Thursday, October 9, 2014

Biking the Katy trail

A couple weeks ago we took a much-needed vacation with some of our best friends. We traveled to nearby Missouri to bike part of the historic Katy trail.

What's the Katy trail? It's a rails-to-trails conversion path (you can bike, walk, run, whatever you like) that runs for 237 miles through the heart of Missouri, often following the historic Lewis & Clark trail and the Missouri river. It's a beautifully maintained State Park , in the right of way of the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (hence the Katy name).

We began our adventure in Boonville, MO (so we've officially been to the "Boonies"). The night before our ride we stayed at the beautiful, historic Frederick Hotel. Here we are on the first day, looking perky before our ride and the inevitable "helmet head" hairdos. Alan is wearing the K-State purple/white jersey and I'm beside him in my hot pink Walmart couture.

We rode for 3 days, and covered about 120 miles, with frequent stops for snacks, taking pictures and lunch every day. This ride was the perfect excuse to eat and snack all day long. The above pic was a typical view as we enjoyed the very flat trail (thanks, railroaders) and the super lush greenery.

The path often followed the Missouri River, which was gorgeous and right next to us...what a beautiful sight!

Sometimes the path was bordered by soaring cliffs, which looked very un-Kansas-like.

There were bunches of little creeks to cross and every style/size of bridge imaginable.  The weather was perfect - cool and lovely for riding. Rain kept threatening, but thankfully we never had more than a couple of drops.

We also rode by lots of farmland, with crusty corn (ready to harvest) and the beautiful golden soybeans above. The picture doesn't do justice - these golden fields were glowing!

Here's my farm boy husband, Alan, giving a short informational talk on corn. You can take the boy off the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the boy!

We spent one night in Jefferson City, the capitol city of Missouri. After dinner, we checked out the capitol by moonlight.

Every 4-5 miles along the trail, you came to a little town. Some towns were so little, there was a sign...but we couldn't find the town. But most towns had an official Katy trail rest stop with benches, shelter, and bathrooms! One of the best parts of riding was meeting people along with way. We met people from across the US. Visitors come from around the world to ride the Katy every year. Riders varied from kids with training wheels to lots of retirees.

And, of course, we had lots of FUN along the way!!! This odd attraction was called Boat Henge. It's a series of old boats partially buried in the ground - perfect for silly pics!

Is Alan really holding up this boulder? I know he's "super-Alan" to all the needlework shops who talk to him daily, but....

And did I mention there were wineries along the way? We spent one evening in Hermann, Missouri. It's a little German town with several wineries and lots of charm.

We only had one mishap. Our pal, Bob, was attempting to ride and carry his nice camera. And you know what happens when you only hit one brake and it's your front tire. Thankfully, Bob was OK (and so were his camera and bike). Thanks to Bob for many of the photos above.

* Great scenery
* Fun B & Bs and hotels
* Lots of food (preferable hourly on the trail)
* Wineries!
* Perfect weather
* Lots of smiles and laughter
* And the best thing....relaxing time with great friends!

We're already planning another trip on the Katy....maybe next year to celebrate our 60th birthdays?
Wanna come join us for part of the ride?


  1. Beautiful holiday! Sports, entertainment, history, nature, everything amazing !!!

  2. I also rode it but not far when I lived in St Louis….It is a wonderful bike trail. So glad you all had a great time

  3. What a beautiful and fun trip. I am just wondering--did you have all of your things packed in those little pouches on your bicycles? I could never pack that light!

  4. Good question, Joan. No, we took turns shuttling our cars ahead with our overnight stuff. We weren't backpacking, although we saw many other riders who were carrying all of their gear.

  5. This looks like so much fun! Thanks for,sharing your trip & pictures with us.

  6. There was a calm young forest guard there to help us to trek about 500m to Chinnakkallar Waterfalls. חופשה