Frequently Asked Questions

at Rock Island Trail State Park

1. Is the park open to the public?

The developed section of Rock Island Trail State Park, extending from Pleasant Hill to Windsor, is open to the public. Undeveloped sections of the trail are not open for public use, and trespassers will be prosecuted in accordance with Chapter 569, RSMo; Section 253.035; RSMo and 10 CSR 90-2.040(6).

2. What if someone comes onto my property?

Missouri State Parks takes the concerns of adjacent landowners seriously, especially with respect to the potential for intrusion onto private property. As has been the practice on the Katy Trail, it is the intent of Missouri State Parks to work cooperatively with adjacent landowners along the corridor. Missouri statutes provide protections to landowners adjacent to recreational trails. In addition to statutory protections, Missouri State Parks has worked cooperatively with landowners adjacent to Katy Trail State Park to help minimize the likelihood of trespass from the trail onto adjoining property. This was accomplished primarily by marking the boundaries of state park property with signs placed at regular intervals, which also warn trail users not to trespass. This message is also provided via signage and brochures at all trailhead information depots. Missouri State Parks will develop similar measures for Rock Island Trail State Park as well.

3. Why did Missouri State Parks take so much time to make a decision regarding the rail corridor?

The conversion of the corridor into a trail stands to be a significant project, and it was essential for Missouri State Parks to gain a further understanding of the costs, liabilities and benefits of this potential project. Additionally, as has been the experience with the Katy Trail, the development and ongoing operation and maintenance of a trail is a large responsibility that requires significant financial resources.

4. How much will it cost to build the 144 miles of undeveloped trail?

An estimated total of $100 million will ultimately be needed to fully develop the trail. The project’s funding will likely require a combination of private, public and corporate sources. Interested donors should contact the Missouri State Parks Foundation to learn more about partnering in this effort.

5. Where will the money come from to build the trail?

The project’s funding will likely require a combination of private, public and corporate sources.

6. I’m interested in making a donation. How do I get started?

You can assist with the development of Rock Island Trail State Park by making a donation to the Missouri State Parks Foundation. Click here to donate.

7. Could Missouri State Parks build the trail in sections over the years, similar to the Katy Trail?

Yes. It will not be possible to develop the trail all at once. Development of the trail will occur in sections over several years, as each section of the corridor has different features and challenges.

The development of Katy Trail State Park would not have been possible without the generosity of Ted and Pat Jones, and partnerships like this will be important for the future of Rock Island Trail State Park. As with the development of the Katy Trail, development of the Rock Island Trail will require additional partnerships and commitments.

8. How will Missouri State Parks address fencing needs for private property along the trail?

It is the intent of Missouri State Parks to work cooperatively with landowners adjacent to Rock Island Trail State Park. State law requires Missouri State Parks to maintain any fencing along the undeveloped 144-mile corridor. Missouri State Parks has been working with adjacent landowners along the corridor who have expressed interest in fencing the boundary between their property and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources right-of-way. If you are an adjacent landowner and would like to discuss fencing options, please call or text 573-489-8780 or send an email to

9. I farm on both sides of the tracks. How do I get my livestock and farm equipment across the trail?

Missouri State Parks has entered into agreements with adjacent landowners to accommodate these types of requests and are currently working with landowners along the undeveloped 144-mile corridor. A gate crossing system has been developed to close off the trail to allow the movement of cattle from one side of the trail to the other.

10. Will private crossings still exist?

Yes. Missouri State Parks will honor any preexisting real estate agreements between landowners and Missouri Central Railroad. Missouri State Parks will work with landowners to develop new agreements to allow crossings, access and occupations of the corridor where needed upon request.

11. Once the park is developed, will motorized vehicles be allowed on the trail?

All motorized equipment is prohibited except official and emergency vehicles. Electrically assisted pedal-powered bicycles and tricycles will be allowed at a maximum speed of 20 mph on developed sections of the trail. In addition, electrically powered mobility devices, such as Segways and electric golf carts, will be allowed for people with disabilities. Gas-powered vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles and off-road vehicles, are prohibited.