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Amtrak from Chicago to the Katy Trail?

Bicho from Chicago on 6/6/2021 3:05:01 PM:
Hi all, I'm hoping to ride the Katy trail this summer and wanted to take Amtrak from Chicago to the trail. TI want to start at Machens riding east to west, and I have a few questions: 1- Are there any shuttle services from St. Louis to the trail? 2- In case there are no shuttles from St. Louis to the trail I think my best option will be taking a train from Chicago to Washington, MO. Are there shuttle services from Washington, MO to Machens? 3- Anybody has a better suggestion for me to get to Machens from Chicago? FYI: I don't drive. Thanks!

 
Mark from Lee's Summit on 6/6/2021 6:30:37 PM:
There is a trail network from the Downtown Amtrak station that runs along the Mississippi River and gets you very close to Machens. It is a paved trail network for most of the way, but you will have to ride a few county roads in order to reach the Machens trailhead. The issue is where to find a hotel after your train arrives in Downtown St. Louis...there are really no options close to the trail until you reach St. Charles...so your best bet is to get a hotel in Downtown St. Louis after your Amtrak train arrives and then leave first thing in the morning so you can ride the Mississippi River Trail, cross the Old Route 66 Chain of Rocks bike/ped bridge, take the Illinois Madison County Trail to Alton, cross the Mississippi River again on the US-67 river bridge (there is a wide bike lane striped off), and then take county roads to reach the Machens trail head...then spend the night in St. Charles. The Mississippi River Trail and Illinois Madison County Trail are a great experience along with crossing the Old Route 66 Chain of Rocks bike/ped bridge. It is a great way to start your Katy Trail adventure! Get some Mississippi River travel in before you put in lots of Katy miles next to the Missouri River.