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Opedaler from Northeast Nebraska on 11/17/2019 11:46:37 AM:
We're trying to find new rails-to-trails to ride, and since retirement is edging closer I think we will be able to make it happen. The Katy trail is either #1 or #2 on our list for next year. I will read the forum more closely after I post this, but what is the best way to ride it from end to end? We would especially be interested in sagged rides.....or even shuttle service back to our original starting point. Any tips, recommendations or directions on this site to certain thread will be much appreciated.

Jerry Whittle from Belleville Illinois on 11/17/2019 8:17:40 PM:
I've done the fully supported Katy Trail Ride 8 times and plan on doing it again in 2020. Unfortunately it was cancelled due to flooding this year. However you can read up on the ride at this link: https://mostateparks.com/2019ktride For 2020 it should start in St. Charles which is closer to St. Louis. It includes shuttle service back to your car for an extra $70 a person. They drag your bags for you. Most people sleep in tents but there are hotel options for extra costs. I use the Padres Cycle Inn tent service where you rent their tent and they even set it up and break it down for you each day.

Michael from mountains from London on 11/18/2019 3:42:00 AM:
Hi Opedaler I posted some thoughts in the Katy Trail Forum thread 'Next July' and also in other posts about shuttles. We used Todd at Katy Bike Rental/Katy Shuttles tel: 314 578 7300. His base is Defiance about 10 miles west of St Charles, but he offered to pick us up from our hotel - the Holiday Inn Express in St Charles (recommended) and shuttle us west to Sedalia. I'm sure he'd take you further west to the end of the Katy. We prefer to ride quiet times and just the two of us, so we booked our own shuttle and cycled late September/early October when it was supposed to be cooler (it wasn't). As Jerry points out, there is an annual big ride which got cancelled due to the flooding this year. I'm interested in your thoughts on other trails. We have cycled the entire Allegheny Passage/Cumberland and Ohio over three years. It's a really beautiful ride with lots of interest along the way. We've also done two stretches of the Erie Canal trail. The part west from Rochester is all off-road and lovely, but going east involves some significant bits of highway which is ok, but not a lot of fun, and it's more difficult to find the way on these stretches. We also struggled to find B and Bs and hotels on this part of the Erie. The ride through the outskirts/suburbs and centre of Syracuse is most interesting. We got lost quite a bit, but didn't find the traffic a real problem. However, we are used to roads, although we avoid them when we can. Which other trails are you considering? Michael

John Hutchins from Pacific on 11/18/2019 10:26:02 AM:
The direction to ride the Katy is west to east. With prevailing winds and down river, so down hill. What is the other trail you are considering? I've ridden the Katy several times and it it great. Last spring I rode the C & O Canal Towpath and the Great Alleghany Passage. The GAP is a rail trail like the Katy but is in fantastic shape since it doesn't suffer annual flooding like the Katy. The C & O is challenging. Rocks, roots, mud, etc. but worth the ride with the right tires and attitude.

Opedaler from Northeast Nebraska on 11/19/2019 7:36:24 PM:
Thanks so much to all. I (make that we) have many things to think over. It'll be a go now for sure!

Opedaler from Northeast Nebraska on 11/21/2019 11:01:46 AM:
Michael, We are just entering the rails-to-trails lifestyle. Work has precluded much until now, but it is becoming our go-to preference. We have done several group rides (ie tour de Nebraska, seven cities etc....all sagged road rides) but are looking for more leisure and scenic rides. We have ridden the Cowboy trail in Nebraska extensively and we love it, but a few things......the flooding this year has really taken its toll, and it is a different type of trail in that a lot of it is focused on open range land. The eastern part is farm land with more trees and goes along the Elkhorn river, it was quite nice, but many repairs are still needed from last years flooding. The western portion is open and could use some upkeep. As more people find interest in this type of trail it will be a very nice ride. I would recommend from west (Valentine) to east (Norfolk). There is a loss of 1000' elevation and the winds are primarily west to east. Keep it in mind once it is fixed up. I should mention if you do have issues there is a good road all along the trail (Hw 20 and then Hwy 275) with shoulders. A lot of traffic tho so we prefer the trail. We have also done the Mickelson trail in the Black Hills of South Dakota twice. We did the "Trail Trek" and would highly recommend it. Even though the last two years also saw some water damage they have worked hard to keep it up. The Trail Trek is limited to 600 riders and it fills up within a week often. Each year there have been a few "accidents" because of trail issues, but most could have been avoided with a little effort on the riders part. The "Trek" is somewhat complicated so I'll direct you to their website for a complete itinerary.....suffice it to say, it is unique and you always have your car for site seeing at night. You must get your own lodging....we just get hotels (two nights in Custer, and two in Deadwood. If you ride it on your own (ie unsagged I'd recommend going from North (Deadwood) to south (Edgemont). It can be done in a day (109 miles) but we prefer the more leisurely ride of the Trek. Recently talked to a gentleman who does the Erie canal ride (sagged) every year and said it's a must-do. It won't be this year for us as retirement is still a year away, but it's on our bucket list as is the Coeur d'Alenes trail in Idaho, and the Beaver trail in Iowa.