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Open Ended Timeline - NIghts In Our Van

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Kevin from Based in Benson, AZ but travel in our van about 7 months per year on 9/20/2022 2:11:06 AM:
We will be doing the KATY in October. Probably starting around the 3rd to the 6th.
Our timeline is open ended.
Our thinking is to do a daily out and back from trailhead A to trailhead B.
That evening we will move our van to trailhead B and spend the night.
Next day, trailhead B to trailhead C and back to the van.
Rinse and repeat all the way.
Our mileage will most likely be short as we want to explore lots
My main question is: Can we spend the night in our van at the trailheads?
Any and all suggestions for an open ended trip to experience everything the KATY has to offer would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous on 9/20/2022 10:02:51 AM:
The Towns & Services tab above will show what services are provided in each town. Camping along the trail is provided by private entities and not by the state of Missouri.

Don from Dallas on 9/20/2022 12:41:52 PM:
Check out the YouTubes (search “Matty Freedom Katy Trail”) posted about a year ago. They slept nights in their van at trailheads and libraries.
Your plans sound good.

A rural rider from Europe on 9/21/2022 3:19:05 AM:
Hi; can't help you on the camping but I can say that it's good to do shorter distances and take your time along the way. And out and back is fine for us; often the trail just looks so different going in the opposite direction and you see things you missed the first run. Good luck.

Anonymous on 9/21/2022 8:04:29 AM:
From the DNR Katy Trail State Park website:


Missouri State Parks does not provide camping along Katy Trail State Park. Camping is available at public and privately owned campgrounds adjacent to the trail. Click here for some options.

We like out of state visitors to come and enjoy our parks. We really like it when they follow the rules that we also abide by. It's rather disappointing to see others from out of state trying to encourage others to come and use our parks in ways they are not intended.

Please come and enjoy the Katy. Camping options may be found by clicking the Towns & Services tab above.

me&Z + Travel Pup on 9/28/2022 9:34:38 AM:
Clinton Community Center permits over night parking and camping. WONDERFUL facility. Check their hours and register. No cost but they want to know how long each vehicle will be parked. We rolled in at 7:45 pm last night, just before they closed.

It is free. But they will accept a donation to their general fund. Since we camped and used the showers, a small donation seemed like the right thing to do.

Close enough to highway that you can hear some traffic but it diminishes after 10 pm.

Kevin Herber from Emery on 10/8/2022 1:26:44 AM:
Thanks everyone! We are on the trail and the out-and-back routine is working perfectly. Every night back in our van and we've found showers every night too. Best method for us!

Kevin Herber from Emery on 10/28/2022 11:13:49 PM:
Finished the trail. What an experience. Had so much fun. We successfully did the van-hopscotch thing. Worked out great. Each out and back day resulted in doing the entire thing from Clinton to Machens both ways. Logged 492 miles. Not to bad for 70 yo guy and his 66 yo bride!!!

BikerBoy from Maryville, IL on 10/29/2022 3:37:49 PM:
You are living the dream! We are planning on doing a similar set-up for long bike rides in the future, but using a camper rather than a van.

Teresa from Raleigh on 11/7/2022 3:48:38 AM:
Hi Kevin,
We will do the same thing next year. Do you mind sharing details about where you overnighted, and the amenities at each? I'd like to find spots to park (legally, and paying where appropriate), and if you have some tips that would be really helpful!

Michael A. Rodemeyer from Hartsburg Mo on 11/12/2022 3:50:03 PM:
If staying all night in your van be careful where you park it. A few years ago we had a couple park in a lot (they wern't sleeping) but not paying attention to the heavy rain outside. Their van was washed away but they were fortunatley rescued. We can't always guarantee a rescue.