Author Topic: Katy trail, MO  (Read 20824 times)

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Offline Griz#cycle

Katy trail, MO
« on: January 10, 2013, 07:15:29 pm »
Looking for some tips on biking the Katy trail--best time,  suggested stays (At least 3 couples so we can stage vehicles), best parts of the trail, and anything else we would enjoy.  Thanks

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Re: Katy trail, MO
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2013, 10:27:24 pm »
Rode the Katy from St. Charles to Defiance and back in early may a couple years ago. Do not miss Lewis & Clark's American Restaurant on S. Main in St. Charles. Best prime rib I have had in a LONG time. Trail was in great shape, and website always has current info!
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Offline mcparsons

Re: Katy trail, MO
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 07:53:03 pm »
I rode the KATY with my two young sons in July 2010. 

July/August are likely to be hot and that is an understatement.  We had  105F+ and the trail runs right next to the river where it is very humid.  Mosquitoes will also reach horror movie concentrations - swarms that would cover any exposed flesh.

The trip planning website (  has everything you need to know but don't expect to find lots of eating places open.  Some are only open a few days a week and a few places were long abandoned. 

The only indoor night we had was at Doug Rendleman's place near Bluffton.  He is an easy going character, fed us well, told us stories.  If you are laid back it's a great place to stay but you need reservations. 

Everywhere else we camped - very relaxed, just throw a tent up on the local ballfield (we even watched some softball).  Don't expect people to go out of their way to meet you but everyone is pleasant and helpful.  Don't expect any services after 9:00 PM.

Hermann is popular with people who like charm, wine, antiques, etc.  A little too fancy for our tastes.  I'm sure you will find lots of places to stay.  Rocheport also caters a lot to bike tourists.  N. Jeff City is a ghost town since an earlier flood.  You will need to ride into Jeff City proper to get any services.

The ride out as far as Rocheport is stunning (by Missouri standards).  They did a great job documenting the Lewis & Clark expedition and you will ride with Bluffs on one side and the wide river on the other.  2010 was  a flood year and we had one detour and one spot where we were in over our chainstays. 

After Rocheport you hit some open farmland until Booneville.  Not much to see but not a long run either.  From Booneville south you are on elevated rail bed and in timber.  Very nice.   

Trail surface is pretty well maintained - one of the best I've seen.  You won't need fat tires but very narrow tires could be a problem.  Mine were 28s and no problem.  Prepare for flats though - there are thorns and other hazards. 

If you have any other specific questions let me know.  We had a great time in spite of the bugs and heat.

If I were to do it again I would bring along a copy of Lewis & Clark's journal and read about the trip as we went along.  It makes your journey seem pretty comfortable by comparison.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 07:57:03 pm by mcparsons »

Offline Griz#cycle

Re: Katy trail, MO
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 01:14:27 pm »
Thanks :

Offline freightbike

Re: Katy trail, MO
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 12:50:56 am »
Did they ever sort out the issues with amtrak and the Ann Rutledge local train?
May the wind at your back always smell like home.

Offline imawrench

Re: Katy trail, MO
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2013, 01:44:27 pm »
I did the Katy Trail from Sedalie to Hermann in late September of last year.  My research seemed to say this is the prettiest part of the trail, as you are next to the river on one side and the bluffs on the other for a good portion of the ride. 
I was fully self supported and did right at 500 miles.
The weather and trail were fantastic.  I had a bit of rain in the evenings, which helps to keep the dust down.

My first suggestion is to search the Katy Trail website.  Its very informative and has a trip planing function that I found very useful.
The other thing to do, is to purchase the Katy Trail guidebook, available on the website.  It has a short bio about each town along the way, as well as lots of good information and history.

Each town has an information kiosk outlining the towns history, good maps, and info on whats ahead and behind you, so its easy to know what to expect.

As was mentioned in an earlier post, availability of businesses are a bit hard to predict, with limited and unpredictable hours.
As I was late in the season, I met many more day trippers than loaded tourists, but I met alot of great folks.

Some of the highlights were -

Les Bourgeois Bistro, just east of Rocheport.  Lock your bike at the rack next to the trail, hike the .3 miles up the bluff for a fine bluff top dining experience, good menu and wine.

Free camping in the Hartsburg Gazebo, with good restaurants nearby.

The Riverview Traders store in Wilton.

Snoddys Store in Boonville, inexpensive deli sandwiches.

Downtown Boonville, cool architecture and restaurants.

Coopers Landing near Easley.  Cool general store with a Thai food stand outside, unfortunately I missed it due to limited hours, but heard the food was fantastic.  Dont miss Boathenge just west of there.

Turner Katy Trail Shelter, the only hostel on the trail.  32 beds, 2 floors, AC, showers, fridge, microwave, coffee maker, nice decks on both floors, all for $5 per night.

The Katy Roundhouse Campground at New Franklin

Bar food at at the Mokane Bar and Grill in Mokane and the Riverfront Bar and Grill in Portland

I had high hopes for the off trail trip into Hermann, as its touted as the prettiest town in Missouri.  I arrived as it started to rain, camped in the city park, cost of $15 dollars which included a fine shower facility, spent the night inside my tent and rolled out the next day headed home.  I hope to return to Hermann another time.

The small town of Rocheport, nice little bike/snack shop.

Due to the late season I missed the Katfish Katy Camp Store but did camp at their campground, 3 feet from the Missouri River.

As luck would have it, I had no flats or mechanical issues, weather was fantastic and I will surely return.

Offline Half Fast

Re: Katy trail, MO 2017 trip
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2016, 05:51:52 pm »
Thanks for the info.   I live about 12 miles from the Katy Trail in St. Charles and hope to do a self support ride in 2017.   I am one of those day trippers that people see on the trail a lot.    So I hope to ride from my house to the West End of the trail.  And maybe back or take the shuttle.