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Trail Rider from Los Angeles, CA on 6/23/2005 6:26:12 PM:
My brother and I are planning to ride the trail from West to East next week. I was reading through the other comments, and I saw somebody mention signs that encourage cyclists to keep moving. Can I assume that there are no opportunities for offtrail commando camping?

Also, we are renting a car in K.C. and returning it at the St. Louis airport. Can someone suggest a good rout from the airport to Creve Coeur Park?

Ray (webmaster) on 6/23/2005 10:47:28 PM:
Commando camping is strictly prohibited, in fact you'll see many signs directing you to stay within the state park property, which extends just a few feet past the edges of the trail. Also, a few of the landowners along the trail still haven't quite warmed up to the idea of spandex-clad cyclists using what they consider their property. Really just a few have a bad attitude, but you wouldn't want to pitch your tent in one of their fields. If we're respectful of their property, they'll eventually grow to like us. City parks in many small towns allow camping: here's a camping listMy best suggestion for airport to Creve Coeur Park & Katy (this will make sense if you look at this map): the airport sits north of I-70, but you need to get south of I-70. There is an underpass near the main (west-most) terminal which will get you south of 70 (exit 236 on map). But like any airport, Lambert Field is a jumble of roadways so it may take a little hunting to get there. Once you get to the south side of 70, follow the outer road to Woodson Road, which heads directly south (see map). Head south on Woodson for about two miles, and you'll hit Midland Blvd. Here you have connected into the Katy Trail-to-downtown St Louis route listed here. Take a sharp right (west) on Midland. Midland becomes Dorsett and after about 7 miles (rough guess), it ends at the SE corner of Creve Coeur Park, at Marine Drive. Go north on Marine until you see the lake, follow the south perimeter of the lake and you can get to the Katy Trail connector. Here are details on the Creve Coeur-Katy Trail connector. It's about 15 miles from the airport to the Katy Trail using this route. It's mostly suburban residential and not especially scenic until you hit the park.

Trail Rider from LA on 6/24/2005 1:43:47 PM:
Thanks for the directions from the airport. We plan to camp in towns if at all possible, but I want to be prepared for any situation. There are also some areas of the countryside that I am familiar with and want to explore (public property). The fact that I am on a bike shouldn't preclude me from being able to do that, so I just wanted more information about the signs, and if they were threatening.

The Dalton Boys from Austin, TX/Columbia, MO. on 6/29/2005 9:40:25 AM:
Trail Rider - Unless much has changed since my brothers and my trip end-to-end, it is in the eastern part of the trail where one will see signs of the variety that you are speaking of. We saw one and maybe two the whole trail....be advised those people are extremely serious and it is private land (theirs), that backs up to the trail on the north side. Incidents are as rare as haute cuisine in a hobo camp, but the land owners in that one section are serious. Thumbnail and oversimplified history...originally when/if the KATY RR went under the land was to revert to owners adjacent to the trail (right of eminent domain being what it it). Well, obiviously we (cyclers & hikers) have a RailTrail and I like that, agree with it, and I have to respect the landowners feelings and thoughts and "move along" that short portion of the trail. Ninety per cent of the trail has awesome people who have no problem, or welcome those who use the trail. Regards........Mark of the Dalton Boys

GC from Columbia, Mo. on 6/29/2005 1:24:28 PM:
Dalton boys,

Exactly what milemarkers or part of the trail are we talking about? What is the closest town? I am planing to walk the trail sometime next year (fingers crossed)and am curious what land owners have a problem with trail-users. I intend to camp or stay in B&Bs each night, but let's face it, sometimes you have to walk a few feet off the trail for various reasons, and I don't want to cause anyone any problems. Do you remember where?

The Dalton Boys from Asutin, TX/Columbia, MO on 6/29/2005 4:54:57 PM:
We're talking from an area roughly from just east of Steedman to Treloar. Its only about a mile stretch, the sign is plainly visible and says to "keep moving" and I will proffer my apologies for not remembering exactly where, but again, the sign is visible and not an "Aggie" engineered sign, rather professionally done actually. Its just that section of the entire trail, and no other part of the trail is involved in this specific regard. Regards....Mark of the Dalton Boys

Trail Rider from Los Angeles on 7/5/2005 5:33:25 PM:
Well, our trip went off very well. We rode from the St. Louis airport at 2:30. The short (12 mile) ride from the airport to the trail head was one of my worst road riding experiences. St. Louis drivers are very aggressive towards cyclists. I'm glad I don't have to ride there on a regular basis. We stopped in Marthasville ~7:30pm, and were able to get cold beer at the baseball stadium because they were having little league games. We showered for $5, and prepared our own meals. We set up camp across the street from the ball fields next to the cabin. The next day was our long day, 78 miles, and we stopped in Hartsburg, where we stayed the night in Volunteer park, again preparing our own meals. People were super friendly here. The next day, we stopped in Pilot Grove, anoher great place. We ate at Jon El's BBQ. It's really good food. We swam in the town pool, and stayed in the city park. We finished the ride the next day, heading into a stiff headwind most of the way. My favorite part of the trail was between Boonville and Clinton. My least favorite is a tossup between Rocheport to Franklin, and Sedalia to Clinton. Both were tough sections. We didn't see many through riders, and rarely saw anyone riding East to West, but all in all it was a great time. Thanks to this Web site for the food and water listings. It helped a lot. We were each drinking about 2 bottles every 10 miles, so we had to refill often. The trail heads got better the further West we rode.