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

FLOOD CLOSURES: Some sections of the Katy Trail east of Boonville are closed due to flooding. Check MO State Parks website, Trail Conditions Report from trail users, and Katy Trail Forum discussions for the latest details.

Reply to Planning a Family Trip

Scroll down to see the discussion
All submissions are reviewed for appropriateness. We reserve the right to remove or edit any comment that we consider incorrect, misleading, or inappropriate, at our sole discretion. Please remember that this is a family-friendly website.
Reply to Planning a Family Trip
Your Name:

This does not have to be your real name. It could be a "screen name", your initials, or just leave blank.
Your Hometown:

Optional - it's just interesting to know where people are from
Email Address
So we know you are a human, please answer this easy math quiz:
4 + 5 =
Hilary from Texas on 6/19/2019 10:01:15 PM:
Hi, we are planning a family trip on the Rock Island and Katy Trails from Kansas City to St Louis at the end of August. It sounds like the trail has been hit pretty hard by the flooding. Presuming the rains let up over the summer, what are the chances the closed areas of the trail will be open? Will there need to be a lot of repairs? We will be towing our 2 small kids, so we don't want to get in a situation where we need to take detours on dangerous roads. We're not familiar with the area, so we just don't know! Any guidance would be appreciated. We're planning to take the train back from Kirkwood to Lee's Summit. Also it seems there is no camping/lodging along the Rock Island Trail (except at ends). Is this true?

Eric on 6/20/2019 11:13:37 AM:
Sorry I don’t have anything to add other than I hope to learn from your experience this year as we hope to do a similar thing next year (2020). Have you done similar trips elsewhere? I’d love to find some resources on making this type of trip successful with young kids. I’m a lifetime backpacker, and my wife loves riding bikes, so we are working to combine those, but I’m not sure what questions I should be asking to make it successful.

Mark from Lee's Summit on 6/20/2019 2:33:54 PM:
Repairs are scheduled pretty quickly, but this flooding has been historic and upstream dams will continue to release large amounts of held water throughout the summer. The good news is that there are several reasonable shuttle companies that will route you around closures if needed in August because a few small sections remain closed. Chilhowee City Park has a couple of free camp sites on the Rock Island portion of the trail, but they are not well publicized yet. You can see pictures on their Chilhowee City Park Facebook page. There are multiple routes that riders have posted about from the Lee's Summit train station to Pleasant Hill where you join the Rock Island. If you need it, I have mapped out what I consider the most family friendly option that uses mostly trails and very few roadways, but you will want to plan that out ahead of time if you are not taking a shuttle to Pleasant Hill. Remember that Amtrak on board bike tickets are limited in number so you need to order those well in advance otherwise you have to take apart some of your bike and store it below the train with the large luggage.

Anonymous on 6/20/2019 3:09:02 PM:
Amtrak may not let you roll the bike trailers on. Recumbents and tandems are not allowed. It may be prudent to see if or how they will let you take a trailer.

Hilary from Texas on 6/20/2019 10:36:18 PM:
Thanks for the helpful info! We hadn't really thought about shuttling as an option since we have the "self-supported" mindset(lol), but it would make a lot of sense and be worth it with the kids in tow. Shuttling is a good back-up plan if we can't avoid closures. We shouldn't need a shuttle to Pleasant Hill, as one of us can drop off kids and gear at Pleasant Hill, drop the car at Lee's Summit and then ride back to Pleasant Hill. We'll check out the routes beforehand. I was feeling more concerned about getting to the station at St. Louis, and maybe a shuttle would be a good option. I've seen info on routes to the Kirkwood station, but I'm not sure if that'll be good hauling kids. We may also try to hang out in St. Louis a few days. As for the Amtrak, we were planning to buy tickets now with the on board bike spots, but we were feeling concerned about the trail conditions. I guess we'll just plan to get a refundable fare to play it safe, but I feel encouraged hearing that the trails are repaired fairly quickly. As for the trailers on Amtrak, we have one Burley D'Lite that will fold up and we can treat as luggage and shouldn't be a problem. The other is a Wee-hoo (seated tag-along) and we're still trying to figure that out. I'm guessing we'll have to disassemble it and find some sort of box to fit it in. Or maybe they would take it without a box?

Hilary from Texas on 6/20/2019 10:40:31 PM:
Eric - I'm happy to offer any help we can. We were big backpackers pre-kids and pre-Texas and have also done some cross-country type bike tours. Backpacking with a 2 yo and 4 yo is ok, but we'll be able to do a lot more hauling them on wheels! We did a weekend trial run riding to a state park, and that went okay. They both love riding along, and hopefully that doesn't change on a longer trip.

Eric on 6/20/2019 11:32:05 PM:
As I said, we are considering something similar for 2020, but in my looking at maps (haven't ridden in the area), I was thinking about the following for the St. Louis connection: Ride pretty much to the east end of the trail in Machens, then ride up to Portage Des Sioux, and then across on Portage Road over to Grafton Ferry Road, and take the Grafton Ferry to Grafton: https://www.visitalton.com/business/detail/405/grafton-ferry Once you're in Grafton, there is a buffered bike lane to Alton, where you can pick up the MCT Confluence trail which connects to the St. Louis Riverfront Trail, which leads to downtown. I'm not sure how easy it is to get from the riverfront to the Amtrak station, but in a pinch you could take the St. Louis Metro. There also looks to be a bike lane on the 67 bridge across the Mississippi to Alton, but it doesn't look like there is a great way to get to that bike lane unless traffic is sufficiently light. but PLEASE don't take any of this as a suggestion. Just thoughts of a similar-minded person looking at maps and not knowing anything about the situation on the ground, but trying to figure out a similar thing.

Kim Henderson - Kim's Cabins from Windsor on 6/21/2019 5:32:43 PM:
Camping in Windsor at both Katy-Rock Junction and Farrington Park

Maja from St. Louis area on 6/23/2019 3:20:35 PM:
The trail from St. Charles to Machens is often closed due to flooding and is one of the last areas to get repaired. I suggest that you either end your route at St. Charles and get a shuttle from there to Kirkwood or cross the Missouri River on the 364 bridge before you get to St. Charles. It has a separate pedestrian lane and the paved trail will take you to Creve Coeur Park where again, you could arrange for a shuttle to take you to the train station. I don't recommend riding on 367 from Alton. Or riding to the train station from either St. Charles or Creve Coeur Park. No real bike friendly routes yet. As someone who loves riding the Katy and wants to see it continue to be successful, I say please come ride the trail. It's so awesome and local businesses need support now more than ever!

Steve Rowhe from St. Charles, MO on 6/25/2019 7:30:59 PM:
I would suggest taking the Katy to the Weldon Springs area, then cross the bike trail on I-64 into Chesterfield. You may need to Uber from there to the Kirkwood amtrack station. I agree with previous comment I’m not sure I would take the Alton route