Katy Trail Home | Mileage Chart | Towns and Services | Trip Planner | Comment Forum | Events | Shirts/Merchandise | Maps

Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Walked the whole trail?

Does anyone know or ever heard of a person hiking the entire trail? Can it even be done? How long would it take? Just curious. Thanks!
posted Dec 5 2006 4:04PM - Rachel M., Odessa, MO

Here's a website you might want to look at: http://gregwalk2006.blogspot.com/ Greg walked half the trail earlier in the year. Some great info!! I'm leaving Machens on June 4, 2007 and hiking thru to Clinton. I'm going to do it in about 3 weeks, give or take. I've hiked seperate parts of the trail but never the whole thing at once. Let me know if you're going to hike the trail, I'll share all my resources. Again, check out Greg's site!!!
posted Dec 5 2006 9:09PM - Doug K., Troy

This is Greg, of the aforementioned Gregwalk2006. It most certainly can be done. As Doug wrote, I walked 163 miles of the 225 total miles in 8 days. My plan was to finish it off in about 12 days. I had to stop due to excessive blistering on my feet.
The main thing, as I have written here before, is planning the logistics for the trip. (ie food, water, shelter). I tried to stay as self-contained as I could, but probably carried too much weight in my backpack.
I plan on finishing off the last 60-odd miles this coming Spring. As Doug wrote, feel free to ask me any questions you might have about hiking the trail. I will tell you what I know
posted Dec 6 2006 7:05AM - GC, Columbia, Mo.

I know of a man named Ed Belik. He is in his 70's and has walked the trail several times. He has also rode the trail several times and volunteers each year with the state sponsered KATY Ride. He actually walked the entire trail right after the state acquired the property, but before it was developed. I have seen his photo albums of when he bushwhacked the enitire trail.
posted Dec 6 2006 8:24AM - Anonymous

Thanks for all the help everbody! I'm not exactly in the best of shape, so it might take me longer to walk the trail than most people. Although I have been walking 6 miles a day (it's not much at all) just for a little practice, and soon I'll be stepping that up to more miles a day with a backpack too. So is it possible to make it to a campgroud everynight? What's the average number of miles a person can walk in a day? I live on the KC side of the trail, so I'll start in Clinton. If I do it at all, I'll probably start out in Mid-May 2007.
posted Dec 6 2006 9:35PM - Rachel M., Odessa, MO


I also started in Clinton. Two references will help you more than any others. This website is one of them(props to Ray), and the other is the Katy Trail Guidebook by Brett Dufur. I just about lived on this site while planning the trip and the book was always in my backpack.

As for the getting in shape part of the trail, just keep plugging away. A little over three years ago, I weighed about 120 pounds more than I do now and could barely walk a mile. After dieting and walking, that has definitely changed. I averaged about 15-20 miles a day while I was on my walk.

As for campgrounds, that is a little dicey. There are some, but a lot of them are primitive. Camping in the city parks, with permission, is a good option. I live in Central Mo, so I slept at home four nights I was out. I also stayed at the Bothwell in Sedalia and Birk's Gasthaus in Hermann. Both were great!

Are you planning a solo trip or going in a group? Also, are you going to have anyone driving support? If so, you can get shuttled to and from campgrounds/hotels/B&Bs and have the added benefit of being able to travel fairly light.

posted Dec 7 2006 7:07AM - GC, Columbia, Mo.

You can camp in the Hermann City park real cheap. The park is about 1.5 miles from the McKittrick trailhead. They're building a new bridge with a walkway that should be completed this summer. I tried to cross the current bridge but chickened out and hitch hiked across. Ditto on the Trail Guide, it will be the best investment you'll ever make toward your trek.
posted Dec 7 2006 2:09PM - DougK

Yes, I would NOT walk the Hermann bridge in in current form. I don't think it would even be legal to do so.
posted Dec 8 2006 10:53AM - gc, Columbia

Hint to the Machens trailhead:
Suppose you drove to Machens. Suppose you turned right on Salle street (2nd right in Machens). Suppose you drove to the end where it was blocked by a wire cable that said "No Trespassing" from the BN railroad. Suppose you crossed the track and went oh, about 30 feet to relieve yourself. Suppose you ended up right at the Machens trailhead. Crossing the railroad to the trailhead would be illegal, but I was just supposing.
posted Dec 16 2006 5:09PM - Doug K., Troy

Suppose I understood what a "Hint" to a trailhead even was. I suppose it would be similar to standing next to a tree and whispering something in its ear.....a tree "hint" whisperer I suppose. I don't understand though, and am having a hard time with all of the supposition and finding a relationship between "Walked the whole trail?" and a "Hint to the Machens trailhead:." Reading deep the only thing I can glean from this is.....if you are in Machens, don't "relieve yourself" before starting to walk the whole trail although it does sound like a good idea. But, that's just me I suppose.
posted Dec 17 2006 9:53AM - Trek Biker, St. Joseph, MO

I guess it was the idea of being picked up at the end of the trail versus walking back to Black Walnut or even St. Charles. It was a hint to other hikers that they may also try this at the end of the long walk from Clinton or points east. Sorry for the confusion.
posted Dec 18 2006 9:47PM - Doug K., Troy

Hmmmmm, I would NEVER do that, Doug. But you never know when the need for relief might strike. :-)
posted Dec 19 2006 7:23AM - GC, Columbia, Mo.

When I rode the trail in October I finished up at EOT in Machens and the site was accessible by road. The cable gate was down and there were no signs saying you couldn't access the site. The RR grade crossing is rough but manageable. The only real problem is that it is difficult to find the turnoff to the dirt road leading to the TH.
posted Dec 20 2006 6:17PM - Arkie, Fort Smith

I'm planning on hiking the Katy in late Apr - early May 2007. Have spent a lot of time on this site and reading Greg's log.

My planning includes using some shuttle services to close up "gaps" between camping/hotel locations. I will still have a couple of long days. I'm in my second stage of "training", now doing about 45 miles per week and slowing increasing. Although the trail services are primarily directed toward cyclist a hike seems doable.

Hope to see other hikers on the Trail!

posted Jan 2 2007 9:26PM - Ed F, Sparks, NV

Ed, it is absolutely doable. I am still trying to figure out when I will finish off the trail this Spring. I have the McKittrick to St. Charles/Machens stretch to do. You should have a blast!
posted Jan 3 2007 7:15AM - GC, Columbia, Mo.

I usually bike on the Katy, but am now interested in hiking it. Truthfully, I never really considered this until I read Greg’s blog a few months ago. I have noticed a few hikers on the trail from time to time, but very rare to see someone appear to be carrying enough gear for an overnight stay, let alone someone that was going to hike the whole thing.

The longest I have ever walked in a single day was 30 miles on the Katy, and I had another day where I walked 17 miles. These were both after major bike breakdowns, which before I began my unscheduled walk I had biked 30 miles(for my 30 mile walk), and had biked 60 miles(for my 17 mile walk). I was in major pain after both of these events, but it helps knowing your limits. I am going to do some additional training, but my plan requires that I be able to do 20-25 miles on back to back days.

If I do it this year, it will be in early June. I have a plan, but still undecided on if I will go east to west or west to east. Hopefully, I will see some other hikers out there, but lets not let it get to crowded!!
posted Jan 3 2007 11:27AM - SJK, Saint Louis, MO

30 Miles? Yikes!
The most I did on my hike was about 23, which was enough for me. I usually averaged around 17-19 miles. You probably have to have a screw or two loose to want to hike the whole trail, that's why I don't think you will see too many of us out there trudging along. :-)
posted Jan 4 2007 7:15AM - GC, Columbia, Mo.

Hey, maybe I'll see you on the trail. I'm leaving on June 4th, staying at campgrounds/city parks most of the way. I'm going to take a cab from Pilot Grove to the Sedalia fairgrounds, camp, and return to Pilot Grove the next day. I hike to Sedalia, camp, and hike to Green Ridge the next day. I'll be cabbed back to Sedalia, camp, and cab back to Green Ridge. I also plan to canoe from Rocheport to Hartsburg (fingers crossed). Those are the only times I'll venture from the trail. I made arrangements with some churches to let me pitch a tent on thier property overnight. I only use my alcohol stove to cook with but no other fires. My real dilema is which end to start at. Machens would satisfy the history buff in me by following the Lewis and Clark route. Clinton would satisfy the psychological side since every step is a step toward home.
posted Jan 4 2007 2:33PM - DougK, Troy

Have you checked about camping in the city park at Pilot Grove? It's a pretty nice location with a pool and right on the trail.
posted Jan 5 2007 7:44PM - GC, Columbia, Mo.

I'm trying to refresh my memory which has become a major endeavor. Is that the small park that's behind the senior citizens apartments?
posted Jan 5 2007 11:26PM - Doug K., Troy

Sure is. They have flush toilets, water, the aforementioned pool and picnic shelters. And it is about two blocks from the business district, so it is a pretty good location.
posted Jan 6 2007 5:06PM - GC, Columbia, Mo.

I'm glad I got into reading this forum! It's just what I was looking for. I had walked sections of the trail before & wondered if anyone had ever walked the entire trail. After doing some WEB searching, I found this site & Greg's. I read his blog and decided walking the trail probably wasn't the best for an out of shape 40+ female with three teenagers! I had it figured it would take at least 15 days from Clinton to St Charles, & I wasn't sure what kind of condition we would end up in. We have decided to take this summer training and bike the entire trail early next summer (2008). If anyone would be interested in comparing notes let me know: gyfd1918@aol.com
posted Jan 26 2007 1:11PM - Stacy, Centertown

I, too, am over 40. It certainly takes some training, and I am also harboring the idea of riding the whole trail sometime in the future. Right now, I have to figure out when I am going to finish off the trail on foot. I am thinking sometime in early summer. I am sure you will reach your goal. Keep at that training!
posted Jan 26 2007 1:19PM - GC, Columbia, Mo.

Just received "The Complete Katy Trail Guidbook" today and have been re-planning my days. I was originaly going to get some shuttles from Sedalia and Buffton to shorten up two of the long stretches but have now decided to hold off. The plan now is to drive most of the trail route from west to east as I go to St. Charles and make camping arrangements as I go. Then shuttle/Amtrak/shuttle to Clinton and use my arranged camp/hotel/B&Bs as I hike back to St. Charles.

I'm quite a bit over 40 and the training is progressing, but time is slipping by also. I'm up to 50+ miles a week now but that is only half what I have myself scheduled for on the Trail. Will just keep slowly increasing and hope I'm ready by late April!
posted Jan 26 2007 7:30PM - Ed F, Sparks, NV

The Complete Katy Trail Guidebook will be a resource you'll never regret buying. It's pretty durable, even when dropped in the mud. I know this from experience.
Has anyone done a night at the park in Marthasville? I started to camp there Friday but just felt too uneasy. It was freezing cold so there wasn't much traffic at the bar, but was still uneasy because I was so exposed. I'm open to any advice.
posted Jan 28 2007 10:59AM - DougK, Troy

Doug, camping on Friday, Jan. 26? Yikes! That would have been cold! The temps right now are really messing with me getting out and doing any road work at all. Hats off to you!
posted Jan 29 2007 7:37AM - GC, Columbia, Mo.

Has anyone done a night at the park in Marthasville? I started to camp there Friday but just felt too uneasy.
- posted 1/28/2007 10:59:56 AM by DougK , Troy

I camped there one night a couple years ago, but it was a warm evening in September. I had to wait out a "Mud Bog" fundraiser, and after that the place was empty. I felt a little isolated, but nothing happened. The showers were warm and there was no noise after the fundraiser.
posted Jan 29 2007 2:34PM - Anonymous

i rode the katy last year i met a couple that was hiking acrsoss americia. they where hiking all the katy trail. they have a website they keep updated they have e-mail there so they will let you know how long it took. www.treckusa.com good luck
posted Feb 7 2007 8:58PM - ken, missouri

I couldn't open the treckusa site but this couple was hiking the Discover America Trail across the USA.
The Katy Trail is part of that x-country trail as well as part of the Lewis & Clark Trail and many hikers do part of the Katy but few/none do ALL of it. Almost all the hikers are going from east to west and they will turn off the Katy at Boonville to Arrow Rock.
posted Feb 8 2007 7:45PM - Ed F, Sparks, NV

I walked the trail in 14 days, i spent 17 days, rained out 3 times. Stayed in hotels 4 times when it rained, tented the rest of the time. Oct 28 - 13 Nov 2015, started at St. Charles and ended at Clinton, 226 miles. Average 16 miles each day, drank around 3 liters of water each day. I walked to raise money for disabled veterans, and enjoyed the fall colors, and the history of it all.
posted Nov 22 2015 4:31PM - Mark Locke, Corning, Arkansas

Congratulations Mark. That's awesome!
posted Nov 22 2015 9:44PM - Thanksgiving Week???

I am 65 and walked the whole trail. You can do it!!!
posted Jun 15 2018 5:40PM - Finny

Can one park near the Machen's Trailhead, or is this private property/illegal? I'm wanting to start hiking it from the Machen's trailhead, but I'm unclear on the legality of leaving my vehicle there while I hike a short piece of it and back.

posted Sep 7 2018 1:26PM - Ted, Alton

Ted, there is absolutely no place to park at Machens. It's difficult to even drop someone off there, because if you go a little too far on Machens Road, it becomes a dirt road and is tough to turn around. My suggestion is to have someone drop you off on Machens Road near the trail and have them turn around right at the railroad tracks.
posted Sep 8 2018 5:24PM - BikerBoy, Maryville, IL

Tags: Clinton, St Charles, Marthasville, McKittrick, Hartsburg, Rocheport, Boonville, Pilot Grove, Sedalia, Green Ridge, Hermann, Machens, Black Walnut, Hotel Bothwell, Missouri State Fairgrounds, McKittrick Trailhead, City Park, Birk's Gasthaus, Machens Trailhead, Restaurants, Camping, Water, Shuttles, Kansas City, BikeKatyTrail.com, Hiking, Bikes and gear, Events Modify Tags

Home | Katy Trail Mileage Chart | Towns / Services | Trip Planner | Forum | Events | Katy Trail Maps | Merchandise | Advertise | Contact Us

Follow trailhub on Twitter
By using this website, you agree to the Terms and Conditions.
This information may not be copied or reproduced in any way.
© Copyright 2018 BikeKatyTrail.com. All rights reserved. BikeKatyTrail is a registered trademark.