Bike the Katy Trail

If you’re not from Missouri, you’ve probably never heard of the Katy Trail. It’s an old trail that follows the path of rivers and rail lines and portions of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The Katy Trail runs between Clinton and Machens, Missouri and spans 240 miles. The Katy Trail is a state park in Missouri and is often used for biking, hiking, and running. One of the best sites for Katy Trail information is so be sure to check that out after reading this post.

St. Charles 6

My Experiences

I’ve ridden on and walked on the Katy Trail numerous times. Portions of the Katy Trail run along the Missouri River at Historic St. Charles. I’ve mentioned my love of St. Charles before so I doubt it will come as a surprise to you that I often went down to the Katy Trail while in the city. When I worked nearby, I often walked along the trail over lunch. You’ll see bikers and people walking their pets along the trail in this portion of the city.

Mini Trip Idea

I’ve ridden my bike on the Katy Trail numerous times. I often stick to St. Charles but I’ve ventured beyond that. Other great spots include Marthasville, Dutzow and Augusta. If you look at this mileage chart, a round-trip ride between Marthasville and Augusta means biking 22.8 miles. Consider staying 2 nights in Augusta, one before your ride and one after. That way you’ll have a place to keep your belongings safe while you ride and a place to clean up after your ride. You’ll be in Marthasville in time for lunch or a snack and be back in Augusta to enjoy the rest of your day.

Katy Trail, Augusta Mo

Augusta has several wineries and bed and breakfasts. One private cottage has a Katy Trail special for $75/weeknight. Another inn offers relaxing rooms within walking distance of the trail and a stocked kitchen to make your own breakfast. For food, check out the Augusta Brewing Company right off the trail or a fancier dinner at Balducci Vineyards. If you are taking a special someone, top off the trip with a relaxing massage.

Conquering the Trail

September 18-24, 2011

During the fall, the Katy Trail will be having a ride between Sedalia and St. Charles. You’ll ride 190 miles over a week and see large portions of rural Missouri.You’ll start on Sunday with an Amtrak ride to Sedalia. You’ll spend the night in a historic hotel Harry S. Truman once stayed in.

Monday will have a bike ride from Sedalia to Boonville, about 38 miles. You’ll have the afternoon to explore the historic town and dinner will be at a casino with time to gamble afterwards. You’ll be staying overnight in the casino’s hotel and enjoying breakfast here as well.


Tuesday’s bike ride is 49 miles from Boonville to North Jefferson. After the ride, a van will take you across the river to Jefferson City. You’ll stay overnight at a hotel within walking distance of the state capitol building and historic district. Wednesday will be a ride-free day as you explore the capitol and take a ride to Westminster College, where Winston Churchill gave his historic “Iron Curtain” speech. You’ll spend a second night in your hotel with a chance to rest up for the next day’s ride.

Thursday covers 43 miles from Jefferson to Hermann. Hermann is a small German winery town that will be celebrating Oktoberfest during your ride. Get into town early to explore the historic district and rest up for your dinner and tour at Stone Hill Winery. You’ll stay in a hotel downtown.

Friday will take you from one German town to another. First you’ll ride 34 miles from Hermann to Augusta and then you’ll have the afternoon to explore wineries or a brewery. You’ll take a shuttle across the Missouri River to Washington for dinner and your hotel.

The last day of your trip is an easy 26 miles from Augusta to St. Charles. You’ll make it to St. Charles by lunch time and you can eat in the historic district (I recommend Lewis & Clark’s or R.T. Weiler’s depending on your tastes) and you can catch a shuttle back to your cars after eating and shopping.

The price for the tour starts at $845/person but it includes all your hotel stays, shuttles, tickets, breakfasts, dinners, water stops and snacks. For more information about what’s included, check the Touring Cyclist. There’s a waiting list for open spots but this could be a great trip to plan for next year. If you’re anything like me, it’ll definitely require some training before hitting the trail.

Summer Ride

Katy Trail 2011 ride

Image credit: 2011 Katy Trail Ride

Each summr there’s usually a ride along the Katy Trail that’s a little more rugged (and affordable) than the September trip. You’ll camp out near the trail, bike tons of miles, eat some amazing pancakes, and meet some other bike lovers. It’s a 5-day ride that’ll take you over the path of the entire Katy Trail. This year’s ride took place June 20-24, 2011. You can read about the experiences on the 2011 Katy Trail Ride blog or facebook page. We’ll keep our eyes open for details on 2012’s ride and post them as they become available.

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I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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