the Page Extension Bridge: (same route as above until Creve Coeur Park)

North on Kirkwood Rd. to Adams (turn left) [see note in blue below]
Adams through Sugar Creek Valley (turns into Ballas)past Manchester to Ladue (turn left)
Ladue west to Mason N. (turn right) (there is a shortcut here at Chasselle Lane - turn right shortly before Mason - takes you to Mason)
Mason to Olive - turn left for short (.4 mile) run to Fee Fee - turn right on Fee Fee
Fee Fee to Bennington Place - turn left
Bennington to Basston Dr. - turn left
Basston to Marine - turn left
Follow Marine to Creve Coeur Park
Use the Creve Coeur Park trails: get on Bike/Walking trail and follow around the north side of lake and then follow south along the west side of the lake. Skirt right around the west side of ball fields - follow the trail straight and this will lead you to the connector to the bike path over the Page Extension Bridge.

One suggested revision to the above directions: The train station is on Argonne Road, between Kirkwood Road on the east and Clay Ave on the west. It would be better to take Clay north to Adams, rather than Kirkwood Road, because Kirkwood Road is very busy and has no good shoulder or bike lane. Clay and other streets to the west are residential and have much lighter traffic.

Route Suggestion 2

Note: the Olive/270 construction mentioned below is finally completed, and they even included a striped bike lane for part of that section of Olive.
No way I'd be on Lindbergh. I'd head west on Adams to where it turns into Ballas, then north on Ballas 'til it ends at Olive.

Once at Olive, when they finish the lovely construction at Olive & 270, head west on Olive to Ross Rd and turn right. This will take you all the way to Bennington, which has an entrance to Page west (this is right near the start/finish for the TT that was held out there during the winter).

As an alternative 'til Olive/270 is complete, cross Olive at Ballas. I don't know the name of the street, but it eventually dumps onto Craig, I believe. From there, turn left, and it will get you to Westport, and turn into Marine Drive. After passing under 270 and climbing a short hill, you can hang a left on Bennington and get back to Benngington and Page. Then it's the same as above.

I'd vote for Geyer->....->Craig->Westport->Marine-> etc. Ballas til Clayton is OK, but north of Ladue on Ballas there is 2-lane high speed traffic, no wide lane, no shoulder, and a high steep curb. I ride on busy roads regularly, even Lindbergh, but not THAT one. The Geyer route is less hilly too; I'm not a hill fan.
I haven't ridden the Mosley->Craig short section of Olive, although I drive it now and then

Route Suggestion 3

Adams west of Geyer is a very scenic ride, but it lets you out on Ballas, which, while quite efficient, is perhaps too heavily traveled for some tastes.
A good alternative would be Geyer to Clayton to Spoede to Ladue to Moseley to Olive to Craig. From the Amtrak station, west on Argonne to Clay to either Adams or Essex to Geyer. Craig (which, if you are taking Ballas, can be accessed by simply crossing Olive and following it around behind the Koman office park) will take you to Page, but from there how to actually get on the extension is a bit of a mystery to me.

Route Suggestion 4

Thanks to Paul for posting this route in the Trail Comment Forum.  This route is in the opposite direction of the above routes, from Creve Coeur Park to Kirkwood (again, here's the link if you need details on the Creve Coeur Park Connector Trail and where it connects to the Katy).

From the Page Bridge and Creve Coeur Park Connector Trail, I took the following roads:
    SE on Marine Ave.
    Straight on Westport Plaza Dr.
    Straight on Craig Rd.
    Left on Olive Blvd.
    Right on Mosley Rd.
    Left on Ladue Rd.
    Right on Spoede Rd.
    Right on Clayton Rd.
    Left on Geyer Rd.
    Left on Argonne Rd.

Except for the long, steep hill on Marine Ave., this turned out to be a pleasant, fairly quiet ride. In addition to the hill, Marine was pretty narrow, twisty, and busy. Much to my surprise, no one honked at us and most vehicles passed in a courteous fashion. However, I would only recommend this route to very experienced riders.

Route Suggestion 5

Thanks to Wes Ridgeway of St Louis for sharing his route from Grant's Trail in southwest St Louis County to the Katy Trail.  If coming from the Kirkwood Amtrak station, you just head a few blocks north to Adams and take a left, and Adams eventually leads to Ballas (after a nice ride through the lovely Sugar Creek area). 

My route from Union Road to Frontier Park in St Charles, round trip May 28, and 1 way hauling trailer on June 20 2004, roughly 32.5 miles one way. From home to Grants Trail Right onto Union Road Right onto Grants Trail Right onto Pardee Left onto Grant Road Left onto Berry Road Left onto Lockwood/Adams Merge onto Ballas Left onto Dougherty Ferry Right onto Des Peres, Left around the Des Peres Community Center Left onto Clayton Road Right onto Mason Road, continue on Mason Road untill Ladue Road Left onto Ladue Road Right onto Woods Mill Road Left onto Olive Road Right onto River Valley Before bridge over 364, right onto access to Creve Coeur Park Trail continue left on Creve Coeur Park Trail over the Missour River down the loop to Katy Trail State Park Left to continue to Frontier Park

Useful/Related Resources
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