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taking kids on the trail

I'm planning to ride the trail sometime in the next few weeks with my two boys, ages 6 and 8. I'd like to take them out for two days, staying at a motel for the overnight and returning to the same starting point. I'm looking for advice on what section of trail to ride and where to stay.

Both boys ride two wheelers very well, and they've done ~10 mile rides before just fine, though a bit tired. However, we also have a tandem tagalong bike that really lets us cover miles and lets me haul them when they fade. I'm inclined to go with the tagalong at least this time so that we can cover 30-40 miles per day, since I'm assuming this provides better options (?). But if there's a shorter stretch that suits our needs, that would be great so they can ride solo.

As for accommodations, I'd like to camp at/near wherever we start the night beforehand, then bike to a motel with a pool (they absolutely love swimming at motels) before biking back the following day. The real priority is fun stuff for the boys on and/or off the trail so this doesn't turn into a trail of tears. They're pretty happy being out in the woods just climbing around whatever's there, but they certainly love the arcade as much as the next kid as well.

Any suggestions on where/how to ride the trail? Any input would be most appreciated.

posted Apr 28 2011 10:56PM - Dave, Bloomington, IN

Any thoughts here? I've been looking things over and considering staying at a hotel in Columbia. Does Columbia have kid-friendly activities? Would Rocheport make a good place to camp the night before starting a ride to Columbia?
posted Apr 30 2011 8:10AM - Dave, Bloomington, IN

Im not sure about the trail closure at Rocheport but you could consider Kat Fish Katies in Hartsburg to camp and ride to Boonville. The Holiday Inn and Comfort Inn probably have pools.

The spur through Columbia passes by several parks that kids could run and play inn. Hotel options in Columbia at not right on the trail, but the city busses can take bikes and may be an option to get up to I-70 and Stadium Drive,

The Trip Planner above is a good tool to find specifics along the trail.
posted Apr 30 2011 9:12AM - Trek, St. Joseph

I think Trek meant to say Huntsville instead of Hartsburg for Katfish Katy's.
posted Apr 30 2011 10:41PM - Jim, St Thomas

I shoulda known better than that.....thanks!
posted May 1 2011 8:10AM - Trek

Thanks for the input. It does look like starting from Huntsdale (or maybe even Hartsburg! -- I like the sound of the caboose!) would work for going to Columbia.

My only concern is activities for the boys. The trip planner is great for figuring out amenities, but I'm a little uncertain what stretches of the trail would best suit a couple of little guys. I do like the sound of the playgrounds on the Columbia spur. Are there other things on this or other parts of the trail that would also be worth checking out? Things to climb in/on? Places to swim?

posted May 1 2011 5:26PM - Dave, Bloomington, IN

There is a lot to see from Huntsdale to Rocheport....Petroglyphs on the cliff above, a cave, an old ammunition bunker, etc. When my three were young they liked to swim, play on the playground, and all that too. But, every trip wasn't conducive to playgrounds and video games at a hotel somewhere. We hiked, fished, camped and biked alot and learned to enjoy just being out in the great outdoors. Teach them to love and learn about nature. Have them hunt for "clues." Clues that a rabbit has been on the trail, clues that a snake has crossed, clues that there are flowers in bloom nearby, and so on. Yes, there are "other things worth checking out."
posted May 1 2011 9:32PM - Trek

Back on the site over a year later and stumbled upon this thread, so figured it was worth an update. Did a few miles around Huntsdale and stayed at Katfish Katy's, then took the boys up to Columbia and stayed there. It was a perfect mix of fun on and off the trail. After the 20 miles or so on the bike made it difficult for such little guys to enjoy much more, wandering around campus in Columbia (especially the insect museum) was a big hit.

And sorry to say it: thanks but not thanks for the patronizing comments about video games and hotels.
posted Jun 20 2012 9:45PM - Dave, Bloomington, IN

Tags: Hartsburg, Huntsdale, Rocheport, Boonville, Columbia, Playground, Petro 24 Gas Station, Katfish Katy's, Native American Petroglyphs, Comfort Inn of Boonville, Holiday Inn Express, Lodging, Camping, Playgrounds, Route Suggestions, Animals and Plants, Running, Bikes and gear Modify Tags

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