2009 Katy Trail Ride Fun Facts

at Katy Trail State Park

Day 1 - Monday, June 22, 2009 - Clinton to Pilot Grove

  • Clinton is the Henry County Seat and home to the largest town square in Missouri.
  • Lewis was once a thriving export center for coal.
  • Calhoun, founded in 1835, is the oldest town in Henry County. Pottery factories once operated here, thus the nickname Jugtown.
  • Windsor was named for the castle in England.
  • The high point of the Katy Trail is near Byson, once called Kansas City Junction. Only an old schoolhouse and a few homes remain.
  • Green Ridge was built as a railroad town between the Osage River and Lamine River watersheds.
  • Sedalia is best known for the Missouri State Fair and the one-time home of Scott Joplin, who composed the “Maple Leaf Rag” here.
  • Sedalia (1857) remains an important railroad town, as Amtrak maintains a station here. The Department of Natural Resources restored the Katy Depot (1896).

Day 2 - Tuesday, June 23, 2009 - Pilot Grove to Jefferson City

  • Pilot Grove is an 1873 town built by the railroad and named for the grove of trees used as a landmark by travelers along the Osage Trace.
  • Boonville (1817) was a frontier river port and rail station. Boonville was the site of the first Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River on June 17, 1861.
  • The Riverscene Bed and Breakfast was the 1869 home of Riverboat Captain Kinney.
  • The first newspaper west of St. Louis was printed in Franklin, which was relocated after the floods of 1826-1828.
  • It was in Franklin that the Santa Fe Trail began and Kit Carson learned the saddle-making trade before departing for the Rockies.
  • Diana Bend Conservation Area is named for the steamboat Diana that sunk here c. 1836.
  • The stone-arched Rocheport tunnel is 243 feet long.
  • 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 is a restored river port and railroad town. Antiques and bed and breakfasts dominate its commerce today.
  • Just west of Rocheport is the Jones monument erected in honor of Edward D. “Ted” Jones and the contributions he made to Katy Trail State Park.
  • 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.
  • There is a pictograph above Lewis and Clark Cave.
  • Right before McBaine, the Perche Creek Bridge is crossed. Perche is a corruption of the French word for pierce and refers to a natural bridge hidden by foliage on the bluff at 166.9.
  • Lewis and Clark camped on June 4, 1804, in the vicinity of present-day milepost 151.
  • Across the river, the state Capitol in Jefferson City (1822) can be seen from the trail.
  • A monument to the opening of the first 185 miles of Katy Trail State Park on Sept. 29, 1996, is located at the North Jefferson trailhead.

Day 3 - Wednesday, June 24, 2009 - Jefferson City to Hermann

  • Cote Sans Dessien (hill without design) was a small settlement established in 1808. Geographically, it is a lost hill not eroded by the Missouri River, 200 yards wide and 150 feet high. Members of the Sac and Fox tribes waged a major attack on the settlement in 1815.
  • Mokane is a derivative of Missouri, Kansas and Eastern Railroad.
  • One of the more impressive bridges along the Katy crosses the Auxvasse Creek (French for swamps and morasses).
  • 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.
  • A small natural arch and cave is found at 120.2.
  • Rhineland is a German-settled community. To immigrants, this area was reminiscent of the Rhine River region of Germany.
  • Riders cross the Loutre River (French for otter), where in 1815 Sac and Fox Indians killed Capt. James Callaway, for whom Callaway County is named.

Day 4 - Thursday, June 25, 2009 - Hermann to Augusta

  • McKittrick and Gore were named after financiers of the MK&E railroad.
  • Between Bernheimer and Gore is one of the most spectacular stretches of the trail.
  • Treloar is named after a Harden College professor of music.
  • Peers is a rail town named for Judge Charles Peers, an MKT attorney.
  • Charrette Creek is named for La Charrette, a small French settlement established in 1797.
  • Dutzow is an old Slavic country place name.

Day 5 - Friday, June 26, 2009 - Augusta to St. Charles

  • It was in the area of Matson that Daniel Boone and sons platted the town of Missouriton. Across the river is Tavern Cave.
  • Defiance is located less than 2 miles from Matson. It was given this name after preventing Matson from having the only nearby rail stop.
  • Femme Osage Creek is crossed and is supposedly named by a French settler who encountered a dead Osage woman in the creek.
  • St. Charles was a French settlement dating back to the mid 1700s. The historic town was also the state’s first capital before it was moved to Jefferson City.