I should have had Hubby take his bike with him for this shot, but yes, I finally got to bike a small portion of the Katy Trail in Missouri. This trail is one of the longest Rails to Trails bike paths (240 miles) and has been around for a long time. The entire trail is a Missouri State Park which was very cool. We only had one evening and the next morning to bike it but managed to squeeze in a lot of fun!!
First of all, I would like to say how fun this was to plan because the information is so organized and easy to get to online! I would hope others would take a look at this trail to see how to plan/promote for all the expanded trails being done. I believe the majority, if not all, of the trail is limestone so that kept the road bikes off for the most part. There were all kinds of bikes, though, and at least on the portion of the trail we went on, the limestone was very packed and not very bumpy at all!
Because of our very limited time there, I decided to just have one place to start, spend the night, and leave and to not try to bike somewhere, stop for the night, and then bike back. We stayed at a bed and breakfast called, of all things, The Katy Trail Bed and Breakfast in Rocheport, MO. Because it was October and a Sunday night probably, we lucked out and got the whole place to ourselves!! We stayed in the yellow building which was the main house. The other building is for a group of people to stay in. This is a side view to show they had a patio and lounge chairs outside. I loved the fact that at other bed and breakfasts I always feel a bit like I’m intruding, but here the owner does not stay there and everything is well-marked. Also breakfast is already set up so you can just get up and grab what you want when you want. (It is not a hot breakfast though.) You can even use the kitchen if you want to prepare your own lunch or dinner. There was a locked garage to park your bikes in too which was great!! There were also some games in the living room if you are a games-minded person or books at the bedside to read if you forgot your own. A huge thumbs up for me.
We got our bikes out and discovered that somehow we were missing the important piece that puts your front tire back on! I was just sick. I had read that there was a bike shop in Rocheport so I prayed they were not closed yet on a Sunday night, and we walked the two blocks over to the shop that also rents bikes. Lo and behold after MUCH searching by both my husband and the rental shop guy, they found one to fit! Please, if you want to rent bikes, make sure you do it here. I can’t tell you how much that saved us, and we still had time to ride a ways. It’s attached to a restaurant so we made sure to go there twice too. It was great food, and I loved sitting out on the patio eating dinner and then lunch the next day here. They even bring it out to you. It is grill-type foods and even pizza! It sits right beside the trail.
So there is only one tunnel on the whole trail and it just happened to be right by Rocheport and in the direction we happened to go to first. We had the most beautiful weather both days, but during this early evening ride, the sun glowing on the fall leaves was just breathtaking. The squirrels were a bit crazy though! We thought they should have a “Beware the squirrels” or a squirrel crossing sign. We would just be going along enjoying the sights, and all the sudden from the side of the trail we would startle an unseen squirrel and out they would jump and we’d be swerving around trying to avoid it. One squirrel decided to pace us and ran just ahead of me and next to hubby for quite a ways before disappearing back into the woods. Then the next day one actually went up hubby’s leg and scratched him all up! We had been joking about how horrible it would be to be bit by one, but we did avoid that.
The next morning it was more overcast so not quite as nice but still very comfortable riding temperature wise. I loved how each town had a little covered area to read about the history of whatever town you were by and really gave the ride a cool flavor.
There is a connector trail that leads into Columbia’s district that looked cool from the signs. I think a night there would be fun next time.
I also found out that Amtrak stops at many of the towns and will allow bikes on them if you arrange it beforehand so you can ride Amtrak to a town down the way and then ride all the back on your bikes.
As you can see, the trail follows the Missouri River. I’ve had a lot of trouble picking out just a few photos for this blog! I’m going to leave you with a couple more.