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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments

Just wondered where people like to stay when the are in Columbia. We are going to come down the MTK trail and check out some of the sites and stay the night before going on. How far is the Quality Inn from the trail and do you have to ride alot in traffic to get there? There will be four of us and one is a 10 year old...don't want to do alot of riding in a bunch of traffic. Any ideas? Thanks!
posted Jun 24 2009 1:53PM - Jen R, Independence, MO

If you are trying to avoid traffic I would choose the Regency. Its going to be the closest to
the trail.

When taking the MKT trail you follow it all the way to the end. It will turn to concrete and
you will make a left turn following it under several roads. It will end at a gazebo in Flat
Branch Park. From Flat branch park you will travel East on Cherry (up the hill) all the way
to Hitt street (next street past 10th) and make a left on hitt until you reach Broadway. The
hotel is at Hitt and Broadway. The total distance from the trail is probably no more than
1/2 mile and Cherry is very bikeable. Probably a few hundred bicycles travel it every day
in Columbia.

Columbia was recently awarded the "Silver level bicycle friendly community award" from
the LAB. You will have no trouble with this route.
posted Jun 24 2009 2:54PM - Robert Johnson, Columbia

Thanks for the idea...we had actually thought about staying there but after reading the reviews on the Regency (which by the way, were all terrible), we have decided against it I think. How far is it to head over to someplace like the Quality Inn down on Providence? Would it be really bad to try and get there from the trail?
Thanks for your help!
posted Jun 28 2009 2:45PM - Jen R, Independence, MO

The Hampton Inn is the closest to the trail, and you can avoid traffic by cutting off of the MKT trail onto the Hinkson Trail (about the 2.5 mile marker, I think). It takes you past the tennis center to an access road, which you take less than a quarter of a mile, then go right, under Providence Road. That takes you to a new road, relatively lightly travelled and with a wide sidewalk, which you can ride up to the Mizzou Arena/Hearnes area. If you prefer, there's a trail that takes off of that road and goes through the woods on the north side of the road, to the same area. When you get to the Arena, go as far east as you can through the parking lots, then out to Stadium Blvd. This is a nasty stretch, but very short, far less than a city block, and there's a well-worn path in the grass, so you can just push your bikes. You just have to get around a fence, and then you are at the Hampton. Alternatively, you could stay on the Hinkson trail to Rock Quarry Road. You won't miss it, because there's a huge mulch site there. That stretch of the road is quite wide, and wouldn't be too bad of a ride, although it is steeply uphill. It takes you right to the Hampton Inn.
The only thing I'm not sure of is the condition of the Hinkson Trail. It washed out badly this spring, and if it hasn't been repaired, you will have to push your bikes in a few spots.
posted Jun 28 2009 8:58PM - ET, Columbia

A couple more thoughts--you might consider one of the B&Bs. The Taylor House, University Place and The Gathering Place are all easily rideable from the trail. They could give you directions. I don't know what their rules are about kids.

Finally, I did stay at the Regency once, and it is certainly not elegant, but it is right downtown, giving you easy walkable access to all the restaurants, etc, which you don't have with the Hampton Inn.

Honestly, I don't know where the Quality Inn is, but I can absolutely recommend that you avoid Providence Road from Stadium to I-70. It wouldn't be much fun south of Stadium, but at least it has a big wide shoulder.
posted Jun 28 2009 9:06PM - ET, Columbia

Sorry, I was trying to help you avoid traffic.

The trail leading off of the MKT is the MU recreational trail which turns into the HInkson
Creek trail. The trail is currently in a un-rideable condition in most peoples opinions right

You could take the MKT trail all the way to stewart/providence which is at the edge of the
MU campus and make your way from there. You would be riding on a university campus
and should feel pretty comfortable. I would totally advise that you stay off the MU
recreational trail and the Hinkson creek trail because the surface is simply too dangerous.
You could fall at anytime on that trail.

My two cents. let me know on here if you want some detailed directions from

posted Jun 29 2009 5:45PM - Robert, columbia

I stay at the Quality Inn, which is north of I-70, and my memory is that it is a couple of miles to the trailhead. Providence is a busy street, but it is four lanes most of the way. I bike commute to and from work in heavy traffic, so it doesn't particularly bother me.
posted Jul 2 2009 4:42PM - Mike Upsall, Louisville, Ky.

Just thought I would add that I rode the Hinkson Recreation Trail from the arena to the MKT yesterday, and it is in great shape, except a few cracks in the low place just by the MKT and a total (re-) washout at the usual spot where the trail goes under Providence Road. It is rideable but very rough--I walked my bike--about 20 or 30 feet.
posted Jul 8 2009 3:45PM - ET, Columbia

Stoney Creek Inn, VERY bike friendly
posted Jul 8 2009 8:33PM - Anonymous

Not sure about Columbia but we were tired and stopped at the Casino in Boonville and WOW... it was great. They Valet parked our bikes and stored them in a locked area.Very friendly folks, wonderful beds and terrific buffet. Nice ending to a beautiful day.
posted Jul 9 2009 9:16AM - Meagan, Fort Riley, Kansas

when i / we are in columbia, i / we always stay at the holiday inn select, also very bike friendly, at stadium drive an I-70. HOWEVER, the bad part is getting to it from the mkt trail. you would be on a major thorougfare, stadium drive for approximately 2-3 miles m/l. unless someone knows a back way to it. i have stayed there probably 6-8 times over the past 5 ys and no problems with the bikes. took them to our rooms and was even given extra towels at the front desk to dry them off. resturant/ pool / excersie room also. just a thot, thot i'd pass on my 2 cents. have fun, be safe
posted Jul 9 2009 6:40PM - Anonymous

I suggest the Drury Inn. It's near the HI Select, but a lot cheaper, just as nice and has a great free breakfast. I've not found Staduim Drive to be bad, there is a lot of traffic, but it has wide shoulders. You get on Stadium at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Battle Garden area off the MKT trail, and go north.
posted Jul 10 2009 10:53AM - troy ratliff, jonesboro, ar

thanx loads troy ratliff. you are right on the mark there. i had forgotten all about the drury inn. that would be my first choice if i had not forgotten about it. we stay at any drury inns we find while on other vacations. any ways, have fun, be careful, and thanx again troy.
posted Jul 10 2009 5:53PM - Anonymous

I have always used the Holiday Inn Select. It is a bit more pricey than the others, but the service is great. Riding along Stadium from the MKT isn't that bad as thhe shoulders are 10-11 feet wide.
posted Jul 12 2009 8:25AM - Arkie

Make sure you are also aware of what is going on at MU when wanting to stay in Columbia. I know that there is a month in Sept. where there are almost no places to stay due to parents weekend. I would make sure and call ahead. Stayed at the Quality Inn with soccer and it's ok - but it is not close to the trail.
posted Jul 13 2009 10:47PM - BW, LS

Found this thread and hard to believe it has been 6 years since the last post?
Anyway, for those bikers who have been on the trail a few days and in desperate need of an urban fix, Columbia via the MKT trail is for you.

Take the MKT spur at McBaine. The trail is very good all the way up. Around halfway in, you cross under the first tunnel at the Scott Blvd trailhead. After that, you are riding past really nice homes on one side or the other, but would hardly know it. You really don't know you are in town until you cross under the Providence Road tunnel and eventually reach the end at Flat Branch park. The upper MKT is a gem.

Two downtown hotel options are available. The Regency is long gone and has been replaced with a Doubletree. The other is the Tiger. Think of the Tiger as being like an upscale Bothwell. The Tiger is only 4 blocks or so from the trailhead, straight up Cherry Street. With both downtown hotels, you would be within a few blocks of more restaurants and bars than you could visit if you stayed for a month. There are also two nice B&B's on the east side of campus. One on University and one on College. Both about a mile or so from the trailhead through downtown or campus.

Another hotel option mentioned is the Stoney Creek Inn, which is half mile or so off the Hinkson Creek branch of the MKT. That trail section is also in very good shape. The area south of Stoney Creek Inn (Green Meadows/Nifong) may have nearly as many places to eat as downtown does.

Both areas would have food markets. There would be three easy to reach bike shops along this route. TriAthletics is about half a mile or so north of the trail at the Forum Blvd tunnel (on Chapel Hill west of Forum Blvd), and two others (Klunk and Cyclextreme) are located within two blocks of the trailhead at Flat Branch park. These shops sell and service most brands, and there is yet a fourth (Walts Bike Shop) if the other three don't have what you need.
posted Jun 18 2015 10:07AM - Howie, Columbia

Comfort Suites went above and beyond for us. We left a bike and suitcase in their storage room for days, and they were very helpful about it all. They have a pool, nice breakfast, beautiful rooms, comfy beds and linens, etc. Even though it's by the highway as opposed to closer to the trail head, we are so glad we stayed here -- a wonderful, luxurious respite from the Katy Trail. And it was not at all difficult to get there via our bikes -- it's only 2-3 miles from the trail head. We also were grateful for the very nice guest laundry room on the 2nd floor. Thanks to the great management and staff of this hotel for making us so welcome! The 24-7 coffee, tea and hot chocolate in the breakfast room was also great.
posted Jul 6 2015 6:01AM - Sarah, Urbana

Comfort Suites, luxurious, it must have been a tough ride before getting to Columbia? Ride much?
posted Jul 12 2015 6:05AM - Marvelous

Tags: Providence, Boonville, Columbia, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, The Gathering Place Cafe, Restaurants, Lodging, Camping, Parking, Trail Conditions, Other Trails, Hiking Modify Tags

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