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2001 Katy Trail Ride

at Katy Trail State Park

Day 1

Date: Monday, June 18
Breakfast: Bagels, muffins, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, cereal, coffee, orange juice, milk
Start: Clinton, Mo.
Finish: Pilot Grove, Mo.
Mileage: 61 miles
Supper: Smoked brisket, baked chicken and rice, parsley potatoes, carrots, green beans, rolls, homemade cake, tea, and lemonade
Activities: Historic Building Tour and Free Swimming at the Pilot Grove Pool

Trail Features (Taken from the rider's daily map booklet.)

Clinton to Calhoun: Clinton (1837) is the Henry County seat and home to the largest town square in Missouri. From Clinton, the trail is within site of Highway 52 for 5.5 miles to Lewis - a once thriving export center for coal. There are no services in Lewis. Next is Calhoun, the oldest town in Henry Co., founded in 1835. Pottery factories once operated here, thus the nickname Jugtown. Calhoun is home to the annual Colt Show, and a side trip to the town's square is of interest. Services are limited, but a SAG stop is provided at the trailhead, located a short distance up a secondary trail on the right at 255.5. From here, Windsor, the trail is generally wooded as it briefly leaves prairie and enters the western limits of the Ozark hills.
Calhoun to Sedalia: Windsor (1855), named for the castle in England, has many services. Visit the info depot at the trail head for history and a guide to the town. The high point (243.8) of Katy Trail is just beyond the SAG at Bryson, once called Kansas City Junction. Only an old schoolhouse and a few homes remain. Much of this stretch is undergoing prairie restoration. Green Ridge (1870) was built as a railroad town between the Osage River and Lamine River watersheds. A convenience store and bank are located north at the crossing of Highway 125. A great place to take a break can be found at Clover Dell Park and lake. Look for the spur trail on your left at 231.8. The equestrian parking area (229.9) on the outskirts of Sedalia is the next SAG stop. There you will find directions to the area restaurants along Highway 65 N. and Highway 50 W., as well as downtown west of the depot (SAG stop).
Sedalia to Pilot Grove: Sedalia (1857) remains an important rail town. Amtrak maintains a station here, and the Katy Depot (1896) was recently restored by the Department of Natural Resources. Sedalia is best known for the Missouri State Fair and one-time home of Scott Joplin, who composed the "Maple Leaf Rag" here. Beyond Beaman, the trail enters an alternating series of deep road cuts and fills, revealing the rugged landscape. A SAG stop is provided at Clifton City (1873). Take time to view the old buildings just up from the trail head. Just out of town (214.2), note the old through-truss railroad bridge and the Mount Moriah vehicle bridge (1913) to the left (downriver). Don't miss the only remaining signal light on the trail at 213.2. As the trail comes along side the Lamine River, watch for the Sweeny Quarry on your right at 212.7, For a quick side trip to historic Pleasant Green, take a left at the 210.9 road crossing and follow the dirt road 1/3-mile to Highway 135. The 1825 Methodist Church is on the right, and on the left you will encounter the cemetery. Some distance away is the century-old hexagonal barn. Nearby is the c. 1820s plantation home. Turn right on Highway 135 and return 3/4 mile to the trail. 

Day 2

Date: Tuesday, June 19
Breakfast: Pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit, cereal, coffee, juice and milk
Start: Pilot Grove, Mo.
Finish: Columbia, Mo.
Mileage: 43 miles
Supper: The cyclists were given meal vouchers to use at various restaurants in downtown Columbia.
Activities: Swimming at Twin Lakes and Free shuttle to/from downtown Columbia

Trail Features (Taken from the rider's daily map booklet.)

Pilot Grove to Boonville: Pilot Grove (1873) was built by the railroad and named for the grove of trees used as a landmark by travelers along the Osage Trace. Pilot Grove to Boonville is considered by many to be the most strenuous section of trail. Here bicyclists negotiate the northern foothills of the Ozark Plateau. The never-populated and nearly forgotten community of Prairie Lick is passed at 197. The only overhead crossing of Interstate 70 is at 196. Riders make their final decent into Boonville and the Missouri River valley on Lard Hill. For information and free tour, stop at the department's historic depot, as well as the Katy Caboose Museum. Caboose tours will be offered from 8 a.m. to noon.
Boonville to Rocheport: Boonville (1817) was a frontier river port and rail station. Over 400 structures are on the National Register of Historic Places. Boonville was the site of the first Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River on June 17, 1861. Take Spring Street east to Main (Fifth) Street then north on Highway 5 to the Boonslick Bridge. Note the Katy lift-span bridge up river and look for the 1869 home of Riverboat Captain Kinney on your right, now the Riverscene Bed and Breakfast. The trail leaves Boonslick Bridge and crosses Highway 87 to the 1816 site of Franklin. It was here that the Santa Fe Trail began, and Kit Carson learned the saddlemaking trade before departing for the Rockies. The first newspaper west of St. Louis was printed in Franklin, which was relocated after the floods of 1826-28. At 189.1, take time to see the Katy Roundhouse and old switching yard. New Franklin (188.2) has basic services. Look for Pearsons (1921) elevator constructed of tile at 184.5. A SAG stop is provided at Davisdale Conservation Area (182.1). Diana Bend Conservation Area (180.0) is named for the steamboat Diana that sunk here circa 1836. The next highlight is the west-end of the Big Manitou Bluffs and the Rocheport Tunnel (1893) at 178.9. The Lewis and Clark expedition encountered curious paintings and carvings on this bluff as well as a den of rattlesnakes on June 7, 1804.
Rocheport to Columbia: Rocheport (1825) is a restored river port and railroad town. Antiques and B&Bs dominate its commerce today. Beyond the depot is the continuation of the Big Manitou Bluffs and great views along the Missouri River. Note the Joned monument, erected in honor of Edward D. "Ted" Jones and the contributions he made to the development of Katy Trail State Park. Across from the first bench out of Rocheport (177.9), look for the spring (dated 1908) and the MKT logo on the bluff. Less than half-a-mile later, you can view the railroad's explosives bunker against the bluff. Hidden up the creek drainage at 174.9 is the once popular Boone Cave, once a tour cave and now owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Look for a pictograph above Lewis and Clark at 174.4. Huntsdale (1892) is encountered at 171.7, but there are no services. For a quick side trip at 170.8, travel right down to the paved road to see the Missouri state champion bur oak, and return. A SAG stop is provided at Hindman Junction (169.9). From there, travel up the MKT Trail into Columbia (1819), Boone County's seat and home of the University of Missouri's main campus. 

Day 3

Date: Wednesday, June 20
Breakfast: Muffins, bagels, cinnamon rolls, yogurt, fresh fruit, cereal, coffee, juice and milk
Start: Columbia, Mo.
Finish: Mokane, Mo.
Mileage: 53 miles
Supper: Smoked Brisket, (Broccoli/Rice Casserole), Pasta Salad, Green Beans, Salad, Bread/Rolls, Homemade Pies, Tea, Lemonade
Activities: Free shuttle to/from downtown Jefferson City
Lewis and Clark evening program

Trail Features (Taken from the rider's daily map booklet.)

Columbia to Wilton: Return to the Katy Trail via the MKT Trail. A SAG stop and brief talk interpretive talk are provided at Hindman Junction. Turn south to continue the ride across the Perche Creek breidge. Perche is a corruption of the French word for Pierce and refers to a natural bridge hidden by foliage on the bluff at 169.9. McBaine (169.7) is named for Turner McBaine - a world class cattleman. Providence site (1844) is encountered at 165.5. It was a popular river port community prior to the Civil War and was where the main route from the river to Columbia began. A short side trip here into the conservation access will provide another view of the Missouri River. In this vicinity, Lewis and Clark repaired their mast on June 6, 1804. The wreck of the steamboat Plowboy occurred near 163.7. Cooper's Landing (163.5) has basic supplies. Easley (162.4) was built by the railroad and named after its postmaster. Lewis and Clark camped on June 5, 1804 in the vicinity of 161.2. A SAG stop is provided at Wilton (157.4). Look for teepees!
Wilton to North Jefferson: Spectacular views of the Missouri River are had just outside of Wilton, as the trail and the county road hug the east bank. Eventually, the river bends west and prime agricultural lands dominate the view to the right as the trail runs below steep bluffs on the left. Riders enter Hartsburg over the 1899 through-span bridge and creek named after the town's original landowner. Hartsburg was built in 1883 by the Missouri, Kansas and Eastern Railroad (precursor to the Katy). An office is maintained at the trailhead by a Katy Trail State Park ranger. Hartsburg (153.6) offers a bicycle shop, cafe and hotel, and hosts the annual Pumpkin Festival. Lewis and Clark camped June 4, 1804 in the vicinity of present-day milepost 151. A mile farther, Claysville (1844) is reached. The Claysville store is the only trail-related business. A great rest area along the river waits at 147.4. Other notable features prior to North Jefferson include the 1927 through-span bridge over Cedar Creek at 146.8 and the 1926 steel bridge at 143.8 over Turkey Creek. A monument to the opening of the first 185 miles of Katy Trail on Sept. 29, 1996, is located at the North Jefferson trailhead, A SAG stop is provided there.
North Jefferson to Mokane: Across the river, the state Capitol in Jefferson City (1822) can be seen from the trail for several miles. There are no bike lanes across the Highway 54/63 bridge. Beyond the Highway 54 overpass, note the dramatic bluffs consisting of Jefferson City dolomite. From here to Mokane, Highway 94 is almost always within view. Lewis and Clark camped south of present-day 236.3. Near there (south of 134) is the Cote Sans Dessien (hill without design), a small settlement established in 1808. Members of the Sac and Fox tribes waged a major attack on the settlement in April 1815. Geographically, it is a lost hill not eroded by the Missouri River. It is a mile long, 200 yards wide and 150 feet high, Tebbetts is reached at 131.3 and retains much of its early railroad landscape. A SAG stop is provided at the trailhead. The 1928 steel through span bridge over the Middle River is reached at 128.7. Mokane is derivative of Missouri, Kansas and Eastern Railroad. The campsite is located immediately north of the trailhead at 125. 

Day 4

Date: Thursday, June 21, 2001
Breakfast: Pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit, cereal, coffee, juice and milk
Start: Mokane, Mo.
Finish: Marthasville, Mo.
Mileage: 48 Miles
Supper: Turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, bread, cake, tea and lemonade
Activities: Free shuttle to/from Blumenhoff Winery
Closing Ceremony and Awards
Music under the pavilion

Trail Features (Taken from the rider's daily map booklet.)

Mokane to Bluffton: Shortly beyond the trailhead, Katy Trail rejoins and parallels Highway 94 to the Auxvasse River. One of the more impressive bridges along the Katy is here at 122.2. The Auxvasse River (French for swamps or morasses) divides the eastern and middle management sections of the trail. On May 31, 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition described the eastern woodrat, a species new to science, in the vicinity south of present-day 122.1. Steedman (pronounced Stedman) was built by the railroad around 1893 and is named for another of the company's financiers. Steedman's Only Bar & Restaurant (a.k.a. S.O.B.) is the only business in town at 121.4. Take time to read the flood markings on a huge boulder immediately left of the trail at 120.4. A small natural arch and cave is found at 120.2. After crossing Highway 94 at 117.3, the trail is isolated from the highway for the next 6 miles offering a more wildernesslike experience. Portland is reached at 115.9. The Riverfront Bar, located just left of the trailhead, is the only business in town. East of town, the bluffs tower 230 feet above the river and trail. Bottomland forest, islands and secondary river channels can be seen on the left between 114.5 - 112.0. Little Tavern Creek is reached at 114.4. Excellent views of the main river channel below the bluffs continue at 111.9. Bluffton and Highway 94 are encountered at 110.9. Continue 1/3-mile across the highway to Steamboat Junction and a SAG stop.
Bluffton to Treloar: Katy Trail and Highway 94 run parallel into Rhineland, a German-settled community. To the immigrants, this area was reminiscent of the Rhine River region of Germany. Note the architecture of the Church of the Risen Savior just north of the trail at 105.1. Another picturesque church, St. Marcus, is located adjacent to the trail at 104.3. Between Rhineland and McKittrick (especially 102.0), look southeast through open vistas and across the river to the gothic architecture of Hermann (1836). Riders cross the Loutre River (French for Otter) where in 1815 Sac and Fox Indians killed Captain James Callaway, for whom Callaway County is named. A SAG stop is provided at the McKittrick trailhead, milepost 100.8. McKittrick is railroad town named after one of the financiers of the MK&E RR, as was Gore, an even smaller rail stop at 93.8. The small rail community of Case is reached at 96.9. From here, Highway 94 departs the valley, while Katy Trail enters one of the most spectacular stretches of the state park. Superb bluff and river views are found between 93.2 and Bernheimer, 89.0. Bernheimer was a once-prominent steamboat stop. Highway 94 is rejoined at 87.6 and parallels the trail into Treloar (84.8). Treloar (1892) is named after a Harden College professor of music and today has few services. Its two abandoned elevators remain as a testament to a once-important railroad economy.
Treloar to Marthasville: From Treloar to 1 mile west of Peers, the trail and Highway 94 remain separate. Peers is a rail town (c. 1893) named for Judge Charles Peers, an MKT attorney. The Glossmeyer Store and a few homes provide a quaint welcome to Peers. Other than the soda machine, don't count on finding services. Riders cross Charetter Creek at 80.0, which is named for La Charette on May 25, 1804, and noted that it consisted of seven houses and as many families. Soon after the tunnel under Highway 47 (milepost 78.1), look left to see the old caboose, now serving frozen custard. Marthasville (1818) is reached at 77.7. Town founder, Dr. John Young, named the town after his wife. Marthasville has many trail services including a bike shop, restaurant and bed and breakfasts. Although nearly collapsed, the old depot can be seen just prior to the grain storage bins and trailhead. To see the Daniel Boone Monument and one-time gravesite of this great American frontiersman, take First Street to D Highway. for approximately 1 mile. Turn right onto Loop/Bluff Road, and stay on Bluff Road. Look for the Boone monument on your left. After viewing the monument, continue on Bluff Road a short distance to Monument Road on your right. Take this road a tenth of a mile to the crossing of Katy Trail at 75.8. To return to Marthasville, turn right. To continue to Dutzow, turn left. 

Day 5

Date: Friday, June 22, 2001
Breakfast: Eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, cereal, coffee, juice and milk
Start: Marthasville, Mo.
Finish: St. Charles, Mo.
Mileage: 38 miles
Lunch: Turkey sandwich, potato chips, pickle, cookie and soda

Trail Features (Taken from the rider's daily map booklet.)

Marthasville to Matson: Dutzow (1835) is an old Slavic county placename. The trailhead (74.0) is located adjacent to the Dutzow Deli. A short distance east on Highway 94 will take you to the town's few businesses and post office. One of the many wineries in this region is reached at 73.6, Blumenhof Winery & Vineyard. At 71.0, glance right to see the skyline of Washington (1822). The old rail stop of Nona is reached at 69.6. One of the more popular stops along the Katy is German-influenced Augusta (1836) at 66.3. A few storefronts can be viewed from the trail head and SAG stop, but most of the town is located uphill and offers restaurants, vineyards, gift stores, bike rental and B&Bs. Riders reach the concrete silos, once used to store sand that was mined from the river of Klondike at 64.1. The Labadie Coal burning powerplant can be seen to the right. For the next mile, bluffs and bottomland forest offer one last wilderness experience before the trail parallels Highway 94 again at 62.8. Matson is reached at 60.6. It was in this area that Daniel Boone and sons platted the town of Missouritown, which was encountered by Lewis and Clark on May 23, 1804, and was soon lost to the Missouri River. Across the river is Tavern Cave.
Matson to St. Charles: Defiance is located less than 2 miles from Matson. It was given this name after preventing Matson from having the only nearby rail stop. Note the store (1898) immediately east of the parking area at the trail head in Defiance (58.9). Femme Osage Creek is crossed at 57.4, supposedly named by a French settler who encountered a dead Osage woman in the creek. A spur road at 56.7 leads to the U.S. Department of Energy's Weldon Spring Site, originally used by the U.S. Army as an ordnance works in the 1940s. Weldon Spring trailhead and SAG stop is reached at 56.0. Continuing east, the trail runs through bottomland forest and between bluff and river. A trail to the 385-acre Weldon Spring Natural Area is encountered at 53.5. Prior to reaching the Highway 40/61 overpass, riders will encounter concrete structures associated with the quarry operation and the one-time rail stop of Weldon Spring. Greens Bottom trail head and SAG stop is reached at 45.7. Take the spur trail on the right across the road to a prairie demonstration area. Riders cross (under) I-70 for the third and final time at 40.1, and reach the depot in Frontier Park and end of the ride at 39.1. Historic downtown St. Charles (1769) is one block north and features First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site, and many restaurants and antique stores.