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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
St. Charles to Clinton or Clinton to St. Charles? Which one?

I'm thinking about riding the full trail this year and was thinking were I should start. Is there one direction that would be easier with more downhill grades and maybe less wind (I was thinking the wind would generally go west to east, but it might not even matter since it would be so random). Also what are some less obvious things I should bring that I would not be thinking about. I do not plan on camping, but staying at hotels. Thanks for your help.
posted Mar 11 2007 8:56PM - KJK, Kansas City, MO

We rode the trail in October last year from west to east. In general, I think that this is the easiest direction to go. As you know from being a cyclist, you never know which way the wind is going to blow and it seems like you always have a head wind. We did encounter a strong headwind several days, but it did help to cool things off. I think that either direction is fine...there is hardly any elevation change at all. As for what to bring...of course plenty of water and snacks, extra tubes and a pump/Co2 inflator, sunscreen, and a good camera. Have a blast...you will love it!
posted Mar 12 2007 9:40AM - Jason, Huntsville, AL

There are some long slow grades on the western end..definately not hills...just long low grades that go on for a mile or two. For me, I like to get them done first (OK, I'm over 50 and when fully loaded, to me they are tiring..maybe it's more a mental thing as they seem to go on forever). I have found that most riders under 50 don't even mention them, and maybe only 1/3 of the riders over 50 agree with me. Guess it's what you're used to. Once you reach Boonville and continue east, it truly does become FLAT except accasional little bumps over roads/levys. I've done the trail 3 times and have gone west to east each time. Jason covered most essentials. Definately bring spare tubes and a pump/CO2. Watch for the viney things that tend to trail over the surface of the trail in spots as they do have thorns. A camera is also a must. On the western end, all trailheads have drinking water avail except for Clifton City. On the Eastern half, you have to be careful as all trailheads do not have water (although you can usually find water/soda if you check out local establishments). There was a thread on this board last fall re which trailheads had water avail.
Have fun!
posted Mar 12 2007 11:35AM - Anonymous

There is a rather long gradual incline from Pilot Grove to Boonville which ends with a nice decline on Lard Hill to the trailhead. Nothing major…..but just enough to know that it’s there.
posted Mar 12 2007 11:49AM - Trek Biker, St. Joseph, MO

And, you know that there really aren't "hotels" most places along the Trail? Plan ahead with
some reservations where you plan to spend the night or you may find yourself "camping"
without intending to do so! Sharon
posted Mar 12 2007 7:37PM - sbikes, Kansas City

I did the trail from west to east last October and had a grand time. I stayed in hotels in Clinton (Hampton Inn), Sedalia (Best Western), Boonville (Holiday Inn Express), Columbia (Holiday Inn Select), and B & B's in Jeff City, Hermann and Augusta.
posted Mar 12 2007 8:45PM - Arkie, Fort Smith

The Hotel Frederick in Boonville should be open sometime this spring, and definitely should be up and running this summer. With Glenn's Cafe located in the lobby, this should be a premier stop on the trail.
posted Mar 13 2007 7:25AM - GC, Columbia, Mo.

i've ridden the trail both directions. AND I rode it during the hottest week of the year alone, fully intending and planned to campout. it was glorious and marvelous. ok ok, the heat wasn't but the trail either direction was great. watch out for those ruts that naturally occur in a trail. Either direction was fine as far as i was concerned but then i'm an avid cyclist riding about 3000 miles a year. Plan for the worst but don't dwell on it. enjoy the sites and sounds of the trail.
posted Mar 14 2007 12:18PM - dale, springfield, mo

Tags: Jefferson City, Augusta, Clinton, St Charles, Boonville, Pilot Grove, Clifton City, Sedalia, Hermann, Columbia, Augusta Winery, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Frederick, Lodging, Camping, Trailheads, Water, Weather, Running Modify Tags

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