Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park

Missouri

Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park Facts

States: Missouri
Counties: Cass, Henry, Johnson
Length: 47.5 miles
Trail end points: Highway 58 (Pleasant Hill) and Katy Trail State Park (Windsor)
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016348
Trail activites: Bike, Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Walking

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Register for Free with TrailLink Today!

View over 30,000 miles of trail maps
Share your trail photos
Save Your Favorite Trails
Find New Trails Near You
Leave reviews for trails
Submit new trails to our site
Register Now

Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park Description

The Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park travels 47.5 miles through woodlands, wetlands, and bucolic fields nestled in the foothills of the Ozarks. At either end are two towns full of charm and hospitality: Windsor, where you can seamlessly continue onto the world-renowned Katy Trail (which spans nearly the entire state) and Pleasant Hill, a suburb of Kansas City.

The trail has a well-compacted, crushed limestone surface best suited for hybrid bikes, though road bikes can also navigate the pathway. The difficulty for skinny tires would come after a rain when the trail’s surface becomes soft. Equestrians can also ride the full length of the trail, plus it ties right into the section of the Katy Trail where equestrians are permitted (between Sedalia and Clinton).

At the outset, you’ll find a nod to the trail’s railroad history with a caboose at the Windsor trailhead and, about half way through your journey, you’ll come to the picturesque Rock Island Lake, where steam locomotives once stopped to fill their boilers.  

At trail’s end, you’ll enter Pleasant Hill, which has a Downtown Historic District that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as colorful murals that depict the area’s history and culture. Here, you’ll find plentiful amenities for tourists, including antique shops, art and craft boutiques, and cafés.

History buffs will also want to stop in the Missouri Pacific Depot, a one-story brick building dating back to 1903; inside you’ll find information on local trails and the trains that once ran through the region. The town's MoPac Trail offers an opportunity to extend your journey by a few more miles through the countryside.

The new rail-trail is named after the Rock Island Railway, a company incorporated as the Rock Island and LaSalle Railroad Company in 1847. Mergers in the early 1900s saw the railway spanning Missouri, connecting Kansas City and St. Louis on opposite ends of the state. As railway traffic faded away, so too did the Rock Island Railway. The last train on the tracks through Kansas City was seen in the early 1970s and, by the 1980s, the rail corridor sat empty.

Though building a trail through the expansive Rock Island corridor is a massive undertaking and will take several years to complete, the project is off to an auspicious start with the opening of its first 47.5 miles in December 2016. This section is managed by Missouri State Parks.

A future segment will continue the trail’s northwestern trajectory through Jackson County to the outskirts of Kansas City, where it will end at the Truman Sports Complex, home to the NFL’s Chiefs and MLB’s Royals. On its opposite end, another future segment will head eastward from Windsor stretching a whopping 144 miles to the town of Beaufort before angling northeast to meet up again with the Katy Trail near the town of Washington.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the eastern trailhead in Windsor: From Kansas City, take I-70 eastward. Take Exit 58 for MO 23 and follow it south for 39 miles to a T-intersection with MO 2. Turn left and travel 2.7 miles to the outskirts of Windsor; as the highway enters town, it becomes W. Benton Street. Turn left on Mill Street, then your next left on W. Florence Street and you’ll see the parking area immediately to your right.

To reach the western trailhead in Pleasant Hill: From US 49, take Exit 174 for MO 58. Turn right (east) onto MO 58 and travel the highway for 14 miles to Pleasant Hill. In town, the highway becomes W. Commercial Street. Take a left on Broadway Street and you’ll immediately see the town’s restored train depot and parking.

Rock Island Spur of Katy Trail State Park Reviews

I rode this trail out of Sedalia, MO in November 2016. Most days were so nice I only needed a light jacket. For a dirt/gravel trail it was a smooth ride even with City tires! Through the town it got a little bumpy. Caused by more traffic. But once you leave town, it's smooth sailing. Lots of fresh air, country scenery, and wildlife. Take a bag if you like black walnuts. They fall all over the side of the trail. Highly recommend!

Nearby Trails

MoPac Trail (Pleasant Hill)

Missouri - 3 miles

The MoPac Trail begins in Pleasant Hill's charming downtown area and heads northwest towards Pleasant Hill Lake and the outskirts of Kansas City. Bikers, ...

Legacy Park Trail

Missouri - 5.6 miles

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 ...

Little Blue Trace Trail

Missouri - 15 miles

The Little Blue Trace Trail follows the course of the Little Blue River for 15 miles through the Little Blue Trace Nature Reserve. It stretches south of ...

Accordion

Blue River Parkway Trail

Missouri - 3.6 miles

The Blue River Parkway Trail winds along both banks of its namesake river on the southern outskirts of Kansas City. The paved route begins in Minor Park ...

Indian Creek Bike/Hike Trail

Kansas - 26 miles

The Indian Creek Bike/Hike Trail links two states, four communities and a multitude of parks along Indian Creek. The trail provides numerous connections ...

133rd Street Path

Kansas - 7 miles

The four disconnected sections of the 133rd Street Path run though the communities of Olathe, Overland Park and Leawood outside Kansas City. The trail ...

Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail

Missouri - 6 miles

Note: A portion of the trail between Troost and Woodland Avenues has been closed since 2012 due to the presence of a small sinkhole. Trail users should ...

143rd Street Path

Kansas - 4.2 miles

The 143rd Street Path is a sidepath along W. 143rd Street in Overland Park. The trail offers access to the surrounding residential communities as well ...

Tomahawk Creek Trail

Kansas - 12.7 miles

The Tomahawk Creek Trail follows its namesake waterway through the Kansas City suburbs of Overland Park and Leawood. The trail provides access for the ...

Nall Avenue Path

Kansas - 3.7 miles

The Nall Avenue Path is a paved sidepath along Nall Avenue, its namesake. The path offers connections to the residents of the Kansas City suburb of Overland ...

Rock Creek Trail (MO)

Missouri - 1.5 miles

The Rock Creek Trail links Country Club Park and Rotary Park on the west side of Independence. It offers nice views of the tree-lined creek that it follows ...

151st Street Path

Kansas - 7.5 miles

As you might imagine, the 151st Street Path is a sidepath along 151st Street though Olathe and Overland Park outside Kansas City. The path provides access ...

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews
OR

Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!
OR