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Camping near the Rocheport Trailhead

I'm going to be visiting the Katy trail for the first time this weekend and was wanting to camp near Rocheport. I have been able to find very limited information regarding camping. Does anyone have any input regarding camping at Davisdate Conservation Area? Or other camping suggestions? Preferable a bit secluded. I'm not really looking to be near a bunch or RVs.
posted Oct 14 2005 10:15AM - Karen, Kansas City, MO

Primitive camping only is allowed anywhere in the Davisdale conservation area. You might also consider New Franklin.
posted Oct 14 2005 12:55PM - j.smith, Jefferson City

Campsites are available at New Franklin (9.6 miles from Rocheport) for a fee. They aren't bad...they have a showerhouse.
posted Oct 14 2005 2:40PM - Larry

The place in New Franklin is The Katy Roundhouse, which is right on the trail. If you plan to stay there, you might want to call ahead to make sure they have room.
posted Oct 14 2005 3:03PM - Ray (webmaster)

Thanks for suggestions. I'm currently trying to contact someone at The Katy Roundhouse for a possible reservation. What about camping at Diana Bend? Is the "primitive" camping too bad at Davisdale? I'm use to backbacking and not having facilities. Has anyone camped there? Is there limited camping? Is it crowded? What exactly is primitive camping? I can't seam to reach anyone at Davisdale.
posted Oct 14 2005 3:12PM - Karen, Kansas City, MO

I have the same question as Karen. I have a group of 4 dads and 10 boys. I was hoping to get some info about the campsite at Diana Bend or Davisdale.
posted Oct 23 2005 4:05PM - brad stanley, kansas city

Sorry I can't help you this year, however in the spring of 2006 you're sure to enjoy my new company: Mattnmeier's Recreational Services, LLC. What we plan to do is develope 5-10 properties along the 225 mile long Katy Trail, put in cabins, cabin sites, and host a wide variety of other services that people like you are longing for on the trail... Check out www.mattnmeiers.com for more information.

Thank You!

Robert Meier, co-founder Mattnmeier's Recreational Services, LLC
posted Oct 24 2005 2:02PM - RBRLIP, Washington, MO

I hiked the trail with one of my friends 2 weeks before I left for boot camp, we did primitive camping all along the trail at just random spots never having any trouble or issues. Just go off the trail a little ways *mark your direction so you dont get lost* and pitch tent......just avoid an open fire.
posted Jan 15 2006 11:54PM - .

Ok, At the time I had no idea it was illegal, I assumed that the rule I saw posted at one of the conservation areas about primitive camping applied the whole way....Ignore the post about camping anywhere.
posted Jan 31 2006 1:33AM - Anonymous

Its too bad that "guerilla" type camping is illegal. I understand the problems that could arrise but having to pay to camp or stay in a B&B just sucks.
posted Jan 31 2006 9:08AM - mike

I don't really think having to pay to camp is that big a deal is it?

Heck....I had to pay for my bike! And I have to pay for gas to drive several hours to ride it on the Katy. Even had to pay for the car darn it! If I'm gone all day, I even have to pay to eat!

Ahhhh....to be 12 again! Livin off Dad and Mom...stealin apples.....ridin the bike that Santa gave me.
posted Jan 31 2006 2:30PM - Trek Biker, St. Joseph, MO

Trek Biker....totally agree. Mike, if you ask first I can say from experience that there are small communities that allow FREE camping in their parks, you just have to be considerate and inquire first before "diving in". Regards.....Mark of the Dalton Boys
posted Feb 1 2006 9:31AM - The Dalton Boys, Austin, TX/Columbia, MO.

And I agree with you. I never said I was inconciderate. I believe that permission should be given before "diving in". My point is, they tap you for every nickle and it would be nice if there were some more free camping areas for people who would like to rough it a little more. Having just done a good portion of the AT where there are shelters for campers, it would be neat to see something like that on the Katy.
My intention was not to start any problems.
Happy trails to all.
posted Feb 1 2006 10:33AM - Mike

I'm just a beginner, and may be trying this on my own for now. I see a lot about biking, but can I just hike this trail and camp out in the Davis Conservation area anywhere? Are there signs that tell you where camping is okay?
posted Mar 10 2006 5:22PM - Marilyn, St. Louis

Davisdale Conservation Area has two campsites each 3-6 bike minutes north of the trail. 3 miles west of Rocheport, west of the HW 40 overpass is a parking lot south of the Katy trail. Take the field access road over the levee to the north. 1/2 mile west from there is another parking lot to the south. Take the road over the levee to the north, then up a hill to the campsite. A little hike west on that ridge yields a nice bluff view of the river bottom. No toilets or water. Brochure says: "Primitive camping on a walk-in basis is allowed but only in designated areas." "No open fires except by special use permit or in fire rings provided." "Bicycles are allowed only on roads open to vehicles and service roads." No problem biking to campsites. The area can be thick with hunters from Sep 1 to Jan 31. Except then and with occasional scout groups, it is quiet. The hilly conservation area extends 2 miles further north with additional primitive camp sites.
posted May 20 2006 5:31PM - Gregoreo, Columbia

A map: http://mdc.mo.gov/cgi-bin/atlas/gis4media.cgi?area=8229map
posted May 20 2006 5:38PM - Gregoreo, Columbia

Is calling ahead to make camping site reservations a good idea if cycling the Katy over Memorial Weekend?
posted May 21 2006 10:38PM - Lee, Lee's Summit, MO

I would say almost certainly not necessary--B & Bs would be a different story. The main reason to call ahead would be to make sure the places you want to stop are actually open! Also, if you're planning to camp in the city parks, I think you do need to call ahead to arrange that.
posted May 22 2006 12:20PM - ET, Columbia

For those wondering what "primitive" camping means at the Davisdale conservation area: No water, no firepit, no outhouse, nothing except a sign giving permission to camp. Not even a scenic view. Nothing except a parking lot. For anyone looking for a bit more, go east to Katy's Katfish.
posted Mar 29 2007 2:12PM - Iowa hiker

Davisdale has a campsite right next to the parking lot. Too open for my tastes. Go over the creek and follow the path (mowed lane)north for about 1/4 of a mile. The second campsite will be on the right about halfway up the hill. Nice spot, you'll see lots of deer in the morning. You have a few choices for water.
1. Pack your own in with you. Remember that water is 8lbs per gallon, gets heavy.
2. Buy a $30 pump water filter from REI, Bass Pro, Campmor, or some other outdoor dsports store. Katydyn makes a good one for under $30. This way you can safetly draw water from the creek.
3. Buy iodine or micropur pills at the same places, usually right next to the pumps. Tastes like crap but it's safe and beats the heck out of dehydration. Hint when using iodine or micropur: Sprinkl about a half teaspoon of kool-aid or other drink mix to mask the taste.
posted Mar 29 2007 5:17PM - DougK, Troy

We had planned to camp at Dianes Bend but when we got there, it looked like the only camping area was off the trail and was almost like a parking lot. No trees, no tables, no firepit, no tables...nothing. We treked on up to Katfish Katys and camped there...it was nice.
posted Mar 30 2007 9:31AM - Jason, Huntsville, AL

In nearly every thread about services provided on the Katy Trail, comments are made about the deplorable lack of services for riders and hikers. These comments are usually followed by negative comments about prices of services that are available. My extensive experience on the Katy Trail is that I've never seen anybody getting rich serving hikers/bikers. Most service providers seem to be barely making it and then only by providing service to customers who aren't using the Katy Trail. I realize that the Katy Trail provides a low cost recreation option. If you're on a tight budget, please know that no business can survive unless it makes a profit. If most of that profit comes from non-trail users then you won't be the highest priority. If you want more trail services, patronize the businesses already in place and quit griping about the prices. If you think you can provide more services at cheaper prices then there is a great business opportunity along the trail for you. Don't forget--you expect these trail businesses to be open daily and for long hours most of the year.
posted Apr 3 2007 10:04AM - showmebikes

So, do the Davisdale campsites north of the trail allow a fire? My understanding is that some of the Conservation Campgrounds do, some don’t.

Also, anyone ever try to camp at the Hart Conservation Campsite in Hartsburg? Do they allow a fire there? I have been by where I think it is a few times, and don’t recall if it even had a sign.
posted Mar 18 2008 7:51AM - ss, saint louis

Tags: New Franklin, Hartsburg, Rocheport, Franklin, Katy Roundhouse, Katfish Katy's, City Park, Davisdale Conservation Area, Rocheport Trailhead, Diana Bend Conservation Area, Restaurants, Lodging, Camping, Parking, Water, Route Suggestions, Animals and Plants, Hiking, Bikes and gear Modify Tags

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