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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
passing through

Driving from NE to NC and back in late summer. Bringing our bikes. Thought we'd sample the Katy Trial. Would appreciate recommendation on two 15-mile sections to try. Entry must be fairly close to I-70. Looking for scenery, rolling but not steep hills, perhaps along river. Shade would be a bonus. No more than five responses please.
posted Jun 29 2006 12:47PM - GG, Bellevue, NE

This question gets asked not infrequently in this forum but yours is unique in that you wish to remain close to I-70. Options:

1) Rocheport east. This is the most scenic and popular area along the entire trail according to most and it has what you desire: close to I-70, the river very close to the trail, and some but not total shade not to mention the beautiful cliffs, petroglyphs, the Lewis and Clark Cave (stay out please!) etc. Take the 115 exit off I-70 and go north down the hill to Rocheport. Check out the historic town first then head to the trailhead. Ride west about 500 yards first to see the tunnel.

2) Booneville west. This is as close to I-70 as you can get; you will actually cross it on a converted railroad bridge. While not as scenic as #1, this portion of the trail is quite shaded and has the rolling hill agricultural scenery that you desire although the trail itself is only slightly up/downhill. You may also ride east from the Booneville trailhead past the restored depot, past the casino and over the Missouri River. The bridge has a barrier-protected bike lane, is not difficult and the view is wonderful. If you head further into the valley you will see an old railroad turntable and the bridge in New Franklin is itself quite historic. Booneville is via exits 101 and 106.

3) McKittrick/Hermann in either direction. I will let the easteners chime in more detail regarding this or perhaps adjacent areas of the trail but the town of Hermann in the wine country is a fun day or overnight visit. It is south of I-70 on hwy19 by about 15 miles via exit 175. Note that the trail is in Mckittrick, north of the river and most people don't reel comfortable riding on the highway bridge down to Hermann, which is south of the river and thus off of the trail.
posted Jun 29 2006 10:57PM - MLH, Overland Park KS

You've got one other option that's close to I-70 - St Charles. It's at the eastern end of the trail. Heading south from St Charles, you'll get some nice river views and wooded areas, especially after you get about 10 miles out from the St Charles trailhead. Click on St Charles in the map at the top of any page in this website, to find out how to get there.

As for "rolling but not steep hills", you won't find any hills on the Katy Trail. It's an old railroad route, and is very flat.
posted Jun 30 2006 8:51AM - Psychlist, St Louis

ditto to what mlh of overland, kansas said on number 1, i have no idear on number 3, been as far as boonvile, but not past and never been to herman or mckittrick. if you would want, try defiance to augusta. it is off hwy 40 on 94, bouts 10 miles m/l from I-70, and well worth the extra drive. it is shaded in places, some areas along the river. nice cool places around the klondike area (which is next to the river) and it is bouts 15 miles one way from defiance to augusta.
the old turntable at new franklin is pretty neat and the old railroad bridge is neat also. the view over the misssouri bridge is nice, but the ride stinks if you're scared of heights. any which way u go, have fun and be safe.
posted Jun 30 2006 12:09PM - frank, festus

McKittrick east to Treloar is a good ride. There are towering bluffs as well as good views of the river. Although this is a bit south of the I-70 path, Hermann is a community worth visiting if not for the fantastic accomodations and view at the Herman Hill Vineyard and Inn, for the tour and German food at the Stone Hill Vineyard. Flatland..no hills on this section.

From MLH's post....2) Legendary Lard Hill through Booneville heading west is rather long and gradual, but nothing that the old train couldn't do (without lard on the tracks anyway!).
posted Jun 30 2006 4:51PM - Trek Biker, St. Joseph, MO

All are good suggestions, but I'd second the Booneville section. Actually, a fun thing to do would be to ride from Pilot Grove east to Booneville because it's a great downhill and very wooded and pretty. Or go out and back. The trail first joins the Missouri R at Booneville, so that's cool. A truly wonderful place to stay in Booneville is the River View Suites. They are beautifully converted apartments right on the Missouri, complete with kitchen and deck. Very comfy and reasonable. 660-882-0300.
posted Jul 2 2006 7:53PM - Sarah McGregor, Denver

It is all good....
posted Jul 3 2006 1:55PM - Anonymous, Iowan

G G, bellevue, ne, a mistake i made on the mileage between defiance and agusta. it is bouts 14-15 miles round trip. please accept my apologies.
posted Jul 3 2006 2:58PM - frank, festus

Tags: Augusta, St Charles, New Franklin, Defiance, Treloar, McKittrick, Rocheport, Franklin, Boonville, Pilot Grove, Hermann, Augusta Winery, Petro 24 Gas Station, Native American Petroglyphs, Klondike Park, Stone Hill Winery, Restaurants, Route Suggestions Modify Tags

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