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Katy Trail

Bike Tour Blueprint

DIFFICULTY

Medium

MILEAGE

220 Miles

TRAIL SURFACE

Crushed Gravel

SERVICES

Luggage Transfers, Shuttling

LOCATION

Midwest – Missouri

TRIP ITINERARIES

5, 6 & 7 Day

ACCOMMODATIONS

Hotel, B&B, Camping

BIKE RENTAL

Yes

OVERVIEW

Following the former route of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (KATY), Katy Trail State Park encompasses one of the longest recreational rail-trails in the US. The Katy Trail stretches for 237 miles through central Missouri between Clinton and Machens, with the majority of the route following the north bank of the Missouri River. You’ll ride through some of the most scenic parts of the state including forests, valleys, open prairie, pastures, and bluffs. The Katy Trail also crosses diverse habitats and conservation areas, with excellent birdwatching opportunities and plenty of wildlife.

GET THE BLUEPRINT!

Our guests who purchase the Katy Trail Bike Tour Blueprint receive the following:

  • In-Depth Trail Knowledge
  • Detailed Trip Itineraries
  • Build-it Guide to Reserving your Trip
  • Digital Route Maps with POIs and Offline Cues

MORE INFO

  • One of the first long-distance rail-trails created in the U.S.
  • Travel through Central Missouri wine country in Hermann and Augusta
  • Incredible scenery and history as you bike next to the Missouri River

Included Itineraries:

B&B/Hotel Stays

CLINTON START (238 miles)

5-DAY Clinton to St Charles
Day 1 – Clinton to Sedalia (37 miles)
Day 2 – Sedalia to Boonville (37 miles)
Day 3 – Boonville to Jefferson City (51 miles)
Day 4 – Jefferson City to Hermann (48 miles)
Day 5 – Hermann to St Charles (64 miles)

6-DAY Clinton to St Charles 
Day 1 – Clinton to Sedalia (37 miles)
Day 2 – Sedalia to Boonville (37 miles)
Day 3 – Boonville to Jefferson City (51 miles)
Day 4 – Jefferson City to Hermann (48 miles)
Day 5 – Hermann to Augusta (37 miles)
Day 6 – Augusta to St Charles (28 miles)

7-DAY Clinton to St Charles
Day 1 – Clinton to Sedalia (37 miles)
Day 2 – Sedalia to Boonville (37 miles)
Day 3 – Boonville to Columbia (31 miles)
Day 4 – Columbia to Jefferson City (39 miles)
Day 5 – Jefferson City to Hermann (48 miles)
Day 6 – Hermann to Augusta (37 miles)
Day 7 – Augusta to St Charles (28 miles)

ROCHEPORT START (up to 185 miles)

5-DAY Rocheport to St Charles
Day 1 – Shuttle to Rocheport (optional mileage)
Day 2 – Rocheport to Jefferson City (38 miles)
Day 3 – Jefferson City to Hermann (48 miles)
Day 4 – Hermann to Augusta (37 miles)
Day 5 – Augusta to St Charles (28 miles)

6-DAY Rocheport to St Charles
Day 1 – Shuttle to Rocheport (optional mileage)
Day 2 – Rocheport to Columbia (18 miles)
Day 3 – Columbia to Jefferson City (39 miles)
Day 4 – Jefferson City to Hermann (48 miles)
Day 5 – Hermann to Augusta (37 miles
Day 6 – Augusta to St Charles (28 miles)

Camping

List of camp sites and suggested itineraries. 

October is the most popular travel season.

Riders can start in Clinton, Mo. or – for an easier option – start in Rocheport, Mo.

Trail can accommodate a variety of bike types including tandems and trikes. 

End-to-end shuttling is available for this trail system. 

Daily luggage transfer is available for this trail system. 

Bike rentals are available in St Charles for this trail system. Standard and e-bikes available.

Katy Trail State Park is a 237-mile long rail-trail that crosses the state of Missouri. Managed now by Missouri State Parks, the trail is built on the corridor of the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) railroad known by its popular nickname – the KATY. The trail mainly follows the Missouri River, which the Lewis and Clark Expedition used on their historic trip to map the West in the 1800s. The trail between Booneville and St. Charles is part of the American Discovery Trail, and interpretive signs of that journey are found at many stops along the way.

Aside from being a popular destination for cyclists, the Katy Trail is also used by hikers and horseback riders, with its hard, flat surface covered in crushed limestone. It’s a popular destination for both nature lovers and history buffs, with more than 25 scenic trailheads and four lovingly restored railroad depots along the way.

Katy Trail sign
Katy Trail silos

Cycle the section between Rocheport and St. Charles if you’re interested in the Corps of Discovery Expedition, with this part of the trail designated as part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The Katy Trail also forms part of the American Discovery Trail, a series of roads and recreational trails that run coast-to-coast across America’s mid-tier.

From charming towns to sweeping rural landscapes, the Katy Trail offers it all. Many of the settlements thrived with the arrival of the former railroad, and informative panels along the route detail Missouri’s rich cultural heritage for those wanting a good dose of history.

Difficulty: The Katy Trail is rated at medium difficulty. The trail has little to no elevation gain, but itineraries require biking at least 50 miles in a day. For slightly less daily mileage and less elevation change, consider the itineraries starting in Rocheport, rather than Clinton.

GALLERY

MAP

REVIEWS

Frank and Sue F.
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The Schoolhouse and Lindenhof B&B were spectacular. The beds in all the hotels were really, really comfy. We loved the small towns along the trail and the downhill direction of the trail. We met lovely people everywhere….midwest hospitality and friendliness. There were plenty of little towns along the way. And there were many really, really friendly bikers who were very helpful and fun. Was the trip paced to your satisfaction? Yes, very much so.
Tom and Sharon B.
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The Country Inn staff did everything they could to help us…The Hotel Bothwell and Hotel Frederick were both very accommodating and friendly….Capt Wohlt Inn, in Hermann, had Brant going out of his way to help us. He even cleaned our bikes for us. …It was fine for us older folks ( we’re 71 & 72) with no shuttle taking our luggage. Each day was very doable. Of course we had almost perfect weather. We had no issues with food our water etc. thanks to your materials. And, of course, you can’t do anything about the Missouri wind and dust.
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