Katy Trail now connected to Kansas City metro area via new Rock Island connection | columbiatribune.com

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Katy Trail State Park just took a giant step toward achieving its longtime goal of stretching across Missouri’s mid-section to join the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas.

The move enabled the Katy Trail to reclaim its title as America’s longest rails-to-trails conversion.

Former Gov. Jay Nixon visited Pleasant Hill in early December to cut the ribbon to open a new section of the trail built on an abandoned Rock Island Railroad line.

The 47.5-mile stretch runs from Windsor to Pleasant Hill on the western edge of the trail.

Previously, the Katy Trail had stretched 238 miles from Machens, the eastern end north of St. Louis, through Windsor to Clinton. The new Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park runs from Windsor to Pleasant Hill, moving closer to Kansas City.

“You’ll be able to go 287 miles on an incredible asset,” Nixon told the crowd that turned out for the ribbon-cutting.