Missouri State Parks invites you to explore the world of nature our state has to offer. Read our stories and find a state park that's close to you.

10 tips for riding the Katy

  1. Choose the right length. Twenty to 30 miles is a good day ride for a weekend cyclist. Forty to 50 is for regular riders. Anything over that is for hardcore bikers.
  2. The packed gravel of the Katy is fine for all bikes. A mountain bike is great, and the “hybrids” in which riders sit more upright on cushy seats are comfortable.
  3. A helmet is recommended whenever riding a bicycle. However, it is not required on the Katy.
  4. The Katy is busy on pretty weekends during the spring, summer and fall near the popular trailheads such as St. Charles, Defiance, Rocheport and Sedalia. Ride during the week and you’ll have the trail to yourself.
  5. The east end near St. Charles has the best shops, the Defiance-to-Dutzow stretch runs through Missouri’s wine country, the McKittrick-to-Treloar run has the best river scenery and Sedalia has the best depot.
  6. The Katy is family-friendly, an easy ride for the smallest of children. The biggest hazard would be not paying attention and running off the side into the brush.
  7. If you want to share information with, or ask questions of, Katy Trail riders, visit www.bikekatytrail.com.
  8. Two great restaurants on the Katy Trail are Abigail’s at Rocheport and Glenn’s Café at Boonville.
  9. The Katy Trail is great for wildlife watching. You may see bald eagles, turkey vultures, Canada geese, red foxes, fox squirrels, turtles, black snakes and a variety of songbirds. All wildlife is protected, leave it alone.
  10. The trail has redbuds, dogwoods and woodland wildflowers in the spring, and summer brings an array of sunflowers. The trail is ablaze in color each autumn.