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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments

has anyone actually ever rode from st. charles to machens??
posted Mar 19 2007 12:03AM - joe T

I rode the whole trail last October from Clinton to Machens. The portion from St. Charles to Clinton is very pleasant and I would recommend it. As soon as you leave St. Charles the trail stays along the top of the levee and is not graveled, but you can find the tread easily. After a couple of miles you pick up the "traditional" trail and it is an easy ride on into Machens. The only trouble is that it is not easy to find the Machens trailhead. I rode on into Machens and then backtracked to Walnut Grove to catch my ride.
posted Mar 19 2007 9:34AM - Arkie

I rode it several times last year, 2007. As the other comment states, upon going north from St. Charles the trail get pretty primative. It is not much more than a dirt wagon trail, but once you get past that, maybe 1 and 1/2 to 2 miles, you hook back up with good groomed gravel trail again. The scenery is interesting, farmland, crops, small towns, and some active railroad tracks toward the Machens end.

posted Nov 26 2008 11:35AM - Phi, Hazelwood, Mo

I rode from Jeff City to Alton, IL last year. The trail ends at Machens, and I mean ENDS. You have to ride along the side of some railroad tracks to find a country road in order to get to Alton. But if you just want to ride to the end of the trail and turn around, it would be a fine ride.
posted Feb 13 2009 9:03AM - Cody, Glen Carbon

I just rode north of St Charles yesterday and agree with the "not much more than a dirt wagon trail" -would like to clarify that it's more mileage than stated here. My CatEye speed/odometer said it was 2.9 miles between the full crushed-limestone stretches. My hybrid handled it fine though, since the dirt was very dry. We were surprised at how easy it was actually, and no bug bites! (rode it mid-day)
posted Jul 4 2009 9:15AM - Sara, St Charles

Your post encourages me, Sara. We tried to walk the grassy trail beyond the gravel but felt like it was longer than the previously posted 1-2 miles. By road we ran out of luck, or should i say ran into private property and protective puppies. I'll try again by bike as i really want to complete the trail from Clinton to Machens in Sept.
posted Jul 11 2009 8:37PM - Donna, Troy

I rode from St. Charles to Machens for the first time yesterday. Overall a nice ride although I never saw anybody else after the paved trail ends. As Sara commented, it's about 3 miles although it seemed like it took forever. I rode a hardtail mountain bike and wouldn't recommend a road bike to try it. Again as Sara stated, a hybrid would be fine. There was some patches of grass thigh high but nothing impassible. Pretty visible line to ride for most of it on the levee. Lots of corn fields and farmland to look at although the highlight would be the field of large sunflowers about 100 yards from the Machens trailhead. Can't wait till this 12 mile stretch becomes connected and traveled by more people.
posted Jul 23 2009 9:39AM - Mike, St. Charles

So has the stretch from St. Chuck to Machens officially been completed/renovated by the MO
Dept. of Natural Resources? If not, any idea when this will happen?
posted Jul 25 2009 9:25PM - Bill, Alton

Nope not yet. Still just shy of 3 miles unpaved before the limestone trail picks up again. Have no idea on status of DNR project.
posted Jul 27 2009 4:55AM - Mike, St. Charles

Thanks for your posts, Mike & Sara. Because of you two, my son & I finally braved the mysterious trail to Machens and felt triumphant when we arrived at the depot. Luckily we didn't see the big dogs near the quarry, but we totally underestimated the 90+ degrees, the sun, and the time it took to span the unpaved section. We learned a lot today for our full ride in Sept, especially that you CAN get to Machens from St Chuck!
posted Aug 15 2009 7:57PM - Donna, Troy

Just out of curiousity, is one permitted to ride from St. Charles to Machens? I was told that this was not currently allowed. Based on the comments here, it seems as though this is not the case.
posted Aug 16 2009 7:52PM - David in St. Louis, St. Louis

Good question - i considered it a time or two, but there was no indication anywhere along the trail that riding wasn't permitted. The only 'no trespassing' signs i saw were posted on the private property adjacent to the trail.

posted Aug 23 2009 5:04PM - Donna, Troy

I would think that if you would ask DNR they would say no as the minimum standard for a Katy Trail bike trail is a 8' Wide Gravel Path.

The previous property/easement issues between DNR and the Levee District have been settled from Machens to St. Charles. I would presume DNR is making the lease payments despite not having built the trail there as the Levee District would surely be upset if anyone was going through there without those agreements in effect.

I do recall riding on the trail west of Treloar several years ago before it was officially open, and they(DNR) had signage up to stay out of there despite the fact that much of the trail was built. I presume that was an easement issue, which I really was not aware of at that time.
posted Aug 23 2009 8:29PM - stevo, saint louis

Thanks a million for your comments. I write "Trail of the Week" for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch daily. I was about to take a look at the St. Charles to Machens extension. Maybe I should wait.

But while I'm here. Do you folks have any favorite hiking or biking trails within 50 or so miles of St. Louis that I might examine. I test out all of the trails I write about, so I'll get to see new places, too.
Email me at harry.jackson@post-dispatch.com.
Thanx again.
posted Aug 31 2009 3:29PM - Harry Jackson jr., St. Louis, Mo.

Tags: Jefferson City, Clinton, St Charles, Treloar, Machens, Machens Trailhead, St Louis, Animals and Plants, Hiking, Bikes and gear, Events Modify Tags

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