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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Riding from Lee Summit

I am planning a trip with some friends to bike pack the Katy and Rock island trail. We had planned to start in Lee Summit and go all the way to Machens. I just realized the section of trail from Lee Summit is not complete. How feasible and safe are the roads from Lee Summit to Pleasantville to get on the trail? Has anyone done it? What route would you take? Thanks in advance for any advice.
posted Jan 26 2018 1:28PM - John, Cedar Rapids iowa

There are multiple safe routes to take from Lee's Summit to Pleasant Hill where you will pick up the Rock Island Connector. It depends where in Lee's Summit you may start from. If you spend a little time and scroll through previous comments and/or go to the Rock Island link. You can get some detailed routes. You may consider starting in Greenwood or Pleasant Hill. Crossing 50 highway was not fun.

Unless you want to say you went to the end in Machens, I would never ride that stretch again and just stop in St. Charles. There is nothing in Machens. You just stop in a clump of trees by railroad tracks and a corn field.
posted Jan 26 2018 4:05PM - KB-LS, Lee's Summit

I had a couple of minutes and couldn't find the directions. You will have to look closely at a map to see the directions. The starting spot is 291 North and 50 Highway in Lee's Summit. Along side Home Depot.
South on Hamblen Rd to Gambrell Street
West on Gambrell Street to 19th Ave. N
South on 19th St N to Elm
West on Elm to 20th St. Ave S to Allendale Road
East on Allendale Rd. to S. Allendale Lake Rd.
South on Allendale Lake Rd. to County Rd.
East on County Rd. which turns into S. Groll Rd to E. 171st St
East on 171st St to S. Gray Dr.
South on S. Gray Dr to E. 175th St.
East on 175th St. to Old Mo Pac Trail or Boardman Rd.
South on either route and they will take you close to downtown Pleasant Hill. The Rock Island Trail will start at the Cass County Fair Grounds. Couple of notes:
- If anyone has a better or safer route please let me know.
- The route is the least traveled roads I could find.
- It is only about 15 miles and the directions look harder than they are.
- Refill water and get food as you will hit a dry spell until you get to Chilhowee where there is a Corner Store in town

Good Luck!!.
posted Jan 26 2018 4:48PM - KB-LS

I live in Lee's Summit. I work weekends, and am generally off during the week. I have a bike rack that is sized for standard bikes ( i.e., non recumbent ), holds 2 bikes, tray style. I could possibly help someone out who needed to be driven from LS to Pleasant Hill to get on the RIT.

You can ride it, but I've driven the route and it's not my personal favorite bike route.

The advice you've been given regarding Machens vs. STC is correct. I'd go to St. Charles rather than Machens.

contact info is 88---r---100---rt@---gmail.com if I can be of assistance

(no hyphens)

posted Jan 27 2018 12:20AM - Matt Brickell, Lee's Summit

I took Amtrak to Lee's Summit last October and stayed in Lee's Summit the first night. The ride from Lee's Summit to Pleasant Hill was not bad, there was only one stretch of about 4 miles on a busy highway. Once you are done with that it is gravel roads and a bike path the rest of the way to Pleasant Hill.
I finished my ride on the Katy in Machens just to complete the entire distance, really nothing to see from St Charles to Machens.
posted Jan 28 2018 10:01AM - MPH, ST Louis

So here is my route. I've been riding this route for years. I have lived in Pleasant Hill, Greenwood, and Lee's Summit and this is the best threw all 3 cities to get to the trail. Unfotunually I'm unable to figure out how or if you can jis t save a Google map. So here are 2 pictures that I posted to Facebook. Not sure this will work but here it goes nothing.


If it doesn't work or you have questions, I'll do whatever I can to help.
posted Jan 30 2018 8:33PM - Alex Pirnie, Lee's summit

I would like to take the train to Lee's Summit or Warrensburg from STL arriving W night 3/14. From there am looking for a shuttle over to Pleasant Hill in order to ride on to Windsor on the RIT then on to Boonville and Jeff City on the Katy to catch the train back to STL.

Anyone know of a good shuttle service from Lee's Summit, Warrensburg or even Sedalia?

Thanks in advance.
posted Mar 5 2018 11:21AM - Steve Plattner, Cincinnati

KB's directions are OK, I htink I'd go east on Gambrell to 13th Ave north and take it south to 150, east on 150 to Allendale Lake road (Casey's on the corner). I ride the route to Pleasant Hill all the time as well as back and forth to Lee's Summit using both Hamblen and Ranson roads.
posted Jun 5 2018 5:23PM - JM, Greenwood

Beginning 6/24 we are riding from Easley on the KT to the Marriott in Kansas City. Anybody have suggestions on how to get from Pleasant Hill through Lee's Summit to the Marriott? Prefer to avoid busy roads when possible.
posted Jun 13 2018 11:14PM - Ruth , Indianapolis

Which Marriott?
posted Jun 14 2018 9:45AM - Anonymous

The Marriott downtown, 200 West 12th Street, KC
posted Jun 14 2018 11:08PM - Ruth, Indianapolis

Someone posted a route here last September. Essentially he used Google maps bicycle option to pick out a route. Pick a route to Greenwood. Then 150 west to Ward Rd north then Longview road west to Longview lake. Go around the north end on the dam and pick up James a Reed Rd . James A Reed Rd from Longview lake to 87th, jog west to Oldham Road, downhill to Swope Park (no shoulder here) Left at Gregory then through Swope Park to Swope Parkway. MAke sure you stay in the park and don't go past it. Traffic bad further west. North on Swope Pkwy to 47th or so then over to The Paseo and on into town. Take 18th west to Main or Baltimore and then to the Marriot. No suggestions from Lees Summit to Longview lake. Look at 3rd west out of LS then Longview Rd all the way to pick up JA Reed.
There are several routes to Greenwood posted here. I drove one that turned out to be closed. Others were rough. Smart Rd north of PH is good but 150 east of Greenwood may not be that cycle freindly.
I was concerned about the area so drove it. Looked safe, no bullet holes in the car. He rode it successfully.
posted Jun 15 2018 4:48PM - Anonymous

PS: That route goes near some high risk areas. DO NOT ride that route after dark. As long as you are on the main roads you should be OK. Earlier the better.
posted Jun 15 2018 4:50PM - Anonymous

Thanks for the advice. We are going for the National Square Dance Convention and hope our legs aren't too tired to dance. We will leave early and do it in daylight. Thanks again.
posted Jun 16 2018 12:52PM - Ruth, Indianapolis

I will give you my recommendation that uses low traffic two lane roads to connect to various kansas city trail segments. If you plan on starting your last biking day in Windsor, though, you are looking at a lot miles in order to weave through the city and reach your hotel downtown. Take the gravel trail north out of downtown Pleasant Hill, but turn left onto 175th Street (a fairly light two lane road). Go 3 miles and turn right onto Gray Road. Continue 1.5 miles on Gray Road as it changes names from Gray/171st/Groll/167th/County Road (the same 2 lane road weaves around and changes names). Turn right onto Allendale Lake Road and go 2 miles north where you will turn left onto Allendale Drive. From Allendale Drive, you will turn right onto 20th, left onto Cherokee Drive, and right onto Doc Henry (you are just weaving through a subdivision so you can limit you time on 150 Hwy). Turn left onto 150 Hwy., but you only have to travel about 1/4 mile before you have sidewalks and more room on the roadway. Continue west on Hwy. 150 for 1 mile (in the wide roadway or the sidewalks) and at Ward Road, you will see the sidewalk on the right side of the road change into a wide bike path. Continue 6 miles west on the 150 Hwy. bike trail and then turn right onto Byars Road. Although there is a nice bike trail around Longview Lake that would add too many miles to your trip, so you are best off biking 4 miles straight north up Byars to Longview Road.
posted Jun 17 2018 2:53PM - Mark, Lee's Summit

Part 2 --- From Byars/Food Lane and Longview Road, turn left onto the Longview Road bike lane and go 1.5 miles over I-49 to Grandview Road. Turn left onto Grandview Road, go 1/4 mile and then turn right onto 119th/Martha Truman Road. Take 119th/Martha Truman for 2 miles and then turn right onto Blue River Road. Take Blue River Road for 1/2 mile and turn left into Minor Park where you will connect to the nice Blue River Trail. Take the Blue River Trail for 3.5 miles to where it dead-ends at 95th Terrace. The Trolley Trail connector bike path is still under construction so you will need to loop down from 95th Terrace back down to Blue River Road and take Blue River Road to Prospect to the beginning of the Trolley Track Trail (about 1.5 miles...the Trolley Track Trail starts right after you cross the railroad tracks).
posted Jun 17 2018 3:04PM - Mark, Lee's Summit

Part 3 --- Take the Trolley Track Trail for its entire length from south Kansas City to the Plaza (about 6.5 miles). When the Trolley Track Trail ends at Volker Boulevard, turn immediately right and take the sidewalk for 2 blocks down to Rockhill, cross the street and take the bike trail sidewalk for another block down to Troost and turn left on the bridge sidewalk. Continue on the Troost sidewalk over the creek for another 1/4 mile where you will cross Emanuel Cleaver Blvd. Turn left on Cleaver for a short half block and then immediately turn right onto Harrison Street. Go for one block and Harrison turns into Gilham Road. Gilham Road has is nice bike route and along multiple sections there are linear parks and bike paths. Take Gilham Road for 3 miles north into midtown Kansas City. It is a long uphill along Gilham until just past 27th Street, then you finally get to enjoy a downhill. As Gilham Road approaches 25th Street take the left fork in the road which is Pershing Road. Enjoy the downhill on Pershing Road as it turns towards the left to Kansas City Union Station at Main Street and Pershing. Next to Union Station, get on the free street car line and that will take you and your bikes (for free) all the way to Downtown Kansas City and 2 blocks away from your hotel on 12th Street.
posted Jun 17 2018 3:34PM - Mark, Lee's Summit

Tags: Rock Island Trail, Lee's Summit, Pleasant Hill, Greenwood, Amtrak Modify Tags

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