Mile Marker System
The trail is marked every mile with a sign post that corresponds to the traditional railroad mileage system. Mileage won't be exact because the trail deviates slightly from the original railroad corridor in a few sections. Between St. Charles and Black Walnut, for example, the Missouri River floods of 1993 and 1994 washed away a portion of the original railroad, requiring the trail to be built outside of the original corridor and on top of the L-15 Levee. Other similar examples exist in several places along the trail. To determine the distance traveled, subtract the mile post number at the trailhead from the mile post number on the trail or vice versa. Mile post number 26.9 is located on the east end of the trail at Machens in St. Charles County and post number 264.4 is located on the west end near Clinton in Henry County.
Katy Trail State Park has been designed specifically for bicyclists and hikers. The majority of the trail is accessible to persons with disabilities. All motorized equipment is prohibited except official and emergency vehicles. Electrically assisted pedal-powered bicycles and tricycles (maximum speed of 20 mph) as well as electrically powered-mobility devices for persons with disabilities such as motorized wheelchairs and scooters are allowed. No hunting or discharging of firearms is allowed. All state park rules apply and are posted at trailheads. The trail is open only during daylight hours. HORSES ARE PERMITTED ONLY ON THE WESTERN SECTION FROM THE STATE FAIRGROUNDS IN SEDALIA TO CLINTON AND IN THE MIDWEST SECTION FROM PORTLAND TO TEBBETTS.
For more information about maintenance issues, contact the following parks:
Machens to just east of Matson (MP 26.9 to MP 60.6)
Edward "Ted" and Pat Jones-Confluence Point State Park, West Alton, 636-899-1135
Matson Trailhead to just east of Portland (MP 60.6 to MP 115.9)
Graham Cave State Park, Montgomery City 573-564-3476
Portland Trailhead to just east of Boonville (MP 115.9 to MP 191.8)
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, Columbia 573-449-7402
Boonville Trailhead to Clinton (MP 191.8 to MP 264.6)
Knob Noster State Park, Knob Noster 660-563-2463
Safety Guidelines and Trail Etiquette
STAY ON THE TRAIL. Trail users should respect private property. Leaving park boundaries constitutes illegal trespassing subject to prosecution.
DO NOT CLIMB BLUFFS. All bluffs are outside trail boundaries. Many are comprised of loose rock that could cause a slip or fall, resulting in injury.
STAY AWAY FROM THE RIVER. The Missouri River is outside trail boundaries. Steep and slippery banks and very strong river currents make the area extremely dangerous.
BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. The trail passes through some remote areas and adjoins private property. Adjoining property may be used for commercial or business opportunities, quarrying, farming operations or hunting. Animals or structures located on adjoining private property may impact your use of the trail.
REMAIN SEATED WHEN CROSSING BRIDGES. The bridge railings are not designed to protect standing bicyclists.
WATCH FOR OBSTACLES ON THE TRAIL. Natural obstacles such as fallen rocks, wildlife, tree limbs, washouts and water over the trail may occasionally exist. Also watch for maintenance equipment and other vehicles on the trail.
BEWARE OF SOFT SHOULDERS. Use caution when riding on the outer edges of the trail because of possible soft shoulders.
RIGHT-OF-WAY. When approaching oncoming users, always move to the right of the trail. Always pass on the left side, and make your intentions known by announcing your approach. Bicyclists should yield to pedestrians. Everyone should yield to horseback riders. For your safety, follow these guidelines when approaching a horse and rider. Bicyclists and walkers should stop to allow the horse to pass when approaching from the opposite direction. When approaching from the rear, announce yourself and speak in a friendly tone. Follow any instructions given by the horse rider.
If you have an emergency or wish to report a law enforcement incident, contact a state park ranger by calling the sheriff’s departments in the following counties:
Henry County 660-885-5587
Pettis County 660-827-0052
Cooper County 660-882-2771
Howard County 660-248-2477
Boone County 573-442-6131
Cole County 573-634-9160
Callaway County 573-642-7291
Montgomery County 573-564-3378
Warren County 636-456-7088
St. Charles County 636-949-0809
Special Event Permits
All groups or organizations desiring to use Katy Trail State Park for a special event activity must obtain a special event permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. E-mail or call 800-334-6946 to speak with staff at the Katy Trail State Park office located in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park for information on how to obtain a special event permit.
If you enjoy the Katy Trail and wish to make a donation, boxes are located at trailheads all along Katy Trail State Park. Your contributions will be used for maintenance, repair and interpretation.