Nails on 7/5/2005 1:00:54 PM:
It may not seem like it, but a 3 to 5% grade is HUGE. A 4% grade over the length of the trail from Boonville to St. Charles (152.3 miles) would be a change in elevation of over 32,000 feet. This is taller than Mt. Everest! In reality, the KATY trail only loses a net 150 feet over this distance. This is an imperceptible average grade of less than 0.02%. Indeed, the prevailing west-to-east winds make the downstream journey generally the easier one.