Katy Trail review & recommendations: A Week on the Katy Trail - bentrideronline.com

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I wanted to ride a trail that I had never been on, a trail that was not close by, a trail that I could spend a week on – and I found it. A few years ago, while crewing for a couple of RAAM teams, once I happened to notice, as we were traveling along some rural road in Missouri, a sign that indicated we were crossing the Katy Trail. When I got home, I did a little research, and everything I found out about it, I liked.

In brief, it’s the longest developed rail-trail in the United States. It lies along the corridor of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT, or Katy). It stretches from a bit east of St. Charles to Clinton in the west, for a total of 240 miles. The surface is crushed limestone. While some of you may not like the idea of that much “gravel”, there’s really no need to worry. It’s not so deep that you’ll sink into a bunch of loose stuff and come to a grinding halt. Yes, you will need to pay attention, as there does tend to be some amount of loose gravel at the surface in some spots, and sudden turns or stops might lead to some skidding. . . .

Much of the eastern section borders the Missouri River, and you will be tempted to stop every few minutes to take some photographs. A bit further along the river, you’ll get to where you’re riding with the river just to your left, and high limestone bluffs on your right. More pictures! One thing that’s nice: in several spots you’ll find signs denoting some historic event (Lewis and Clark came this way!), or perhaps interesting tidbits about the plant life you’re passing (dense patches of horsetails!). . . .

You’ll pass through or near some quaint, attractive towns. Some of them were quite prosperous when the railroad was here, and now they’re just pleasant reminders of what used to be. Many have restaurants, B&B’s, camping, and so on. . . .

This brings me to the one of the most important aspects of the trail: planning your trip. I would suggest going online first, to http://www.bikekatytrail.com/. Tons of links to all sorts of information about the trail and what lies on and along it, from how to get to your start, how to arrange for shuttles to bring you and your bikes back, restaurants, wineries, you name it – there’s a link for it. . . .

If you don’t have someone driving along with you, there are shuttle services that, for a fee, will pick you up and take you to wherever along the trail you want to go.

MoBikeFed comment: This is a nice overview of the Katy Trail - what to expect, what you'll see, available shuttle services, guided tours, and more.

One thing not mentioned in the article is the Amtrak connections. Particularly with the new Rock Island Trail extension of the Katy to the Lee's Summit area, it is easy to take the Katy one direction and Amtrak back from any of several stations along the way.

https://mobikefed.org/content/bicycles-amtrak-missouri

How to get from the Rock Island Trail to Kansas City-area Amtrak stations (or any other point in the greater Kansas City area):

https://ridewithgps.com/events/89549-rock-island-trail-get-there-from-al...