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Advisory: May 2020 - In June 2019, parts of the Katy Trail were flooded. While much has been repaired, please check trail conditions on the Missouri State Parks website before going out to ride as certain areas have posted detours and closures.
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 centers of commerce and government on its route paralleling the Missouri River. Along the way, it invites its walkers, runners, and riders on a journey to explore the history of the state. The Katy Trail is in the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame and is designated a Millennium Legacy Trail.
Due to recent area flooding, please check the Missouri State Parks website for trail closures and updates before visiting the trail.
On the east side of Missouri, the trail officially begins in Machens at mile marker 26.9 (the Katy Trail follows the old railroad mileage system, based on the former rail line’s genesis in St. Louis). To access this endpoint, trail users can park at the Black Walnut trailhead at mile marker 29 and bike or walk in past adjacent agricultural fields. Many users choose instead to jump on at mile marker 39.5 in the historic town of St. Charles, where the trail threads between the state’s first capitol building and a restored depot building. Trail riders can take advantage of trailside businesses here, including a bike shop, café, brewery, and several historical B&Bs.
The trail continues along the riverbank to mile marker 66.3 in Augusta, which features a brewery and a bike shop right next to the trail, as well as several scenic wineries and B&Bs just up the hill. It continues on through fertile floodplains to Dutzow (mile marker 74) and McKittrick (mile marker 100.8), both of which provide jumping-off points to catch the Amtrak Missouri River Runner train across the river in Washington and Hermann, respectively. With advance reservations, cyclists can bring their bikes aboard for a $10 fee. Equestrians can ride horses on this stretch between Portland (mile marker 115.9) and Tebbetts (mile marker 131.2).
At North Jefferson (mile marker 143.2), riders can take the Katy Trail Spur into Jefferson City, Missouri’s capital, via a three-story bicycle ramp and a protected bike lane on the bridge over the Missouri River. From here, open fields alongside the trail give way to trees shading the path and scenic bridges transporting riders across numerous waterways. Just west of McBaine (mile marker 169.5), riders can branch off toward Columbia on the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail, a popular 9.3-mile urban getaway featuring a mountain bike skills course near its midpoint.
As the Katy Trail carries on toward Rocheport (mile marker 178.3), trail users pass towering bluffs carved by the Missouri River and approach the trail’s only tunnel, cut through solid rock. During their famous Corps of Discovery expedition, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark wrote about “curious paintings” left by Native Americans on the projection of limestone here.
In Boonville (mile marker 191.8), riders may wish to check on the restoration progress of the original MKT rail bridge. Although Katy Trail traffic currently routes over the adjacent US 40 bridge, the preservation of the original MKT rail bridge serves a critical role in keeping the Katy Trail’s railbanked corridor legally intact. At this point, the trail crosses and deviates from the Missouri River to head southwest toward Sedalia (mile marker 229), home to a fully restored trailside depot that offers a wide range of Katy Trail memorabilia for sale.
At Windsor (mile marker 248), trail users will want to check out the new Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park, which stretches nearly 50 miles to Pleasant Hill, a suburb of Kansas City. Eventually, more rail-trail will be developed through the Rock Island corridor heading east to connect with the Katy a second time near Washington.
Equestrians can ride between Sedalia and Clinton (mile marker 264.6), the western terminus of the Katy Trail, as well as a section in the middle between Portland and Tebbetts.
Directions to Katy Trail trailheads are outlined below.
Black Walnut Road trailhead: from I-70, take Exit 228 onto MO 94/First Capitol Drive. Turn northwest onto MO 94 (toward downtown St. Charles) and follow signs for MO 94 for 7.2 miles. At intersection with MO H, continue straight on MO H for an additional 4.8 miles. At the intersection with Music Ferry Road, turn right onto Music Ferry Road. The Black Walnut trailhead and parking lot will be on your right in 0.1 mile at the intersection of Music Ferry Road and Black Walnut Road. The Machens trailhead is inaccessible by car, but trail users can reach it by traveling along the Katy Trail by bike or foot 2.1 miles northeast of the Black Walnut trailhead (across the street and heading away from Black Walnut Road).
Greens Bottom Road Trailhead: From MO-94, turn south onto Jungs Station Road. Turn east (right) onto Greens Bottom Road.
Weldon Spring Trailhead: From MO-94, follow highway sign and turn south to trail head.
Defiance parking lot: The lot is immediately southeast of MO-94 in the community of Defiance.
Matson Trailhead: The trailhead is immediately west of MO-94 in the community of Matson.
Augusta Trailhead: From MO-94, turn south onto Jackson St. Turn east (left) onto Main St. Turn south (right) onto Public St.
Dutzow Trailhead: From Hwy. 47, turn northeast onto MO-94. From MO-94, turn northwest (left) into trail head immediately south of community of Dutzow.
Marthasville Trailhead: From Hwy. 47/MO-94, turn north onto First St. Turn west (left) onto Depot St.
Treloar Trailhead: From MO-94, turn north onto Koch Creek Rd./Rt. N.
McKittrick Trailhead: From MO-94, turn north onto Hwy. 19. Turn east (right) onto Main St. Turn south (right) onto Sterling St.
Portland Trailhead: From MO-94, turn south onto Market Street.
Mokane Trailhead: From MO-94, turn north onto Route C.
Tebbetts Trailhead: From MO-94, turn north onto County Road 485.
N. Jefferson Trailhead: From Highway 54, turn west onto Rt. W/Cedar City Dr. Turn north (right) onto Oilwell Road. Turn east (right) onto Katy Road.
Hartsburg Trailhead: From Highway 63, turn southwest onto Route A.
McBaine Trailhead: From Highway 63, turn west onto Hwy. 163. Turn south (left) onto Route K.
Rocheport Trailhead: From I-70, take exit 115 to Route BB, to Rocheport. Turn south (left) onto Pike St. Turn east (left) onto First Street.
New Franklin Trailhead: From Highway 40, turn north onto Highway 5. Turn east (right) onto E. Mokane Street. Turn south (right) onto Howard Street.
Boonville Trailhead: From Highway 5, turn south west onto Spring Street. Turn lsouth (left) onto 1st Street.
Pilot Grove Trailhead: From I-70, take Exit 98 for Highway 135 South, towards Pilot Grove. Turn west (right) onto Roe Street. Turn north (right) onto Main Street.
Clifton City Trailhead: From Highway 135, turn onto Route BB.
Sedalia Trailhead: From Highway 50, turn north onto Engineer Avenue. Turn east (right) onto E. 3rd Street.
Sedalia Fairgrounds parking area: From Highway 50, turn onto Highway 65 S. Turn west (right) onto Route Y. Turn south (left) onto Clarendon Road.
Green Ridge Trailhead: From Highway 65 S, turn west onto Route B. Turn south onto Highway 127.
Windsor Trailhead: From Highway 65 S, turn west onto Highway 52. Turn north (right) onto Route 2.
Calhoun Trailhead: From Highway 52, turn north onto Olive Street.
Clinton Trailhead: From I-49, take Exit 141 onto MO 18 E. Follow MO 18 E for 31.2 miles, and then turn left onto NW 401 Road. Follow NW 401 Road for 1 mile, and turn right to stay on NW 401 Road for an additional 0.1 mile before it intersects with MO 7 S. Follow MO 7 S for 3.8 miles; then take the exit for MO 52 W for 0.2 mile. At the intersection with Price Lane, turn left; then take an immediate right into the parking lot. The Clinton trailhead will be on your right.
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