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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Is the ride safe for families

I am single mom who would like to take her kids the full lengh of the trail from Clinton to St Charles. We would like to make this a "roughing" it experience meaning camping and picnics. We would like to go around May - June. My children are in their preteens. Just wanting to get others comments on if this is safe. Thanks
posted Mar 3 2011 2:20PM - Family riders, Sedalia

I believe it would be a safe and fun adventure, with appropriate parental supervision. Exercise the usual cautions in towns, at road crossings and along the river, and you should have no problems. I guess the first caution is to understand that it will be quite the undertaking to do the entire trail. Boy Scout motto "BE PREPARED", especially if "roughing it".

As for personal safety or security on the trail and camping at camp grounds, I have never seen any indication that it is not safe. That is my personal experience, others may think differently but I have not heard of any problems at all. I have spent quite a bit of time on the Katy Trail, but of course it is a matter for your comfort level, a concern is certainly understandable.

You have come to the right place to get the information you need to make it a good trip, hopefully others will have some input. Good luck.
posted Mar 3 2011 8:48PM - Old Geezer Scout, Jefferson City, Mo.

The ride should be safe and fun. I would suggest considering the DNR ride in June for first time adventurers.
posted Mar 3 2011 9:56PM - Terry, Festus

I think it would be safe if everyone is prepared with a bit of training so that they are attentive to their surroundings including other cyclists, the concept of staying to the right, announcing when they are passing other riders, not panicking and weaving around the trail when other rides approach them from either the front or the rear, etc. Just basic bike handling and courtesy stuff.

I've seen packs of scouts, etc. that were (in my opinion) not prepared to be riding in a setting where they might encounter other folks.

Sounds like a great adventure. Enjoy!!
posted Mar 3 2011 11:30PM - Anonymous

What the others have said is very good. But I will add that the training is important for a good enjoyable time. Make sure each of you can handle the amount of distance and time per day required - this will require some ride time. Make sure you keep the preteens (you didn't say their ages) in mind in this training period and the ride time.

Make sure you do some planning along the way as to how far you need to go and where you can stay. You will also need to manage supplies, such as food and water both for storage and for needs in riding. This will become evident as you prove yourself for longer distances.

In addition to what the last post says, you'll need to make sure everyone is instructed on proper safe street riding. I doubt you'll be able to carry 5-7 days (the usual time most tourist/neophyte riders are on the trail going from end-to-end) worth of food and water for your group's needs without restocking and the need may come to go off the trail to find those things (and campgrounds), or other needs that might arise on your trip. And since you wouldn't want to leave the preteens unsupervised, they'll need to know how and you'll need to be comfortable that they know.

I suggest the DNR ride as well, if it fits what you have in mind for the time you have in mind. Also, consider looking for fun things for the preteens to do to get/keep them invested in the idea.

Have fun! It should be very safe as long as proper preparations are in place (and those are the same for basically everyone).

If you have any more questions about this, by all means ask!
posted Mar 4 2011 1:01AM - Skyguy9999

Oh and I forgot, too. Part of that preparation will be basic bike maintenance. That mostly means learning how to fix flats. Be sure to have that knowledge along with the tools for it when you go.
posted Mar 4 2011 1:03AM - Skyguy9999

I would say the trail is very safe aside from occasional stray dog that might be in a bad mood..a good squirt from the water bottle usually takes care of that.

You should consider the upcoming DNR ride June 20-24. Very organized and would be a great experience for your family. Last year there was a family that had a set of 6 year old twins and an 8 year old that did the ride.
posted Mar 4 2011 10:20AM - David, Kansas City

You might have a friend drop you off at the Clinton trailhead, and then pick you up in St Charles for returning home.

But if you drive yourselves to the trailhead, you might park your vehicle at the Community Center after unloading. It's located about 2-blocks south of the trailhead. It's well-lit, and patrolled. You can leave your basic information at the front desk inside.

You can also shuttle back to Sedalia via the Defiance bike shop if desired?

Sounds like you're planning a great trip that others have done, too, safely. Do use common sense on the trail while enjoying its many sights.
posted Mar 4 2011 11:09AM - Anonymous

I think safety will be ok at that time of year. My concern would be carrying and planning for the supplies and camping equipment. Suggest a pull behind trailer to carry. When I rode the trail last fall I do not recall seeing very many campgrounds that would have full facilities. Good luck - will be a great experience with proper planning.
posted Mar 6 2011 1:27AM - zgeezer

Tags: Clinton, St Charles, Defiance, Sedalia, Clinton Trailhead, Restaurants, Camping, Water, Animals and Plants, Bikes and gear, Events Modify Tags

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