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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Riding with kids

Anyone have experience on the trail with kids? Our kids are young (1 and 3) and would ride
in a trailer. My main concern is safety. I am not too familiar with the trail (we used to live in
Columbia, and have ridden some on the MKT, but that's it), and we would like to ride from St.
Charles to Columbia or Rocheport this summer or fall. Of course we would take it slow and
make lots of stops with the kids. Are there kid friendly places to stop along the way? Is the
trail very crowded? Do you foresee any safety concerns? Thanks.
posted Jan 28 2010 9:05AM - kristen, PIttsburgh, PA

Done the trail many times, but only once with a little one. We did a 2 day with our 4 y/o grandson last Sept. We pulled him in his Buley trailer, but he was almost too big for it. Next time it will be a tag-a-long.
We parked in Calhoun and the first day went to Clinton and back (~18 miles round trip) as he loves RR related things and there is a caboose at the Clinton trailhead (cannot go in it thought). Second day was Calhoun to Windsor and back, about 15 miles (another caboose at the trailhead). This way is mostly wooded and farmland. We stayed overnight in Calhoun at Cruse's Cabooses (see the trend here...LOL). Cruse had 2 restored cabooses fixed as a B&B with outside grilling avail, hammock...very nice (a bit pricey, but we were glad we did and would do it again).
Windsor has a Dairy Queen a few block off the trail. Between Calhoun and Clinton not any stopping places for snacks...not even anything at the clinton trailhead so be prepared. That said, our grandson loved it as he thoroughly enjoyed the wildlife, snakes, turtles and of course anything train related.
For the best trip, not too many daily miles, plan ahead with snacks/fluids, frequent stops to enjoy the scenery, and of course lots of pictures.
posted Jan 28 2010 11:44AM - MAH

The only safety concern I can think of outside the patently obvious (wildlife, etc) is the road intersections. Be careful with those (especially in Sedalia, there are many busy streets that cross the Katy in rapid-fire fashion), and lift the trailer and walk up if the drop off between the road and the trail looks too severe.
posted Jan 28 2010 2:05PM - Skyguy9999

I take my granddaughter (2-3 year old) for short rides in a kid trailer– nothing like what you are talking about though. The longest I have done is about 20 miles from my house to Hartsburg. We would stop at the Jefferson City trail head, Carnahan rest area, Claysville, and maybe one more stop before reaching Hartsburg depending on how she was doing. We always carry some toys, extra water, and pull-ups in the trailer for her. I consider all the trail heads and trail benches as kid friendly, any place where they can get out and stretch their legs a little. As for the traffic, the heaviest traveled areas would probably be around St. Charles, Rocheport, Dutzow, Hermann, and Jefferson City especially on nice sunny weekends. If you do need to stop along the way between trailheads it is best to pull the trailer over as far as possible so you are not blocking the trail for other riders. There are spots along the river where you would want to watch the three year old and keep him/her away from the edge of the steep river bank. Some of the gates at road crossings can be narrow and you may want to walk your bike through them if you are not comfortable peddling in tight places.

If you have never been on the trail, there are several posts on YouTube (just search for Missouri Katy Trail) that will give you an idea of what to expect.

Hope you have a good trip.
posted Jan 28 2010 9:13PM - Gary near Tebbetts, Tebbetts, MO

Great suggestion to check YouTube!
posted Jan 30 2010 11:18PM - MAH

Thanks for your suggestions. I had not thought of checking out youtube, I will do that.
posted Feb 1 2010 9:40AM - kristen, Pittsburgh, PA

Tags: Calhoun, Windsor, Jefferson City, Clinton, St Charles, Dutzow, Claysville, Hartsburg, Rocheport, Sedalia, Hermann, Columbia, Benches, Dairy Queen, Clinton Trailhead, Lodging, Trailheads, Water, Route Suggestions, Hiking, Bikes and gear Modify Tags

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