Katy Trail Home  The Katy Trail and Rock Island Trail Rock Island Trail Home


james from st louis on 8/2/2022 3:45:24 PM:
I rode the trail and it's really dirty. A world class Trail like this needs to be paved. There are plenty of donors out there that I would imagine we'll be more than happy to donate to this cause. I will leave this would increase writer ship greatly. People who have rode it before would want to ride it again. It gets washed out frequently it needs frequent repairs. A really good pavement or asphalt would make this truly a world-class Trail. They are even environmental techniques do use during its construction. There are ways to make the roadbed flexible so it never wears out as well. A Canadian highway use the same technique and they have never had to repair the highway ever. It would make it a lot safer for people and easier for maintenance crews and emergency crews. All the rain and the mud tears people's shoes and clothes up because if it's silicon lime stone nature's. Asphalt or pavement will make it a lot safer Journey during rain.

brad wilson from st louis on 8/2/2022 6:29:38 PM:
I encourage you to find the donor willing to put out the millions and millions of dollars necessary to pave hundreds of miles of very functional gravel. The rest of us will continue to enjoy using the trail as a way to have a back-to-nature experience away from paved roads.

Triker from Monroe City on 8/3/2022 3:08:22 AM:
I agree it should be paved.. By the State.. Florida has hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of miles of paved trails. A state that has no state tax.. Here in Missouri we have a state tax plus they just legalized medical marijuana which the state makes millions off of.. So where is all this money going.. I haven't seen any evidence of it in my town as far as improvements in roads or any thing else.. Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Florida, dotta dotta dotta all have paved trails.. But not Missouri.. They might have a few inside city limits of Stlouis and KansasCity but thats it. But who wants to drive 200 or 300 miles just to ride a 10 mile trail. Well thats my 2cents now all you haters can reply below...lol

Anonymous on 8/3/2022 10:04:56 AM:
Reoccurring theme here. Last year on 8/28/2021 James Davis from St. Louis posted about the desire for the trail to be paved. James Davis from St Louis on 8/28/2021 3:04:55 AM: ....There are MANY ways to EASILY fund this. We can do this!!! Not quite a year later, james from st louis (next of kin to James Davis from St Louis perhaps) believes that "There are plenty of donors out there that I would imagine we'll be more than happy to donate to this cause. I will leave this would increase writer ship greatly." Perhaps James and james, perhaps. I'm curious to know how many dollars have been raised to date. Any at all? Or is this akin to the why can't I ride my horse anywhere on the trail that I want to forum topics?

Michael A. Rodemeyer from Hartsburg Mo on 8/3/2022 11:46:29 AM:
What is James smoking? Missouri refuses to develop the Rock Island Trail and has countless miles of highway that needs repair. Find another cause.

BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 8/3/2022 4:35:03 PM:
Paving the trail would not stop the washouts; in fact, it would bring a new set of maintenance issues. The rail bed was laid along the Missouri River flood plain because it was easy and cheap. And that is one of the reasons the MKT failed as a railroad -- because of the frequent washouts. It's much easier to repair the washouts on a gravel surface than an asphalt or concrete surface. Limited funds mean that tough choices have to be made. I would much rather spend any funds on 1) repairing the trails we already have; then 2) getting the Rock Island online and connected to the Katy; then 3) improving the amenities (like running water) along both routes. Paving the Katy to make it a more comfortable ride would be WAY down the list.

TC on 8/3/2022 8:38:56 PM:
I concur that paving the Katy should actually not be a priority. Although very nice at first, a paved trail would be very expensive to construct and in addition would require constant maintenance, continuously more as the surface ages. There is no such thing as a maintenance free surface in my opinion. The subgrade and aggregate base would be susceptible to washouts from flooding as has been pointed out previously. The repair of a paved surface would be more expensive than repairs to the present trail. By nature, a bituminous flexible type surface would experience expansion/contraction cracking and would be subjected to uplifting by adjacent root structures at a minimum. My experience with asphalt paved recreation trails is that they do not last as long as paved roads with primarily light traffic. The cost to pave the Katy would be enormous. Drainage structures of various kinds would be required to keep the subgrade from failing due to moisture. An aggregate shoulder would be required to support the pavement on each side of the trail as well. A yearly maintenance budget would have too be included in the lifecycle cost. With proper maintenance, the paved surface could be expected to last 15-20 years. I hope that the Rock Island will be constructed in my cycling lifetime!

Anonymous on 8/4/2022 6:03:24 AM:
Of all the rail-trails I have ridden around the country, paved trails are my least favorite. I will never go back to a paved trail. I'm not interested in riding on a sidewalk though a beautiful natural setting! One of the worst is the Silver Comet in Georgia. The surface is concrete and smooth but the experience is not pleasant. It just feels wrong. Paved trails also get choked with strollers, children on roller skates and scooters, go-fast road bikes, etc. You may as well be riding downtown. Leave the KATY alone. If you want pavement, ride in Georgia or Florida.

Triker from Monroe City on 8/4/2022 8:01:45 AM:
Well since everyone is concerned about washouts from the river flooding, why couldnt they build paved trails elsewhere in the State.. Like from St.Joseph to Hannibal along Hwy.36? There's plenty of other places to build trails too.. Like every time a 2-lane road is repaired it could have a bike lane added..

Marna from On The Trail on 8/4/2022 9:32:16 AM:
In MO we are PROUD to offer Tourists FREE Touring. Using the KATY Trail is FREE! FREE! No Charge. The beauty of the KATY is that it is a Leisure Trail. The Chat (what is is made of) is part of it's Rural Beauty. If you are looking for Pavement. Come to MO and ride in our Cities that have Bike Paths. You will find that in St. Louis MO even our ZOO IS FREE! The Art Museum is FREE, as well as MANY other Wonderful things to see.

Anonymous on 8/4/2022 1:00:54 PM:
And so many other states have a fee system for state parks, bike trails, etc. I've paid their fees many times right before inviting them to come enjoy their time in Missouri for free. Never quite understood those complaining about the quality of what they paid nothing for.

Deby from Dallas on 8/4/2022 1:12:59 PM:
While a paved trail is nice in a lot of circumstances, for the experience of a long distance bike ride in the midst of all the natural environment along this wonderful trail, I would be quite opposed to having it paved. The three times we have ridden it over the years, even on or just after rain days, we have been very impressed with the quality of the crushed granite trail surface. To the people of the great state of Missouri, please spend those tax dollars fixing the streets and highways in your state that need repair, and continue with the awesome job of maintaining the Katy as you are.

Cathy from Pittsburgh on 8/12/2022 11:26:57 PM:
Dude! It's Missouri, they are not going to pave the Katy or Rock Island Trail. It's a fantastic trail, DNR does a great job of maintaining it and repairing it after storm damage, Missourians are very proud of it and should be. It does not need to be paved. Get your butt on a bike, get on the trail, and appreciate it for all of its positives. Pave the Katy Trail, give me strength!!!

Michael A. Rodemeyer from Hartsburg Mo on 8/13/2022 12:32:04 PM:
Imagine that, a dirt trail is dirty. Hopefully by now he has forgotten how awful the trail was and will let the rest of us enjoy one of the finest assests missouri has. After all we normally are 50th in everything.

Cathy from Pittsburgh on 8/13/2022 11:20:07 PM:
Hey Mike, how are you and the other fine people of Hartsburg? This is Cathy from Pittsburgh, formerly known as Cathy from Jefferson City. I sure do miss you folks and think about our work on the Missouri River Bluffs Association often. Take Care. Cathy

Deby Elliott from Dallas on 8/15/2022 7:41:47 AM:
This topic does keep reoccurring. I would not be nearly as inclined to drive all the way from Dallas to do a long (we usually go Sedalia to St Charles) ride on the KATY if the trail was paved. It would be a totally different feel. So I guess my point is the opinions are split. There really isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to look at it. The surface folks like to ride on is simply a matter of choice. So with that said, Katy should not be paved, as there are many folks who love it as is. However, and I am not trying to be facetious, can anyone recommend nearby states that have long paved trails for those who really want the clean smooth surface to ride on?

Bill Madole from Eldon on 8/16/2022 7:52:20 AM:
I sure want the Rock Island done before ever thinking about paving the KATY. I agree with others that said paving the KATY would create issues. Potholes in asphalt are worse than the washouts in gravel. At 67 I would like to see the Rock Island done while I am still able to use it. I hauled the bike 45 miles to Hartsburg yesterday to ride to Rocheport and back. It would be nice to jump on a trail that is just a mile away. Here in Eldon they took all the donations and built a replica of the depot and haven't done a bit of the trail. Disappointing.

BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 8/16/2022 12:04:22 PM:
Deby, while not super-close to Texas, consider the Raccoon River trail (89 miles paved) near Des Moines, IA. Also if you are in the St. Louis area, the Madison County (Illinois) trail system gives you about 130 miles of paved trails. If you're OK driving further, look at all the Fred Meijer trails in Michigan. The White Pine trail alone is 93 miles and in pretty good condition (mostly paved). Traillink is your friend, as well as Google Maps with the Bicycling layer turned on. The more paved trails will show up as solid lines (vs dashed lines for less improved).

Kevin from Wisconsin on 8/16/2022 7:21:49 PM:
More paved trails..The Root River Trail, Paul Bunyan Trail, & Heartland Trail in Minnesota. We've ridden them all and and they are very good trails going through nice country.

Jerry Whittle from Belleville on 8/17/2022 7:01:59 AM:
BikerBoy suggested the Raccoon River trail. While up in that part of Iowa, I also suggest the High Trestle Trail near Des Moines. I rode it last Thursday. It's only 25 miles but that would make a good 50 mile ride out and back. The trestle is amazing.

Deby from Dallas on 8/17/2022 7:58:52 AM:
To BikerBoy, Thank you so much for those recommendations of great paved trails, and I hope all those folks who want paved trails will take a look. There are a lot of options for paved trails. Just for the record, I am NOT a fan of paving the Katy, and as I stated, probably would not be too interested in riding it, if it were paved.

CQ from Fort Worth on 8/18/2022 7:09:56 AM:
Hi Deby, I attempted the KT last year and would like to try again next year. May I email you about some logistic questions? If so, please contact me at quescrub@sbcglobal.net

Anonymous on 8/18/2022 3:12:35 PM:
The Paul Bunyan in Minnesota is a good paved ride. The Des Moines Iowa area has several paved trails. The High Trestle Trail is a good ride too. Panora north on the Racoon River Valley Trail had some very rough spots that made it quite miserable. All in all its a good ride to Jefferson for a nights stay and next day return. Unpaved though rules! The Mickelson Trail in South Dakota and the Route of the Hiawatha in Idaho are both fantastic rides and worth the trip.

A rural rider from Europe on 8/19/2022 1:31:55 AM:
Oh dear, a dirty trail, whatever next?! Let's have neat and tidy asphalt then. Please no; we've ridden the Katy, the GAP, the Erie Canal, many trails in the UK and France and the different surfaces are part of the challenge and the experience. As anonymous writes, "it just feels wrong paved". And I agree with Marna, there are many towns and cities with tarmaced cycle trails - ride those. And there are surfaced roads on most trails when they go through towns and villages, that's fine, but as many others point out, spend the money (what money?) improving the infrastructure generally and keeping the UNPAVED in good condition.

CQ from Fort Worth on 8/19/2022 7:01:01 AM:
I'm riding the Mickelson Trail Sept 8th. I've heard great things and saw beautiful pictures of the trail. I looked into the Fred Meijer trails in MI. I plan to ride FM Heartland or White Pine next time I visit my mom in the U.P. Thank you for telling us about them!

Marna from On The Trail on 8/19/2022 7:42:11 AM:
You will love the Michelson. My husband and I have a LOT of miles on that trail and have ridden it in complete, both directions. it is NOT FLAT! Take a lot of water, more than you think you will need. ;-)