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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
What way is best?

My dad and I are planning to ride the hole trail and would like some suggestions on which is
the best place to start and finish. We plan on taking our time and do about 50 mils a day and
would like to know some good places to eat and camp.
posted Sep 29 2008 4:46PM - Tim Yoder, Fort Smith

You'll get many varied opinions on the best way to travel the trial (eastbound vs westbound). I took the Amtrak to Sedelia on a Sunday morning, hired a shuttle to take me to Clinton, then rode back to Sedelia that afternoon. The portion of the trail from Clinton to Sedelia is BORING and not worth spending the money on a shuttle unless you simply want to say you did the entire trail. Over the next 3 days I had a headwind 2 days then a tailwind 1 day, so it's usually a tossup on the wind direction, especially in the spring or fall. If I had it to do over, I'd simply start at Sedelia and travel east. I've been on the trail all times of the year except winter, and I think October is by far the best tume of the year to bike it.
posted Sep 30 2008 12:07PM - trinjboro, Jonesboro, AR

If you're like me, your a "purist" and want to do the ENTIRE trail. Gene and Regi Cornell offer a shuttle between Sedalia/Warrensburg/Clinton. Check with Clinton Chamber of Commerce for contact info. From Sedalia, you can ride to St. Charles and take Amtrak from St. Louis back to Sedalia to retrieve your car. I don't know the St. Louis bus/Metro system in detail, but we got off the trail at the Page bridge (we had already completed Page bridge to St. Charles!), rode to Earth City (about 7 miles), got the hotel shuttle to the airport, took Metro to downtown. The Amtrak station is about 500 feet from the Metro civic center stop (new combined transportation center is under construction). Details: metrostlouis.org
posted Sep 30 2008 8:03PM - Dick Gabrriel, Marietta, GA

Here is some advice from a person that rode the Katy last year for the first time and had a very rude awakening.....(I rode West to East)

If you go from West to East....be very aware that your first 70 or so miles (Clinton to Booneville) is mostly uphill grade. This is not a significant uphill grade, but it's enough that you can't really take a break and coast at all......it gets to be very cumbersome and a real pain in the ass depending on how many miles you plan on riding. 50mpd is quite doable without much stress. Once you hit Booneville and find the river, it's pretty much flat into St. Charles. Also, aside from some odd weather patterns, you should have the wind at your back the entire way.

If you go from East to West......the only thing I can tell you from my many years of trekking and racing is that wind in your face is almost worse than riding uphill. The bonus of this is that once you hit Booneville, you'll have a good 70miles or so of very nice downhill grade to cruise into Clinton on.

Conclusion.....ride from West to East to get the hard part out of the way early. The other bonus is that you hit Rocheport, Hermann and the other 'wine towns' towards the end of the trip which is a great reward for a long ride. There is also much more camping available the closer you get to St. Charles.
posted Sep 30 2008 11:47PM - Jason, Overland Park

In my opinion, if you've been biking very much, especially riding hills, you won't notice much difference while riding the grade between Sedalia and Booneville. If you're not in shape, you will most likely feel the difference.
posted Oct 2 2008 8:58AM - trinjboro, Jonesboro, a

It's not that they're hard (I ride approx 200mi/wk), but it is a constant grind for 70+ miles with no coasting. If you're planning on doing a century ride the first day or anything close to that, you'll need to be in decent riding shape because that grade is very slight, and it can be very taxing over a full day of riding it.
posted Oct 2 2008 6:54PM - Jason, Overland Park

I rode the whole trail west to east Sept 29 - Oct 2, 2005. Theoretically, it should be more downhill than uphill that way because the Missouri river flows west to east. The Highest elevation is at High Point, mid way between Clinton and Sedalia. If you want to ride the ENTIRE trail, it starts at Sedalia Street in Clinton, south of the trailhead, and it ends about 2 miles past the trailhead in St.Charles. Also, DO NOT camp at the city park in Mokane. The town has no law enforcement and it shows. I was in fear of my safety that night.....
posted Oct 2 2008 7:00PM - Brian, Springfield MO

Tags: Clinton, St Charles, Mokane, Rocheport, Boonville, Sedalia, Hermann, Clinton Chamber of Commerce, City Park, Page Bridge parking lot, Restaurants, Lodging, Camping, Route Suggestions, St Louis, Amtrak, Weather Modify Tags

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