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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Jeff City to St. Charles in a Day

I'm planning to ride the century+ (104mi) on the 25th of Step., assuming the weather is decent. I plan to carry very little, other than food, water, and typical tools and a spare tube. I've ridden the Katy (and MKT) for over a decade, but never this stretch.

Are there any trail hazards I should be aware of along the way, i.e. wash-outs, etc.? Also, I'd like to know of things to check out along the ride in the smaller towns, but nothing that will take me too far off the trail. I'm not looking to go to any restaurants or museums, but I carry a camera with me and love to take photos.

If anyone else has done this ride, what's an expected time frame? I'm planning on 7-8hr of ride time assuming the wind isn't being hateful.
posted Sep 6 2010 10:07PM - Aaron, Columbia

Do you have Brett Defur's book on the Katy Trail? He describes an abandoned church between N. Jefferson City and Tebbets that has a cemetery and a pretty good view of the countryside. This is close to the area where Cote Sans Dessien was. I could be wrong, but I think it's around the 134 mile marker. Hwy 94 is along the trail there. On the highway, you will see a sign, I think it says something like Barker Christian Church. It's an old wood sign, easy to miss. That sign is to the old church. If you go north of the trail, you'll see what used to be a sort of road up the hill, to your right. Walk up that hill, probably about 1/2 mile or so and you'll see the church, if it is still there. I saw it last year. I thought the cemetary was neat, there was at least one headstone for a Boone.
posted Sep 8 2010 11:48PM - Cathy, Jefferson City

To add a little to Cathy's comments. I think you are referring to the town of Wainwright, the website says mile 137.6. I am afraid the church is gone. I saw it being demolished a couple months ago and it was just a pile of lumber then. Now its just an empty lot. Rather a loss to this small community I would say. The church seemed to make the place a "community" rather than just a collection of houses. It is still a nice diversion to ride up the road, a pleasant neighborhood but perhaps a "town" no more. I lament the loss of the small towns of Missouri, things just aren't the same.
posted Sep 14 2010 5:53AM - Chuck L, Jefferson City

Here's my two cents - Cathy is referring to the Barkersville Church - the only part left of what once was the Barkersville village that was located about half way between Wainwright and Tebbetts. I haven't been there in a while so I'm not sure if the Church is still standing or not. Cote Sans Dessien (hill without Design) is still there and can be seen from the park bench near MM 134. From the park bench you will be looking across the field to the middle of the hill where the French settlement once stood.
posted Sep 14 2010 3:56PM - Gary, Near Tebbetts

Aaron, I'm familiar w/ the Peers - St. Charles stretch. I've traveled it very recently.

1) Hazard I've noted is snakes. The snakes tend to kind of chill out on the trail on the parts that are less traveled. They have taken me by surprise because they straighten their bodies so they look like the twigs that you commonly come across. The rule I developed for myself is to steer clear of any oblong object even if it looks benign on my approach.

2) Second hazard is downed trees. I’ve nearly ridden right into a downed tree at dusk. If you’ll only ride w/ good light, this shouldn’t be a concern, but I thought I’d mention it.
posted Sep 15 2010 11:59AM - Kurt, St. Charles

Hey Aaron,

The best advice I could give you: be sure to fill your water bottles in Defiance. There is really nothing between Weldon Spring and St. Charles, and it's a long trip when you are out of water. Stop in and see the FANTASTIC folks at Katy Bike Rental. They are kind enough to allow access to their water, so I always patronize this shop (bought a new headband last time, and I always need something).

If you don't already have Brett's book, I HIGHLY recommend it. It's the best source for all things KT. I found out about the book here on the site and you can find it in most book stores. I am looking forward to meeting him along the trail someday.

I might see you along the way - have been debating taking AmTrak out there and doing that part of the trail on the 25th.

Wishing you good weather and a nice tailwind,

posted Sep 15 2010 5:00PM - David in St. Louis, St. Louis

I'll check out that book. Thanks, everyone!
posted Sep 19 2010 11:21PM - Aaron, Columbia

Tags: Jefferson City, St Charles, Defiance, Weldon Spring, Peers, Tebbetts, Wainwright, Katy Bike Rental, Restaurants, Water, Trail Conditions, Amtrak, Weather, BikeKatyTrail.com, Hiking Modify Tags

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