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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Sedalia to Rocheport

On July 4th we road from Sedalia to Booneville.
The trail is 80% up hill. The first 10 miles was pretty easy but the constant up hill is tiring.
We stopped at Pilot Grove and the only thing open was the Caseys not far from the trail head.
At Booneville we stayed at the Hotel Fred, a beautiful hotel, we loved our room and the staff was warm and friendly...the hostess even delivered ice to our room. again though the entire town was closed for the 4th. Our only food option was the casino buffet.
July 5th we road from Booneville to Rocheport. There is a detour to Rocheport that is on a hwy up hill for about a mile. Arriving in Rocheport the town was closed down...nothing open but the Trail Side Cafe. The cafe has a bike shop and food. There are no shuttles from here. after blowing a tire and being delayed by the detour we had to get to Jefferson City in a hurry...the only taxi service couldnt take us until after 5:00pm. The gentlemen at the bike shop contacted a local fellow named Mark Webb and he drove us to Jefferson City (thank you Mark!)
Over all...the ride was pretty nice...the people for the most part were NOT friendly and nothing was open along the trail for food and water.
We checked websites prior to going on the trip and nothing stated that they would be closed for the 4th and 5th. At the Amtrack station the woman keep giving us incorrect information and it was confusing. The train was late coming in and then delayed for 5 hours on the tracks near Sedalia. We made the most of the trip but will not return. Next trip will be Minnesota's Root River trail.
posted Jul 9 2011 4:33AM - MPW, Cedar Rapids, IA

You should try it again. Small towns and holiday usually means things are closed. The owners have lives outside their businesses and they are entitled to this. They are not running their businesses just for the Katy Trail Riders. As for Amtrak, they are now having to share the tracks with freight trains due to the Missouri River flooding and freight trains get priority. This is a questionable year for the trail. You just have to go with the flow and be prepared and flexible. We in Missouri really hope you give the Katy another try. Maybe at another time of the year.
posted Jul 9 2011 8:43AM - Pam, Independence

Sorry your Katy trail trip was such a disappointment. I've traveled this entire country in search of the best rail trails and always find myself retuning to the Katy. Not only do I find one of the best trails in the US but the people in MO are always friendly and helpful.

And just FYI, the trail is NOT 80% uphill from Sedalia to Boonville. The trail rises slightly from Clifton City to Pilot Grove but hardly a climb. Katy elevation chart-http://www.bikekatytrail.com/elevations.aspx

posted Jul 9 2011 9:31AM - Paulie, Knoxville

The Katy has very few uphill areas and they are a very slight incline. In fact, the only "coast-able downhill on the trail is coming into Boonville from Pilot Grove. The Root River Trail is nice, but there are a number of fairly steep hills on that trail, but it is paved, at least the part of it I know of, so be prepared for some climbing if you try that trail. And, many businesses along the Katy Trail in the smaller towns are closed on Sundays and Mondays. Hope you give the Katy another try. Sharon
posted Jul 9 2011 1:58PM - sharonbikes, Kansas City

Ok MPW, hope you enjoy the Root River Trail, but I won't watch for your review. Your second sentence of this review of the Katy Trail was a falsehood, so what are we to make of the rest of it? I think it is too bad you didn't enjoy yourself, most people do. Peace out!
posted Jul 9 2011 6:36PM - Darrell, the uncommonly friendly one., Jefferson City

MPW - Thanks for the warning about where your next trip will be.
posted Jul 11 2011 12:51PM - Gary, Near Tebbetts

On my next trip I will be sure to head West. According to this report it must be 80% downhill!
posted Jul 11 2011 2:50PM - MidSouth, Rogersville, MO

"The trail is 80% up hill..." --MPW, Cedar Rapids, IA
"You should try it again..." -- Pam, Independence

Hmmm... :-)
posted Jul 12 2011 7:04PM - Brian L., Wichita

Pretty funny Brian.
posted Jul 12 2011 8:35PM - Pam, Independence

Hmm, I'm surprised at the defensive comments on this page. Although, some comments were helpful and sincere, others seem the opposite. The trip seems to have had it's issues, but the author seems to be simply blogging the results of the trip(helpful or not to other future bikers) And, yes, business owners are entitled to holidays off. Still, you would think it would have been posted somewhere on this site that holidays are not the best time to bike the trail if you are looking to make stops in the small towns. Since it seems nothing was open on July 5th either, I'm not sure the holiday was the issue. In my experience, parts of the trail were not well marked and the detours were not safe. Overall, the trails are beautiful and I enjoy the information shared on this site.
posted Jul 14 2011 4:28PM - Teri

It has been posted many, many times over the years that very little is open on Monday and Tuesday, especially on the western side of the trail. July 4th and 5th just happened to be on Monday and Tuesday this year.
posted Jul 14 2011 8:21PM - MidSouth, Rogersville, Mo

Teri, I believe the aledged defensive comments were justified given the comment by MPW that they felt it was so bad that they would not return. That was an unjustified comment in my opinion and no great loss if they didn't return.
posted Jul 14 2011 8:51PM - Gary Near, Tebbetts

There are many of us that know the ins and outs of the trail because we've ridden it many times for many years. It's "common knowledge" that Mondays and Tuesdays are tough along the trail. I think when people don't know and come here for information they are looking for answers, fair reviews of businesses, and not biased rants and untruths. It doesn't help anyone when a poster starts out with an untruth like, "The trail is 80% uphill." Although it may be true, I seriously doubt that the entire town of Boonville was closed for the 4th of July. I would have thought the DQ, A & W, McDonalds, or the like would have been open. There were no "Closed Tomorrow" signs on the door of A & W the night of the 3rd.

For someone who does not know, it is often very difficult to separate someones opinion from fact. The trail is 80% uphill....that restaurant ruined my entire weekend.....the entire town was closed down....
posted Jul 14 2011 10:07PM - Trek

Those of us who ride the trail often are aware that many businesses are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. And some businesses open at random times and days. Probably one of the coolest places in the world, Jim's in Tebbetts, was sort of like that. If you were there when he was opened, you were in for a real treat. I wish Jim well, I wish he was not retiring.

But it might be helpful if the FAQ section of this forum had a specific question and answer that says many businesses along the trail are closed on Mon. and Tues. If you depend on a business to be open, call and find out what days they are opened and closed. For example last year the bike rental place in Rocheport took their day off in the middle of the week. If you expected to rent a bike from them to ride the trail and were there on the day they were closed (it was Wednes. or Thurs.) you were out of luck.

posted Jul 14 2011 11:11PM - Cathy, Jefferson City

Tags: Jefferson City, Tebbetts, Rocheport, Boonville, Pilot Grove, Clifton City, Sedalia, McDonalds Boonville, Restaurants, Lodging, Water, Shuttles, Trail Conditions, Amtrak, Weather, Running, Tires Modify Tags

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