Machens Trailhead in Machens
Jeff from Kansas City on 10/22/2023 12:21 PM:
What is the deal with the farmer blocking access to machens road by car? There is a big rope blocking access by vehicle. Is it private property? There is also a sign by the train tracks that says “no access to Katy trail,” but I’m not sure of any other way to access it. I crossed the train tracks and missed the entrance to the trail at first. It isn’t well-marked. Seems like not that many people actually start or stop at Machens?
Best way to get from Machens to St. Louis train station
Luke from KC on 04/20/2023 11:15 AM:
Planning on doing the full trail west to east this June, what's the best option for getting from the trailhead at Machens to the Amtrak station? We would prefer not to ride through the city. All the shuttle services I've seen so far appear to only move you from point to point on the trail. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Adam from KC on 04/20/2023 12:58 PM:
When we did this, we utilized Bike Stop Cafe's shuttle service. They picked us up in Machens and took us to the Kirkwood Amtrak, which we then took back to Kansas City.
Bill in Houston from Houston on 04/20/2023 02:58 PM:
Think about Uber or Lyft as well.
Lofton from Benton, Ky on 02/22/2023 10:57 AM:
I already contacted the shuttle service and they are full on the day I need to start. I would be willing to pay for a shuttle for me and my bike from Machens to Clinton on June 10th. Thank you.
Anon from Clinton, TN on 02/24/2023 10:54 AM:
You'll probably have to catch a shuttle from St Charles rather than Machens. There are multiple shuttle services. If one is full on your date, try calling another.
Lofton on 03/01/2023 10:43 AM:
I initially only saw the one service posted on this website but since found more. I'm solo and not paying $300 for just myself which seems to be the going rate whether its 1-3 people. My plan is just to YOYO it now and use that $$ to spoil myself with food and beer along the way.
Anonymous on 03/01/2023 02:14 PM:
Well it wouldn't have been a very fun trip without food and beer.
Jack on 03/01/2023 04:25 PM:
We rented a car at the St. Louis airport, drove it to drop our car off in St. Charles and then to Lee's Summit where we dropped it at a local outlet. It may not save much but is an idea if there is a drop in Clinton.
Deby from Dallas on 03/02/2023 06:18 AM:
Don't forget Amtrak. It wont do the whole half of the yoyo, but would do a good portion of it. It's really cool to ride the rails. Also very bike friendly.
Anon on 03/03/2023 01:57 PM:
Did you try Katy Bike Rental? 636-987-2600
Dave from Raleigh, NC on 03/14/2023 12:54 PM:
Lofton, I have shuttle reservations (to Clinton) through Bike Stop Cafe in St. Charles. I originally made them a few months ago, and I was the only one. The initial charge was $440 when it was just me, but others have signed up and the price is now $110.
Machens Entry Point
Steven from Novato, CA on 11/29/2022 03:00 PM:
Formulating a plan to ride Machens to Clinton and possibly back. I do plan to use lodging not camping and this site is an amazing resource, thanks to whoever built this.
My question is when I get off the plane in St Louis, where to stay the night before, so I can assemble my bike, and then get to the trailhead at Machens the next morning. It looks like there are some hotels 15-20 miles away. However, I don't which ones are best to get to the trail. There appears to be a bridge across the Missouri to the hotels in West Alton which might be a problem if there is no bike lane on the bridge.
Any advice greatly appreciated.
Mark from Lee's Summit on 11/30/2022 09:35 PM:
I would recommend that you take the St. Louis Metrolink light rail to Downtown St. Louis and start your Katy Trail adventure on the paved trails along the Mississippi River from the Arch. Depending on your flight arrival time, you can either stay at a hotel near the airport or in Downtown St. Louis.
From Downtown St. Louis and the Arch, you can take the paved Mississippi River Trail north about 15 miles, cross the Mississippi River into Illinois using the bike/ped only Chain of Rocks/Route 66 bridge, ride the paved Illinois levee trail (called the Madison County Confluence River Trail) north about 15 more miles to Alton, take the paved bike shoulder across Hwy. 67 Mississippi River bridge back into Missouri, and then use low traffic streets through West Alton to Machens. Through West Alton, the trick is use the two lane Hwy. 94 as little as possible, just look at Google Maps and you can see how you can use Saale Road and Dwiggins Road to parallel Route 94 almost all the way to Machens Road. I would then ride from Machens to St. Charles and enjoy yourself in old Downtown St. Charles right by the Katy Trail.
If you don't want to make it a Katy Trail roundtrip, then there are other options like taking the Rock Island Trail spur off of the Katy Trail into Kansas City.
Jerry Whittle from Belleville on 12/01/2022 03:08 PM:
St. Charles. It's about 13 miles from Machens and on the Katy Trail. So the out and back will add about 13 miles to your trip. There are plenty of hotels in St. Charles and a couple within a few hundred feet of the trail.
madununibomer from op on 12/01/2022 03:22 PM:
last october i was on the greenway trail near stl when it was raining and they opened one of the gates and closed the trail so had to reroute my way to machens so beware.
Camping or lodging near Machens
Eric from St. Louis on 11/22/2022 12:00 PM:
Where do people camp near the Machens trailhead. I want to ride from Sedalia to my home 60 miles South of Machens and Machens would be the perfect stopping point for me, but there doesn't seem to be anywhere to stay the night. Is there primitive camping close by there?
Jerry Whittle from Belleville on 11/25/2022 05:06 PM:
Klondike Park might be the closest place on the Katy to camp. It's still quite a way from Machens.
Here's a web site for camping in that area.
Machens Trailhead in Machens
Timdoas from Nashville, TN on 10/20/2022 04:49 PM:
Rang the bell here on 10/14/22 after starting in Lee's Summit on the 9th. 320 miles total with a few spurs. YEA! Strong tailwind really helped for the last 20 miles. Met my wife at the Black Walnut trailhead. It is the last good place for parking. tailwind became a BAD headwind for 3 miles. After 6 days that was a grueling headwind. LOL.
Nothing else there but the canopy. no parking.
Machens Trailhead in Machens
me&Z + Travel Pup on 10/01/2022 02:16 PM:
Should have read the comments!
Google maps thinks there is a way to drive a car to Machens trail head. There really isn't. You can get close if you ignored the "No access" signs.
Portage Des Sioux Nature Area is a pleasant area for a picnic lunch to celebrate the end of the trail.
Need Machens to Amtrak/Kirkwood Transfer
Perry from Warrensburg, MO on 03/23/2022 06:16 AM:
[Update] Problem solved, we have a ride. Thank you to Jodi and company at Bike Stop Cafe!
My son and I are starting at Clinton on Saturday, to Machens on Wednesday (3/30). We need a transfer of 2 people + 2 bikes to Amtrak at Kirkwood where we'll catch the ride home to Warrensburg. I've reached out to a couple of the usual companies that do shuttles and tours, and, crickets--I can't get a communication back.
Additional suggestions? Or, anyone able to transfer us? More than happy to compensate generously. We'd need a pickup at/near the Machens trailhead at 3PM, Wednesday 3/30.
Rod from New Mexico on 02/01/2022 11:58 AM:
A party of 4 of us plan to ride Clinton to Machens in April. I'm thinking about using a shuttle instead of Amtrak, partly because of the long ride to and from the train stations on each end. Has anyone here used a shuttle service for this? what did it cost you? any other comments?
Rod from New Mexico on 02/01/2022 12:35 PM:
OK, I'm getting more familiar with using the web site. I see that ShowMeMoTours could do this for $370.
Amtrak station STL from Machens
Orange84 from Bloomington, IL on 10/09/2020 02:19 PM:
we will be driving down to STL and looking to take Amtrak to Sedalia, then the $20/p shuttle to Clinton. Riding the trail back to Machens. Any suggestions on how to get back to our car assuming at the train station? Thanks. We checked shuttles from same and it was $170/p to Clinton. Any suggestions appreciated.
ArkyKenny on 10/09/2020 08:04 PM:
Just go Sedalia to St. Charles. Instead of going to Clinton, take side trips into Columbia (by the spur), Jeff City (so you can see the crazy bike path up to the bridge), and to Hermann (so you can eat and drink at the wursthaus). Not missing anything at Machens.
Mark from Lee's Summit on 10/09/2020 10:22 PM:
There are only 4 bike tickets sold per train and October is a very popular month for biking the Katy Trail due to the leaves and Oktoberfest, so I would first verify that you can get Amtrak bike tickets from the Kirkwood Station to the Sedalia Station. If you can get bike tickets, then there are some companies that will shuttle you from either Machens or St. Charles to the Kirkwood Amtrak Station. If you are comfortable riding in some onstreet traffic, then there are routes available from the Katy Trail to the Kirkwood Amtrak Station. You might even consider long term parking in St. Charles and riding or shuttling to the Kirkwood Amtrak station early in your trip, then your car is near the Katy Trail in St. Charles at the end of your trip. That all depends on the Amtrak bike tickets being available, otherwise you are paying for the shuttle. Sometimes you can make a post and recruit more people to ride the shuttle with you and split up the total cost.
Portage des Sioux
Kathy from Kirkwood on 08/25/2020 02:58 PM:
Has anyone here ridden from the terminus at Machens to Portage des Sioux? Sounds like an interesting town.
And how weird is it that the trail just unceremoniously ends there? There's not really even parking.
Mark from Lee's Summit on 08/26/2020 12:49 AM:
The Katy Railroad ended at Machens because that is where it merged with a longer active rail line that still operates today. As far as Portage des Sioux goes, there are a few things to see in that town, but for me, it is a fun passage/route over to the Grafton Ferry where you can pay $4 to get your bike ferried over to Grafton. The Great River Road and the other paved Illinois/Madison County trails are the best way to loop around back south to Downtown St. Louis if you have already traveled to Machens and want to keep going. Sure, you can take 94 Highway to the 67 river bridge and up and over to Alton, but traffic is a little heavier on that route and there is always something fun about taking the Grafton ferry across the Mississippi.
Connie from St Charles on 08/27/2020 09:18 AM:
We have parked at the Black Walnut trailhead and ridden out to Portage. In the town you can ride down to the river and see the shrine. I think there's a restaurant/bar there but we haven't eaten there. It's a nice ride on a not too windy day considering how flat it is.
I agree with riding on out to the ferry. We did that and while it wasn't open, it was still a nice ride.
Machens Trailhead in Machens
ColNei from South Carolina on 08/14/2018 06:13 AM:
August 2018 - Just finished riding Katy from Machens to Boonville on a fully loaded tandem with extra wheel trailer without issue other than a mystery flat tire. Bicycle access to the Machens trailhead is via a dirt field access road - look to your right to see the unmarked footpath to work your way through boulders and the old Katy gate. There is no car access and no safe place to leave a car near the trail. If you are coordinating a drop-off or pick-up for this trailhead, it might be easier to call Portage Des Sioux the meeting spot (church parking lot).