Katy Trail

From majestic bluffs to charming Midwestern towns to sweeping rural landscapes, the Katy Trail offers it all. Crossing central Missouri, Katy Trail State Park is a 237-mile long rail-trail built on the corridor of the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) railroad known by its popular nickname – the KATY.

Bridge on the Katy Trail
Scenic view from the Katy Trail
Booneville train tracks
5 Day Self-Guided Tour

Rocheport 5 Day Tour

Bike the best of the Katy Trail, from Rocheport to St. Charles in 5 days. Don’t let the shorter length fool you, this 5-day trip perfectly highlights Katy’s world-class trail system.

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Blue skies, gravel trail on the Katy in Missouri
St Charles, MO Train Station Stop
Abundant vegetation along the Katy Trail
6 Day Self-Guided Tour

Rocheport 6 Day Tour

The 6-day self-guided bike tour of the Katy that begins in Rocheport. Explore the trail while experiencing the small towns, amazing food and hospitable mid-western culture.

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red caboose with self-guided bike tour riders
Gravel trail with green vegetation, flowers.
MKT classic green train on the Katy Trail
5 Day Self-Guided Tour

Clinton 5 Day Tour

This 5-day tour on the Katy Trail begins in Clinton. You’ll ride a bit more miles each day but experience the same landscapes, wildlife and people this famous trail system is known for!

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Gravel trail with green vegetation, flowers.
Train car along the Katy Trail
Old bridge with lake in background on Katy Trail, MO
6 Day Self-Guided Tour

Clinton 6 Day Tour

Beginning in Clinton and ending in St. Charles, this 6-day Katy Trail bike tour offers riders an exceptional taste of the Midwest, its history, people and food!

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Historic train tracks along the Katy Trail
Self-guided riders posing in front of a green MKT train car.
Colorful windmills at the trailhead
7 Day Self-Guided Tour

Clinton 7 Day Tour

The perfect Katy Trail self-guided bike tour for those who can add a couple of days and enjoy shorter-distance rides. Begins in Clinton and ends in St. Charles.

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Two riders at Matson trailhead on Katy
Colorful windmills at the trailhead
Biker enjoying the huge rock cliffs on Katy Trail

Katy Trail

An alternate way to experience the Katy Trail in central Missouri. Our Bike Tour Blueprint provides all the tools you’d ever need to piece together your own bike tour on one of the longest recreational rail-trails in the US.

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About the Katy Trail

What’s the Katy?

The Katy Trail follows the corridor of the former MKT railroad through central Missouri and alongside the Missouri River. This route was also used by the Lewis and Clark Expedition on their historic trip to map the West in the 1800s. The Katy Trail forms part of the American Discovery Trail, a series of roads and recreational trails that run coast-to-coast across America’s mid-tier.

Start your bike tour in Rocheport for a shorter adventure focused on the Corps of Discovery Expedition route. For a longer trip, start in Clinton and enjoy more time in Missouri cattle and farm country before joining the historic route.

*We allow summer bookings on the Katy Trail but we advise riders that you can experience periods of excessive heat (100+ degrees) and little shade between mid-June to early September, which may not be appropriate for all riders.

Self-guided riders posing in front of a green MKT train car.

Riding the Katy

The Katy Trail is a crushed gravel rail-trail which has some rolling elevation at the western end between Clinton and Boonville, then flattens out once it reaches the floodplains of the Missouri River around Rocheport.

Boonville train depot

Trail Highlights

The Katy Trail is one of the first long-distance rail-trails in the U.S. and is well-maintained by the state parks office. Aside from being a popular destination for cyclists, the Katy Trail is also used by hikers and horseback riders who enjoy the off-road nature of the route. The trail crosses diverse habitats and conservation areas, with excellent birdwatching opportunities and plenty of wildlife, plus more than 25 scenic trailheads and four lovingly restored railroad depots.

Scenic view from the Katy Trail

A Comfortable Pace

Our self-guided itineraries are designed to provide riders with a comfortable pace to enjoy the trail, while ensuring quality overnight stays in towns which offer access to restaurants and bike services. Extra nights in Hermann and St Charles can be added to any itinerary to allow for more time to discover the history and wineries of the area.

Riding the Katy Trail

Katy Trail tours are offered between April and October, however, May, September, and October are the peak months for riding the trail. (For those with allergies or breathing concerns: the trail runs through farm fields for much of its length and plowing during the fall months can kick up dust and pollen onto the trail.)

Several of the towns along the Katy are very popular with wine lovers and have Oktoberfest events almost every weekend in the fall. For those reasons, we recommend booking a September or October trip at least 6-9 months in advance, if not earlier, to find accommodations.

*We do allow trips to be booked for the summer months, however, central Missouri can be extremely hot (100+ degrees) from mid-June to early September. The heat combined with the lack of shade along portions of the trail can make travelling difficult. We do not advise booking a Katy trip in summer if you have any issues with heat tolerance.

Bike rentals can be reserved in St Charles through Bike Stop Cafe and Katy Bike Rental. A limited number of e-bikes also are available.

Our Katy Trail tours will start and end in historic St. Charles, just across the river from St. Louis, Missouri. There are several hotels in the St. Charles area; we work with the Country Inn and Suites which is located right next to the trailhead and shuttle pick-up area.

There is free, outdoor parking in St Charles for those driving to the trail.

Taxis, shuttles, and Uber options are available for riders flying into and out of the St Louis Airport.

The Katy Trail is crushed gravel and well-maintained by Missouri State Parks. There are trailheads and bathrooms along the route.

The Katy Trail sees relatively frequent recreational use but does not run through a highly populated area. There can be long distances – 30 or more miles – between towns along the trail.

Where food is scarce riders will be advised to purchase a meal in advance.

Cell service is reasonably strong along the majority of trail, with the exception of the area around Hermann.

The Katy Trail has a crushed gravel surface and hybrid/touring/road bikes are all acceptable. Mostly the trail drains well across its entirety. Bikes should have tires with tread and widths of 32 mm or wider for the most comfortable experience.

Tandems, trikes, recumbents and other non-standard frames are also suitable for the trail.

Have a question about this trail?

Contact our professional team members, they are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our tours and to help you plan your next adventure.

Looking for Something Different?

We are proud to offer a wide variety of curated tour itineraries on many of the nation’s best trails.

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