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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
St. Louis to Katy Trail(Machens)

Good evening. Has anyone traveled from downtown St. Louis to the start of the trail in Machens? A buddy and I are arriving in St. Louis on the 15th of September and heading to the trail on Monday the 17th. Any information would be greatly appreciated. How long of a trip can we expect? Thank you. Scott
posted Aug 19 2018 10:08PM - Scott, Ohio

The Mississippi Riverfront Greenway Trail runs about 12 miles north from Downtown St. Louis if you are starting near the Arch. Your best be then is to enjoy the longer route across the Mississippi River and utilize the nice trails in Illinois in order to get to Machens. This Illinois route is about 28 miles versus 18 miles, but the shorter Missouri route would require you to ride on major highways with small shoulders. The Illinois route takes you across the Old Chain of Rocks pedestrian/bike bridge into Illinois where you jump on the Madison County Confluence Trail. Take that trail to the northwest past Wood River and into Alton where you can cross back into Missouri using the striped bike lane on the cable-stayed Clark Bridge Hwy. 67). Once you cross back into Missouri, take rough West Alton Trail to get close to St. Charles Street. Then take St. Charles Street to 94 Hwy. to Saale Road to Dwiggins Road to 94 Hwy. to Machens Road...the idea is to use county sidestreets to stay off of 94 Hwy. as much as possible. Machens Road takes you to the Katy trailhead just across the live railroad tracks.
posted Aug 20 2018 9:29AM - Mark, Lee's Summit

I would normally agree with Mark about the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. It's worth a trip by itself. However it is often closed and locked lately. I can't seem to find a good web page with the open hours.

However there's another option. Take the Riverfront Trail north and cross over the Mississippi River on the McKinley Bridge. The map below shows it.

One way to avoid Hwy 94 is to not cross the river in Alton. Rather stay on the trail (past the casino on the road for a little while) to Grafton. Then take the Grafton Ferry across the river. This will add more miles plus cost money. Also the Grafton Ferry should be open on the 15th and 16th, but worth checking first.
posted Aug 20 2018 12:40PM - Jerry Whittle, Belleville Il

If you go to Katy Trail home page and scroll down a ways there are several route suggestions from downtown St Louis to Katy Trail.
I am not computer literate enough to post a link.
Have a good trip
posted Aug 20 2018 1:25PM - Allen, Shawnee

Thank you so much for your responses. I will definitely look into them and see which will work best. Definitely looking forward to the trip.
posted Aug 21 2018 8:12AM - Scott, Ohio

The Chain of Rocks Bridge is open but the lot is locked except for special events.
posted Aug 22 2018 5:58AM - Anonymous

When I rode from the Katy Trail to Downtown St. Louis three years ago, I avoided the Machens trailhead because there is not much there along the flood plain and the trail is always much rougher for those last 5 to 10 miles to Machens. I crossed before St. Charles at the Page Avenue bridge (Rte. 364) and mapped out a nice scenic route through the best trails and road areas of the city. I pulled up my Garmin history and the distance was right about 30 miles from the Katy Trail to Downtown St. Louis. You can Google Katy Trail to Downtown St. Louis and see my 2015 route or I can even post my Garmin link if you want.
posted Aug 22 2018 4:29PM - Mark, Lee's Summit

To: Mark, from Lees Summit.
My wife and I are will be leaving for St Louis on the trail this week. We live in LS and plan to grab the trailhead in P. Hill. I have a few questions. Would it be possible to talk before we leave on Thursday. Thank You. Paul, Lees Summit
posted Oct 10 2018 2:02AM - Paul, Lees Summit

Email me at mark.dashaus@gmail.com ... I can respond to you then by phone hopefully before you leave on your trip. It will be brisk for you this week and hopefully you can stay ahead of the rain that will roll in on Friday.
posted Oct 10 2018 10:43PM - Mark

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