Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Missouri – KATY Trail

One of our favorite things to do is walk or ride bicycles on the Katy trail. 

A railroad trestle

According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources :

Katy Trail State Park is built on the former corridor of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) Railroad (better known as the Katy). When the railroad decided to cease operation on its route from Machens in St. Charles County to Sedalia in Pettis County in 1986, it presented the chance to create an extraordinary recreational opportunity -- a long-distance hiking and bicycling trail that would run almost 200 miles across the state.

What they don’t mention is that all those many years ago when the land was taken from the farmers and landowners to operate the railroad, the agreement was that if the railroad ever ceased operation, the land would revert back to the landowners. 

Scenery of a winding creek from the trail 

The scenery along the  trail is beautiful.  This shot happens to be of Cedar Creek.

Many landowners were VERY upset when they heard a trail extending from East to West was in the works.  I remember vividly seeing farmers parking farm implements on the trail area so it could not be developed.  There were protests, town hall meetings, the works.  In the end the government got its way (doesn’t it usually always) and the trail was built. 

Twenty three years later hiking/biking on the KATY trail is a very popular recreational activity for individuals from all over the nation.  Small communities along the trail have capitalized on the traffic with rest stops, restaurants, stores, camping areas, hostels, and bed and breakfasts.  Many start out in Sedalia in the West and days later take out in St. Charles (home of Missouri’s very first State Capital) in the East.

We have met some real interesting people on the trail – often from states far and wide.  I just shake my head in amazement.

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        All along the way are old railroad trestles

The area we bike is from the Jefferson City trailhead towards Hartsburg.  At one time we biked the 10 miles to Hartsburg without a thought.  Not so much anymore… but our goal is to once again bike to Hartsburg and then, of course, back home again.  (We always have to remind ourselves that however far we go in one direction, we have to make it that far in reverse)

View of the Missouri River from the trail

The trail winds in and out of the Missouri River, creeks and farmlands just like the railroad did.

Deanna on an inexpensive WalMart bike with the Missouri River in the background

And as you can see, the bike doesn’t have to be fancy to be fun.  Ours are cheap, end of the season, WalMart models.  I do envy some of the contraptions I see pass us by, though…

13 comments:

PictureGirl said...

We've often talked of doing parts of the Trail and when we were younger we would have done all of it, from one end to the other. Things change, huh? LOL
I really wish I could do it all though. I'm sure it is all beautiful.

Funny in my mind said...

I will have to check it out sometime. My hubby bought me a top of the line bike and it sits in the garage so I guess it doesn't matter what it costs, if you use it. You take a lovely photo dahling!

jewelzmomof4 said...

Travis tells me all the time "mom you remember when we would go riding on the Katy Trail with Grandma and Grandpa?" I always say yeah and he of course tells me how mudch he loved doing that and he can't wait to go with you all again.

sherri said...

I would love to visit here. Looks so soothing.

I used to have a bridge phobia ( I know, I'm weird) but that has passed and now I'm fascinated with them. I think this is beautiful.

Leah said...

Wow. . . Those are really some breathtaking views! How nice that you live so close to this so you can enjoy it on a regular basis. Beautiful pictures!

Intense Guy said...

I have this trail on my "bucket list" and I think I'm going to move it closer to the top.

I've wanted to walk this from end-to-end (and back since the views are different) for a couple years now. The logistics are about the only thing holding me back.

*goes back and drools over the pictures (the last one included)*

The Wife O Riley said...

Those are some beautiful pictures! It reminds me of the old Chain of Rocks Bridge between Illinois and Missori. They stopped letting traffic on it and now it's a bike trail. Still incredibly beautiful part of Route 66.

AliceKay said...

Very beautiful state you have there. I remember seeing some really nice countryside while driving thru in May. (i wont mention St. Louis) I'm glad you're able to bike the trails.

Pennsylvania is doing the same thing to abandoned railroad tracks. I forgot what it's called...Rails for Trails or something like that...and there are a few not too far away from me.

Thanks for sharing the pics. :)

Karla said...

what beautiful pictures and what a beautiful day!!

LadyStyx said...

Looks like a lovely way to spend a few afternoons.

Queenie Jeannie said...

What fun and great exercise too! Thanks for sharing these photos!!!

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Tori_z said...

Glad the trail is such a big hit. Good to know plenty of people make use of it. :)

ChicagoLady said...

Looks like a very beautiful are to bikeride. We have many trails up here, called Prairie Paths, that cover many many miles around the Chicago area. Although I haven't been on ours, yours looks much prettier.