We’ve just returned from a six-day biking adventure on the Katy Trail in central Missouri. The Katy Trail State Park was opened in 1990 and is the longest continuous rail trail in the United States at 240 miles. It was built along the rail route of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) Railroad, and was commonly called the Katy. The trail itself is crushed limestone, and after riding six days with no rain we found we were covered in a light coating of dust! Many miles of the trail follow the route of the Missouri River with large limestone bluffs towering above the river. We learned much about the history of the area via trail markers telling us of Lewis & Clark’s travels along this route, and information about Daniel Boone and his family who once lived in the region.
We took spur trails into Jefferson City and Hermann, giving us easy access to food and lodging. In other places, like Sedalia and St. Charles, the trail passed right through the commercial areas. We found old train depots and a multitude of bridges of various types. We rode along cornfields and under canopies of trees. We saw cardinals flying across the trail and turtles slowly working their way from one side to the other. With a light wind we could smell the honeysuckle blooming nearby. It’s a popular trail that is shared by cyclists, walkers, and even horses.
Like other cross-state rides we’ve done, it was the perfect way to see the countryside and appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of the area.