A friend and I rode the Katy west to east, starting on 9/25/17 and finishing on 9/29/17. We thoroughly enjoyed the ride and wanted to share some of our experiences.
1. We drove in from Illinois, parked in St. Charles and rode in a van to the west end of the trail in Clinton, using the shuttle service offered by the Bike Stop cafe and bike rental store in St. Charles. It's a good four-hour drive and seemed well worth the $160 per person fee. The van was roomy and comfortable. The driver, Tony, who is one of the Bike Stop owners, was friendly, informative and right on time. We were in Clinton and riding east by 12:15 p.m.
2. The tree cover over the trail is excellent. It was sunny and in the mid-80s on the trail, but we never felt scorched. Roughly 60 percent of the entire trail was under some type of shade. The downside of the tree cover is that walnuts litter the trail in some places, and you need to dodge around them to keep from being knocked into a swerve. This is probably only an issue in the fall.
3. Our first stop was in Sedalia. The Hotel Bothwell is a classy, old-style, well maintained hotel. I'd recommend it. There's a break in the trail starting at the trail depot in Sedalia. You then follow city streets for about 2 miles until you reconnect with the trail. Other posts have complained about getting lost and being routed onto busy streets. That was not our experience at all. The signage is excellent. Perhaps the signage was improved due to complaints. In any case, it's not something to worry about.
4. Our next stop was in Rocheport. We had stopped for lunch -- very good -- at the Main St. Diner in Booneville. The trail signage at the Missouri River crossing just beyond the diner could be improved. There is a Katy Trail sign pointing across the pedestrian/bicycle lane of a new highway bridge. There is also a Katy Trail sign pointing in another direction to a much older lift bridge. There is no indication that the lift bridge is impassable. The lift section of the bridge is stuck in the up position. Be sure to use the highway bridge.
Our lodgings in Rocheport were superb - The Yates House B&B. It was definitely an experience of being pampered by the hosts, Conrad and Dixie Yates. They even did a load a sweaty laundry for us! We had a delicious dinner at Merriweather's, a combination cafe and bike rental shop. Breakfast the next morning at the Yates House was very, very good.
5. Our next and last night on the trail was at Joey's Birdhouse B&B in McKittrick. From a lodging perspective, this was the highlight of the ride. Joey, an innkeeper, sculptor and organic gardener, made us feel we were not just guests but old friends. The rooms are cozy, clean and full of personality. Joey's metal sculptures adorn the property. Breakfast the next morning was delicious and much of it was straight from Joey's extensive organic garden.
6. Our last day on the trail -- a 60 miler -- was our longest, and in spite of a flat tire, went very well. There are a number of lunch places on this section of the trail. We stopped at the Augusta Brewing Company in Augusta. I'd recommend it.
posted Oct 1 2017 12:25PM
- Kevin S., Princeton, IL
Kevin OMG..... so glad to see your post. I found Richard's Chicago Marathon hat.
I would love to send it to him!!!!!!! I think it is his Hat???? Ha Ha ....My email is Cmp29weck@aol.com. Ken and I got to St Charles on Thursday night always hoping to see you two one more time, but we didn't . Thanks for making our trip a wonderful memory. We had a lot of fun with both of you. Love and Peace. Cathy
posted Oct 1 2017 1:34PM
- Cathy P, Yardley Pa