One of our favorite things to do is walk or ride bicycles on the Katy trail.
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.
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.
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)
The trail winds in and out of the Missouri River, creeks and farmlands just like the railroad did.
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…