Author Topic: Katy Trail, C&O/GAP or Natchez Trace  (Read 4169 times)

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Offline txbevo

Katy Trail, C&O/GAP or Natchez Trace
« on: December 17, 2007, 02:13:31 pm »
I am planning on venturing on my first true tour in 2008. By that I mean more than an overnight. I want to do at least one or two week to 10 day long tours. My schedule is flexible and I can go just about anytime during the year. I have narrowed it down to the Katy Trail (Missouri), the C&O/Gap or the Natchez Trace. The Katy and Natchez Trace are about the same distance from where I live and can be driven easily within a day. The C&O/GAP is much further away and will require some substantial travel to get there and back. I will be doing the CC thing with maybe a night or 2 of camping but most likely motels or B&Bs. I have ridden portions of the Katy and Natchez Trace in the past on just day rides.

I would like to hear suggestions and recommendations from everyone on which one I should try and why. If anyone has suggestions for alternate routes, please throw those out as well. Thanks!

Offline DavePM

Katy Trail, C&O/GAP or Natchez Trace
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2007, 08:43:23 pm »
Hi, I have ridden both the KATY and the Natchez Trace Prkwy.  Both are great, little or no traffic, great scenery. A group of 4 of us rode the Trace this past Sept - it was a really great ride.  We stayed at motels close to the route. Only hit traffic around Tupelo and Jackson.  It was about 450 miles, we rode Sat thru Fri.
I have ridden the Katy solo, in June a few summers ago and ride portions of the trail often as I live very close to it.  If riding solo I would probably do the Katy -225 miles and towns pretty often, 10-15 miles apart.  Almost ant type bike can ride the Katy.  No traffic, great scenery.  Could find places to stay, if camping, on or very near the trail and B&B's close by.  I would ride west to east - the eastern end is much more scenic so I would ride to that goal and the St. Charles area is a good place to end.  
Anyway, just a couple thoughts on the 2 options.  If I can be more specific with details let me know.

Offline roadrunner

Katy Trail, C&O/GAP or Natchez Trace
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2007, 11:46:50 pm »
I've ridden all three routes you're considering.  DavePM gives a good overview of the Katy and Natchez Trace.  I found the C&O/GAP route the most appealing of the three.  In addition to the longer ride, there are many interesting and historic points of interest along the way -- D.C. monuments, C&O history, Civil War sites, and nice scenery. Towns are convienently spaced for lodging and food.  The only downside to the C&O is that much of the surface is plain dirt.  When wet it is passable but messy.  I recommend starting in D.C.; going west, all but the initial part of the GAP is downhill.
I had to travel to the area, so flew into the Baltimore airport, rode a rail-trail to Annapolis, visited the Naval Academy, then rode back roads and a rail-trail to D.C.  The Pittsburgh end of the GAP is near east end of the Montour Rail-Trail, which circles south and east of the metro area to the Pittsburgh airport.