Whether you are a biker, hiker, or a road warrior, there are many great ways to experience the Katy Trail. You can even ride a horse on two of the segments! My in-laws have almost completed biking the entire trail over the past several years. This has given me a glimpse into the amazing places you can stop to stay, eat, and see along the Katy Trail.
Not only are there some great towns to discover, like Joplin and Rocheport, but you’ll also learn about the history and geography of the trail itself. This post will take you on a mini journey to get you ready for your own adventure on the Katy Trail. (Fun fact, the Katy Trail is on Kim’s Missouri Bucket List!) Let’s go!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
What is the Katy Trail?
The Katy Trail opened in 1990 and spans 237.5 miles across most of the state of Missouri. It runs from St. Louis to 75 miles southeast of Kansas City in Clinton. More than half of the trail runs alongside Lewis and Clark’s route along the Missouri River.
On the half of the trail that diverges from the river, you’ll be taken through small towns, farmland, and wooded areas. The trail is named after the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) railroad that had a line through Missouri. MKT was referred to in train timetables and on the stock exchange as ‘K-T’. The Katy Trail is America’s longest “rails-to-trail” which means it was formerly a railroad route that is now a trail.
All miles listed below correspond to the original MKT Railroad mile numbers. They run from the Eastern end in Machens (Mile 0) to the Western End in Clinton (Mile 237.5).
Places To Stay Along The Katy Trail
Lucky for anyone traveling along the Katy Trail, it passes through nearly 35 cities and towns. While not all of them have accommodations, many do. Depending on the type of accommodations you’re looking for, here are some great options:
This four-room Victorian bed and breakfast serves up a delicious range of breakfast dishes. They are also located within walking distance of the Augusta Winery, Mount Pleasant Winery, and Good News Brewing Co.
Incredibly, this park runs along the length of the Katy Trail. With 26 trailheads with information and history of the trail, along with four fully restored railroad depots, you’ll find plenty to explore along the trail.
Located at the Western end of the Katy Trail, you’ll find this charming business where you can toast the end of your journey (or the beginning) with a glass of wine or craft beers. They also serve pizza, salads, paninis, cheese boards, and more.
Located on the property of the Stone Hill Winery (which you should also visit and tour), this restaurant serves up some very authentic German food. Perfect for if you’ve been active or just enjoying the drive across the state.
There are certainly many more places to see, play, and stay along the Katy Trail. For an easy trip planner, check out this customized itinerary planning tool from the team at Bike Katy Trail. Happy trails!
About the guest blogger
Jenn Beard is the founder of Cocktails Away—a collection of adventures in pursuit of a great drink, a quality spirit, a unique ingredient, and the places they come from. When not traveling, she lives in Kansas City. Check out her blog for mouthwatering recipes and insider tips on DIY bartending and cocktail culture or travel to bars around the world at @cocktailsaway.