Leona from Annapolis on 5/23/2023 8:15:41 AM:
HI All, just finished up the trail. Some thoughts on the highs and lows. I'd look at carrying a high volume mini pump and don't depend on the trailheads as most of the trailhead pumps were patched or broken. Loved the trail from Clinton to about Marthasville and then after that it became more urban/suburban with less friendly riders. Yes. there were bear out there, but not an issue. Would not recommend the Baymont Hotel in Jefferson City for the price-too far out of the way off the trail, across a busy highway and backed up to a sketchy neighborhood. Would choose something closer to the trail head-an airbnb or even Capital Hotel, but that area clears out after the state workers go home at 4pm. It's isolated. Even the desk clerk said he would not walk around the neighborhood after dark-especially riding as a woman alone. Red Wheel bike shop was just fantastic. Joey's Birdhouse was wonderful and the market was an easy walk on the spur trail or cutting across the Highway embankment through the grass. Hotel Frederik was not great. Beautiful restoration, but-too loud all night long-loud mechanicals and traffic-trucks outside windows all night long, even with earplugs. Broken air pumps. Only the Bothwell had a decent air pump. Chatted up some other riders on the shuttle ride to Clinton and stayed in touch on the trail, so riding alone was not an issue. Met lots of international riders heading west-great adventurers. Katy Turner Hostel Shelter was a fun place to chat with others and order food. KT Caboose had the best healthy food on trail and John is a kind, funny owner who is a friend to one and all. Offers camping for $10/night in the side meadow with ice cream. Lovely place. I dropped my bags in my car at St. Charles and did the 6 miles to Machens out and back to finish up. I must have forgotten to lock my car, so when I came back, someone had rifled through my glove compartment and console looking for money. Nothing stolen as I had nothing of value, and it was my fault for being tired on a 50 mile day and not remembering to hit the right button, but still, be aware. St. Charles is not just the safe little small town. There are druggies and homeless about looking for easy cash, floating through Frontier Park. But only saw 2 homeless on the trail itself. Overall, a good trip for a solo female rider. Thanks for all the info. here!