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First Katy Trail Ride suggestions

I am planning a first time Katy trail ride and am hoping for suggestions about my planned itinerary from those more experienced with the trail.
I am riding solo and accustomed to riding long miles and more importantly only have a limited time.

Day 1. Take train from Sedalia to Kirkwood. Have arranged shuttle service to Machen's. Stay first night in Augusta.

Day 2. Augusta to Jefferson

Day 3. Jefferson to Sedalia

Day 4. Drive home

Any feedback would be great.

Thank you
posted Jun 8 2018 3:22PM - Scott, Fort Worth, Texas

If you are planning your ride the week of June 18th, you will be riding the same direction of this years DNR Katy Trail Group Ride from St Charles to Clinton, so you might not be solo.
posted Jun 8 2018 3:47PM - Gary, Near Tebbetts

Augusta is a perfect first stop with the brewery right on the trail and lodging all close by. For the second day, I would recommend powering on to Hartsburg if you can get lodging at one of the B&Bs. You are riding lots of miles and back tracking across the river into Jefferson City is going to add several more miles to your journey (unless you really want to see the Missouri State Capitol Building). You might want to seriously reconsider your third day because your last 40 miles will have the most hills and you are likely to turn straight into a summer headwind once you reach Boonville. I would personally recommend finding a B&B in Pilot Grove, swim at their community pool that night, and then finish your last 25 hilly miles to Sedalia the next morning before you are stuck in the car for the rest of that 4th day driving back home. I love the secluded hilly sections between Pilot Grove and Sedalia that are completely covered with overhanging trees as long as I am not completely worn out.
posted Jun 8 2018 4:12PM - Mark, Lee's Summit

The tebbets hostel just east of Jeff is worth staying at
Plenty of bunks
Not quite as long a day
Pushing thru to Sedalia from either tebbets or Jeff is a haul in the heat
Boonville is a great stop
Hotel bothwell in Sedalia is awesome
Good luck!
posted Jun 8 2018 5:14PM - PT

Start in St. Charles. Check this list for comments on the segment to Machens
posted Jun 8 2018 7:03PM - Anonymous

Your first day is your shortest day. I would consider going Machens to McKittrick / Hermann on day one, Hermann to Rocheport on day two, Rocheport to Sedalia on day 3.

I agree with the others that Jeff City to Sedalia on day 3 would be a slog. Also agree with bypassing Jeff and going to Hartsburg instead.
posted Jun 9 2018 7:39AM - Hank

you plan is doable.
Keep in mind if it rains you will still ride to keep your schedule. Do you have fatter than normal tires?
You can expect a semi-soft surface if it rains and tires wider than 40 mm will help. This will probably be more important between Boonville and Sedalia since the rain seems to have a greater impact on the semi hilly surface there. I'm not sure why but it does.
As others have said, I would skip Jeff City and try Hargsburg. It has a nice bar, also.
posted Jun 10 2018 6:13PM - diggleberry

Thank you so much for the suggestions they have been very helpful.

A follow-up question regarding going to Herman/McKittrick on day one is that with riding the train that morning to the Kirkwood station I will most likely not be able to start on the trail until about 2pm.

Should I forgo starting at Machens and begin from St. Charles so that I can get further down the trail before dark?

Also, I will be riding a gravel bike, which seems the perfect bike on rail to trails in the area I live.
posted Jun 11 2018 7:26AM - Scott, Fort Worth, Texas

skip Machen's. NOthing there. You can eat in St. Charles if you start there instead.
You've got essentially 6 hrs of daylight.
You could probably go 50 miles to be conservative.
posted Jun 11 2018 4:03PM - diggleberry

The primary reason to start in Machens is to say you've rode the whole trail. There's nothing there and the trail between Machens and St. Charles is lower quality.

If you are accustomed to long miles you can start in St. Charles and ride the 60 miles to McKittrick yet on day one.

I don't know if it's an option for you but riding west to east is much better IMO. Take the train from Kirkwood to Sedalia and ride back. If you don't mind City riding you can ride from the trail to Kirkwood and eliminate the need for shuttling.

Just some thoughts.
posted Jun 16 2018 7:42AM - Hank

I completed my ride yesterday and wanted to say thank you to those of you who offered guidance on my itinerary.

I took the Amtrak from Sedalia to Kirkwood and used a shuttle service from the station to St. Charles.

Day 1: St. Charles to McKittrick. It was a great section of trail. The only issue that I had was the train arrived to Kirkwood about an hour late, which with traffic to St. Charles had me starting the ride about 3:20pm. I was concerned about making the 60 miles to Kirkwood before dark, which although close I made it by 8:00pm.

Day 2: McKittrick to Rocheport. Another good day of riding although it was fairly warm 97-98.

Day 3: Rochefort to Sedalia. I really enjoyed this section of trail. There was a bit more cloud cover and only 50ish miles so a bit more time to stop at points of interest.

Highlights and things I learned for next time.

1. It seemed to me that I was the only person riding East to West. Maybe I was riding up hill the whole way.

2. Just because there is a bicycle shop sign on the map does not mean that they have what you might need.

3. Amtrak was a comfortable way to travel, but maybe I should have inquired about timeliness.

4. Joey's B and B in McKittrick was a perfect place to stay. Comfortable room, french press coffee, great breakfast and very welcoming.

5. Schoolhouse Dormitory B and B in Rocheport was equally as enjoyable and a great stop after a long day. The general store in Rocheport was a great place for dinner.

6. The Bike shop in Rocheport, while serving great coffee and foods was lacking in the Bike Shop Dept. Only a few tubes. Granted had I not packed the wrong air cartridges and/or run over a roofing nail at the Portland rest stop I would have not needed a bike shop.

7. People on the trail were so helpful. I had trouble on day one finding a place to fill my water bottles and a family that had just finished their ride topped of my bottles with cold water. Thank you whoever you are.

8. Marthasville and in particular "Phillys" was the only place that I found open after 5pm on a Thursday evening and they allowed me to fill up my water bottles and had one of the best Dr Peppers I have ever had.

9. The Bike shop in Booneville, saved my ride by having exactly what I needed to repair a slow tire leak and the correct air cartridges, which provided much needed security for the remainder of the ride.

10. The Comfort Inn in Sedalia was a very clean and nice place to stay for the evening. Additionally, it is only a two mile ride to the Amtrak station and they allowed me to leave my car at the hotel during my ride for no charge.

Again, Thank you all for your feedback. It was invaluable for a successful trip.

posted Jul 15 2018 5:53PM - Scott, Fort Worth

Glad your first trip went well, Scott. Thanks for the detailed report!
posted Jul 16 2018 7:07AM - Brian L., Austin

Tags: Augusta, Sedalia, Augusta Winery, Route Suggestions Modify Tags

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