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Find the top rated birding trails in Clinton, whether you're looking for an easy short birding trail or a long birding trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a birding trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
|Trail Image||Trail Name||States||Length||Surface||Rating|
At nearly 240 miles long, Katy Trail State Park spans nearly the full width of Missouri and is the country’s longest continuous rail-trail, intersecting with rural farmland, scenic small towns, and...
|MO||239.5 mi||Crushed Stone, Gravel||
Inside of Lee's Summit's Community Park, the Legacy Park Trail is a family oriented destination with an abundance of activities available. Sitting on 692 acres, the park host many youth sports games,...
The MoPac Trail begins in Pleasant Hill's charming downtown area and heads northwest towards Pleasant Hill Lake and the outskirts of Kansas City. The rail-trail is named for the former Missouri...
|MO||3 mi||Crushed Stone||
The Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park travels just over 46 miles through woodlands, wetlands, and bucolic fields nestled in the foothills of the Ozarks. At either end are two towns full of...
|MO||46.2 mi||Crushed Stone||
An absolute must for any biker hiker or wanderer to take in. The canopy of trees and trail way tunnel near roachport Missouri is awesome.
I had the pleasure to ride this beautiful trail starting in Rocheport, MO riding West one day to Booneville and East another day to McBaine while staying in Columbia for the solar ecilpse last year. Also rode about 8 miles from Mokane heading east...this trail is very scenic and user friendly. I can't speak for the other 200 miles but what I saw was worth the time and minimal effort...even in 90 degree weather!
We rode the entire trail today (7/07/18) from Pleasant Hill to Windsor and we couldn't have been more impressed. Not only has the Department of Conservation done a great job of improving the trail condition of the East end of the trail the 2 new depots at Chilhowee & Leeton are very nice. Also the addition of a place to sit out of the sun at the Medford trailhead is awesome! This trail Gas a great mixture of crop land and woods, it's quite rural and we saw several deer early in the morning.
Just rode the whole trail at the end of June 2018. The trail surface was in terrific condition. Smooth as a baby’s bottom. It seems to be lightly travelled unfortunately. Bring plenty of water. Services in town are somewhat spotty- there’s only one little convenience store in Chilhowie for example. Wear sunscreen too- I’d say it’s only 2/3 shaded.
Had a break in the heat and rode over 70 miles on the Katy this week on different days. Hermann to Washington, Hartsburg to Boonville and Boonville to Pilot Grove. Hartsburg to Boonville may be some of the best scenery along the trail- high limestone cliffs, deep & dark forest canopies, some stretches right next to the Missouri river, and some open spaces. As always, this trail is well maintained, mowed, and the trailheads have great information and facilities. Note that you can connect with Amtrak at Washington (Dutzow trailhead on the Katy), Hermann, Jefferson City, and Sedalia, but they have a limit on bikes per train. The new bridge at Washington will be completed soon with a safe bike lane to get from the Dutzow trailhead to the train station. In the near future, Missouri could become a real "cyclist destination" by completion of the Rock Island trail from Windsor to Union. Union is only 7 highway miles from Washington. That would create a loop of over 450 miles and add some great scenic opportunities as the Rock Island route skirts the north edge of the Ozarks. Check out bikerockisland dot com for more information.
We rode the Katy Trail and the Rock Island Spur from Pleasant Hill to Windsor and then from Clinton to Machens. The Katy is in excellent condition and we enjoyed the historical markers. We saw snakes, turtles, lizards, indigo buntings and cardinals, turkey, groundhog, rabbit, armadillo, and 1 deer. We camped in Farrington Park in Windsor, Katy Roundhouse in New Franklin, and Steamboat Junction in Bluffton. All three had hot showers which was so awesome at the end of a long dusty ride. All three were nice but our favorite was Steamboat Junction.
The Katy doesnt have as many services close to the trail as we expected and in some cases the water pumps were disabled. The craft brewery in August was a pleasant treat. Ice cream was scarce. Several people said dont bother riding the last 12 miles from St Charles to Machens but it wasnt bad - maybe not quite as nice as other sections but we werent going to stop a few miles from the end.
Overall the scenery was midwestern woods and farm fields. You caught glimpses of the Missouri River from time to time. Tucked up under the bluffs you couldnt really appreciate them.
Very friendly people along the trail happy to give you advice and suggestions.
I rode the Rock Island spur from Chilhowee to Windsor yesterday 3/22. I was pretty disappointed. I know it’s early in the season but there was a lot of debris on the trail and several places that were washed out. It rained two days prior and a lot of the trail between Leeton and Windsor was still waterlogged, felt like riding through wet concrete and the rest of the trail was loose gravel. Hopefully it improves throughout the riding season.
Four of us rode the 15 miles between the Purvis Road access point and the Medford access point, which is not marked on the current trail map, using bikes varying from a road bike to a mountain bike. The trail is apparently well used since we met more than 20 people on bikes, horses, or hiking. Overall the section we rode is in good shape. There a few rough spots but not rough enough to cause the road bike rider to dismount. The rough sports are signed which leads me to wonder whether the effort to put up the signs might in fact exceed the few minutes of work with a shovel and rake to eliminate a rough spot. I hope to be able to ride the complete trail in the near future. Overall it's a worthwhile complement to the Katy Trail. Even better would be completion of the proposed extension to the St. Louis area in the near future.
Rode the whole trail in 4 days in September 2017! Absolutely beautiful and such a great experience!
Three of us (all 70 years old) made the trip from west to east riding recumbent trikes. We averaged about 40 miles a day staying at B&Bs and found the trail well maintained, with only minor areas needing repairs. All days were rain free, so the ride was dusty. Very good information stations about the history of most towns.
My friends and I started the Lewis and Clark Trail via the KATY Trail, beginning in St. Charles, MO in 2007. We rode the trail in September and it was beautiful. There are several quaint Bed and Breakfasts along the trail through Missouri and we stayed at a few of them and were never disappointed. We rode the entire trail through Missouri and enjoyed the sightseeing along the way!
We just covered the 170 miles of Katy Trail & (new) Rock Island spur that took us Jefferson City to Lee’s Summit over 3 days. I’ll offer some insights and details for you to use if you want to repeat it.
We are 4 old guys in our mid-60’s to early 70’s who ride frequently, but are just average riders. We have touring bikes and cross bikes. All with a rear wheel rack and light luggage to carry a change to street clothes and any extra bike gear. We had 32 mm tires (which are perfect) and our lightest member had 28 mm and did fine. We comfortably ride at 12 mph on the trail, but with stops, average about 10 mph.
Along the trail we met couples from England, Ohio, Colorado and a lady from California who all had made riding the Katy Trail a destination vacation. Some were going a very leisurely 35 miles a day.
Start point for us was Jefferson City Amtrak station. 2 of us drove a car from St. Louis and parked it at the station. The other 2 took the morning train from Lee’s Summit and left our cars there. The St. Louis guys bought a one-way afternoon ticket back from Lee’s Summit to Jefferson City for 3 days later. We all arrived at noon in Jefferson City.
Getting on the Amtrak train with your bike is easy. You leave your luggage on the bike if you can physically hoist it up the stairs. As you stand on the station platform, the conductor will point you to the car you will be getting on and where to put your bike once on the train. - They only have room for 4 bikes on the train, so you need to buy your ticket for you and your bike well in advance as a first step to make this trip. - The bikes are parked side by side behind some seats on a coach car. – When you get to the destination station, you should be ready to move with your bike in advance of the stop. The conductor will usually offer to stand at the bottom of the steps and take the front of your bike as you descend the stairs carrying the back. – They leave the restroom open at Jefferson City station, but we all arrived dressed to ride.
Day One – 53 miles to Boonville
We grabbed a quick bite to eat and a beer at “Arris’ Pizza” on High Street at the top of the hill above the Jefferson City Amtrak. It’s across the street from the capitol.
We rode northwest on High a couple of blocks, then down the ramp past Mulberry, turned right on Missouri and then left on Main. When you get to Clay (just before the highway), you will see the “Pat Jones bike path” on the right, that takes you on the bridge across the Missouri River and puts you on the path to the Katy Trailhead.
We went left or west on the Katy Trail. That’s milepost 143. - Our first stop was “Coopers Landing” at milepost 163.5. This is campground and restaurant on the river bank. It’s a wooded area near houses on stilts. Some of the campers are long-term, living in houseboats on blocks. It’s a great place to grab a beer on their back deck on the river bank. - Our next stop was Rocheport at milepost 178 where we stopped at the “General Store” located at the far end of town and just a couple of blocks off the trail. We had another round of beers and some chips. – Then we set off for the “Hotel Frederick” in Boonville which is milepost 191. The Frederick is located at the south end of the bridge over the Missouri River so is convenient and easy to find. They lock your bikes in a basement room that is accessed off the street. In the morning, they will loan you a pump for your tires. – It’s a historic hotel which has been restored. We stayed in a couple of suites that had twin queen beds and two daybeds. They showers were terrific and the beds were very comfortable. They have a great restaurant in the lobby called “The Fred” which was very good. We had a round of beers in the pub room and then ate dinner on a second story outdoor patio that overlooked the bridge.
Only word of warning is to pace yourself to get off the trail before sunset. Since we started at noon in Jefferson City and ate first, we arrived at 6:30 with a 7:15 sunset.
Day Two – 57 miles to Windsor
The path to the Katy Trail begins on the far side of the street from the Frederick Hotel. - There is a 12 mile climb up a grade out of Boonville to Pilot Grove. It’s only a 220 foot climb, but you know it’s uphill. – Pilot Grove at milepost 203 is the last source of water before Sedalia 24 miles later, so be sure to fill up. – There is another uphill grade the last miles into Sedalia.
You travel on well-marked streets a couple of miles to get into Sedalia and return to the actual trail. We were tired from the ride in 90 degree heat. A block after you pass the big cemetery, there is a little Mexican restaurant called “Tacos Santa Cruz”. We ducked in there for some fruit drinks, tacos and tamales.
The Katy Trail continues at its old depot. One of our bikes had a broken shifter cable on the rear derailer. There is a great bike shop “Champion Bicycles” in the depot that set to work on the bike repair as we waited. Unlike my friends, I was “popped” from the ride and my friends were having to repeatedly wait for me. I asked the bike shop about a shuttle service for the next 19 miles to Windsor. The bike shop gave me the number of a lady named Laura who will haul up to 4 bikes and riders for $1/mile/round trip distance. I did that and it cost me $60 with tip.
Windsor is enjoying an increase of business activity because of the junction of the Katy Trail and the new Rock Island spur trail. Its milepost 248 on the Katy. We stayed at “Kim’s Cabins” which are brand new cabins featuring twin queen beds and a pullout coach. The showers have terrific water pressure. However, they don’t have TV’s, but do have a complete kitchen. You can get to Kim’s Cabins off a short access trail that is just south of the junction of the two trails. Kim's gives you access to a locking shed to stow your bikes overnight. – As the advance party, I got some beers at “G&L Package Liquor” southeast of the main intersection in town. – We had a terrific Mexican dinner at “Cinco De Mayo” which is next to G&L Liquor. You can get a beer there, too. Getting home from there is very easy on a bike, you go one block to the northeast to Florence, turn left and coast downhill back to Kim’s Cabins.
Day Three – 60 miles to Lee’s Summit (sort of)
Overnight a thunderstorm poured rain and it was continuing when we woke up. In a break in the rain we walked a few blocks over to a breakfast/lunch diner called the “Sidetrack Café”. (Google Maps still has it under the old owners “Nita’s”.) This place has a great breakfast menu and I recommend it. It was a Sunday at 7:30 AM and the place was full of older gentlemen who were the informal chamber of commerce. We were alien bicyclists and so we had a good time talking to them.
The weather radar had storms continuing to pound the area for the foreseeable future and two of our group needed to catch that train in Lee’s Summit at 4:30 PM. We couldn’t wait it out and it was miserable biking weather with lightening. From Kim’s Cabins, I called back the Sidetrack Café and identified myself as a bicyclist who was just there. I asked the waitress on the phone to ask the group of men in the place if any of them had a pickup truck and would be willing to take all 4 of us to Chilhowee, 20 miles up the Rock Island Spur for $50. We had several takers, but none had a club cab to haul us 4 passengers. The waitress offered that she had a pickup with a club cab and would if we could do it fast enough for her to get back for the church crowd. – So that worked great and turned out to be a terrific strategic move. We ended up getting to the train just one hour before the departure.
The prior posts talk of the trail bed problems just east of Chilhowee and we skipped over that with our truck ride. We also were prepared for no water access until Pleasant Hill in 28 miles. We put water bottles in our luggage and back pockets to supplement the water in the bike bottles. The trail is beautiful and mostly a tunnel of trees. The trail was finished at the very beginning of 2017 and it has low spots and washout areas that are soft spots, but overall we found the trail to be in good shape, especially considering after a heavy rain. We quickly rode out of the rain and into sunny weather. – At the end of the trail, we exited onto a path to the right and it took us to a road. We turned left and then left again onto Hwy 58/First Street that took us ¼ mile into town. The road delivers you to the front door of “Big Creek Café”, which is a great place for a hearty lunch.
Directions to safely get to Amtrak in Lee’s Summit (15 miles – 90 minutes ride):
*From Big Creek Café go NE ½ block across tracks to Broadway.
*Turn left and go ½ block to Cedar – You will then see an entrance to a bike path to your left.
*The path runs for 2.2 miles. – Parts of it have soft silt/sand and puddles that bog your tires, so be careful.
*Path crosses 175th Street and ends at 167th and Smart (gravel road). Go straight ahead north onto Smart and climb the gentle grade.
* In less than ¼ mile, bear right at fork to stay on Smart.
*Smart will zig zag to the left twice over the next mile and half, then it continues straight north and finally becomes a paved road.
*Cross 150 Highway and continue on Smart one mile after crossing 150 Highway.
*Turn left on Browning (paved) at bottom of a hill and go into woods.
*After 2.1 miles turn right on Ronson.
*Continue on Ronson and cross 50 Highway on overpass bike path. Road become Todd George Parkway.
*Get on bike path on east side of road and continue north for about a mile to the light a Langsford.
*Turn left on Langsford and ride in street one mile to Highway 291.
*Continue across Highway 291 and road becomes 2nd street. We got on the protected sidewalk where 2nd bends to left and then re-entered the street in a bike lane after that bend to the left. (The street reduces traffic to a single lane while it goes through that bend to left.)
*After ¾ mile you will see the rail road overpass over 2nd Street. Turn left just before the overpass onto SE Main Street. There is a restaurant/pub there called “The Peanut”. You can change out of your bike clothes in the bathroom and have something to eat and drink as you wait for the 4:30 PM train. The actual train station platform is across the street, but you have to go south ½ block and go around the fence to get to the station platform. It’s on the other side of the caboose. Be ready for the train a few minutes early.
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