Bike Club Meeting “Biking the Katy Trail”

At the November Evanston Bicycle Club monthly meeting guest speaker Shari Rosenbaum shared experiences bicycling on the Katy Trail. The Katy Trail is 239.6 miles long, 10 foot wide, crushed stone and gravel and is maintained by Missouri Department of Natural Resources. It is the former corridor of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (abbreviated MKT, K-T, eventually Katy). It runs from Clinton, MO to Machens, MO.

 

Here are some highlights of the trail and in communities along the way:

  • State Park contains 26 trailheads, some with rest rooms and water
  • Trail history includes Lewis and Clark (who mapped it), and Daniel Boone (who settled in the area)
  • As a former rail bed, the grade is gradual with no steep hills
  • Amenities along the way include bike shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and antiques
  • Overnight accommodation options include camping, hotels, and bed and breakfasts
  • Bike rentals available, including ebikes, and shuttle services
  • Train history buffs will enjoy exploring the 4 fully restored railroad deports
  • Geology hobbyists will delight in the fossils and many “cuts” that have exposed lays of rock strata

 

Sheri embarked on a five day trip in October, 2016:

  • Bicycled west to east, selected because it was downriver with a prevailing tailwind
  • Went in October to see the fall foliage but discovered that was a little early that year
  • Utilized a hybrid bicycle, but mountain or road bikes (with a minimum 25mm tire) are also widely used
  • Recommends taking a paper map since the internet was spotty
  • Traveled self-supported or day rides; two days hired a shuttle
  • Wildlife observed included red squirrels, deer, an eagle, turkey vultures, and blue jays
  • Enjoyed many tunnels and bridges including the High Trestle Bridge in Woodward that is lit at night and looks like you are going into a tunnel

 

Resources available for more information on the trails include TailLink.com, Bikekatytrail.com, Mostateparks.com, and Roadbikerider.com. In all, Sheri reported that the Katy Trail is a way to experience history, nature, and bicycling all in one place!

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