What was once the MKT (Missouri-Kansas-Texas) railroad,The Katy Trail State Park has so much to explore on foot, by bike, or on some stretches, horseback. The trail runs 240 miles over 14 counties. Get out and see the state in a whole new way.

Photo by Missouri State Parks and Dennis Coello.

IT’S LONG BUT ONLY 100 FEET WIDE! That’s an odd shape for a state park, but that’s the Katy Trail. An abandoned railroad converted into a state park, it stretches almost entirely across Missouri, sometimes squeezed in tight between towering stone bluffs on one side and the Missouri River on the other. For hikers, bicyclists, and on some stretches, equestrians, it is a path through both nature and history, leading to historic and picturesque villages and even into several larger cities, where you can find your own dining and lodging options. Of all the units in the Missouri park system, Katy Trail State Park offers the most varied mixture of cultural and natural resources.

The park was built on the former corridor of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) Railroad, better known as the Katy. It is the longest rail-to-trail conversion out of more than 1,600 such conversions throughout the nation. Trail users travel through some of the most scenic parts of the state, through dense forest, wetlands, deep valleys, remnant prairies, open pastureland, and rolling farm fields. Although the scenery changes, the trail remains fairly level with gentle grades. Surely no other such trail can match the Katy for the historical significance and sheer magnificence of the Missouri River corridor—the pathway for the exploration and settlement of the American West. 

The Katy runs through dense forests, lush wetlands, deep valleys, steep hills, towering bluffs, remnant prairies, open pasturelands, and gently rolling farm fields. 240 miles across 14 counties.

There is hiking, biking, equestrian trails, and picnic areas. 

Hundreds of bicyclists participate in parks-sponsored Katy Trail events. Missouri State Park. The trail provides either solitary or social exercise or a 240-mile adventure exploring towns along the way. You can see some of the finest seasonal colors in the state from the seat of your bicycle.

240 miles across 14 counties

For more information visit MoStateParks.com/park/katy-trail-state-park

For information on the Big BAM ride on the Katy Trail (sponsored by Missouri Life) visit BigBamRide.com/bam-on-the-katy

To read more about the Katy Trail Landowners then and now visit MissourLlife.com/katy-trail-landowners-then-and-now/

To order our Missouri State Parks Special Edition book click here: Missouri-life.myshopify.com/products/pre-sale-missouri-state-parks-special-edition