The Great Pains & Accuracy Tour

The Katy Trail
St. Charles-Clinton MO

MKT railroad carThe Katy Trail runs across Missouri on the bed the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT, aka, the Katy) Railroad. It’s the longest rails to trails project in the country, 225 miles from St. Charles to Clinton. Much of the trail hugs the Missouri River, and is part of Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The surface is a crushed rock, packed hard, making for an excellent water-resistant bike/hike surface. You won’t make the time you would on pavement, but you’ll ride through:

“dense forests, wetlands, deep valleys, remnant prairies, open pastureland and gently rolling farm fields. In the spring, the trail is brightened with flowering dogwood and redbud, while the fall is colored with the rich reds and oranges of sugar maple, sumac and bittersweet. With so many types of habitats, wildlife is abundant, especially birds. Chickadees, nuthatches, robins, orioles and many types of woodpeckers are common. Red-tailed hawks and turkey vultures are often seen soaring above the trail, and bald eagles are common in the winter. Because of its location along the Missouri River flyway, migrating birds and waterfowl can be seen frequently. Watch for great blue herons, sandpipers, Canada geese and belted kingfishers.”

Bridge by Missouri RiverSo says the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, who runs the trail as a state park. More from MoDNR: “Katy Trail State Park also takes users through a slice of rural history as it meanders through the small towns that once thrived along the railroad corridor. From the area known as ‘Missouri’s Rhineland’ that portrays the heritage of the German migrants to the historic town of Rocheport that dates from before the Civil War, these towns reflect the rich heritage of Missouri. These communities make great places to stop and explore during a ride on the trail.”

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©2001 Barrett Golding / Josef Verbanac
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