Set Out on a Great Adventure Across Missouri

This article is presented in partnership with Visit Missouri.

Hi, I’m Missouri, but you can call me Mo. I’m excited to show you one of the most marvelous outdoor attractions in the state, the Katy Trail State Park.

Katy Trail State Park. Photo Courtesy of Visit Missouri.

The former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad — nicknamed the K-T, or Katy for short was converted into a crushed-limestone path for hiking, running and cycling. At 240 miles, it’s the longest developed rail-to-trail project in the United States.

Meriwether Café and Bike Shop. Photo courtesy of Visit Missouri.

From cycling enthusiasts who love adventurous treks to families looking for a casual bike ride, the Katy Trail accommodates activities for all. There are more than 30 access points along the trail, many of them near family-owned businesses that offer bike rentals, refreshments, dining and lodging. Most of the trail follows closely along the Missouri River from Machens to Boonville before it departs the river and turns south, ending in Clinton. 

The Katy Trail is a delightful way to take in a variety of scenery. Pass through thick, leafy enclaves that unveil to wide-open, grassy fields as far as the eye can see. The trail follows part of the Lewis and Clark Trail, where limestone bluffs tower over the path, and meander past small towns. Since the trail was once a railway, enjoy historic depots, old train cars, and rustic bridges and stone tunnels.

Katy Trail State Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Missouri.

Much of the charm of the Katy Trail comes from the stops made along the way. More than 30 wineries, 80 bed-and-breakfast establishments, countless antique shops and artist studios can be found in towns along the trail. 

For those seeking a taste of authentic Missouri vintage, find clusters of vineyards and wineries in the Augusta and Hermann areas. Both cities have plenty of warm hospitality, so plan on exploring a while and take advantage of several options for an overnight stay. In Hermann, immerse yourself in German American culture while taking in the traditional architecture and amazing vineyards and restaurants.

Augusta Winery. Photo courtesy of Visit Missouri.

Farther west on the trail toward the middle of the state, you will find yourself just north of the state capital, Jefferson City. Pushing on from there, experience a scenic 40 mile stretch to Rocheport. This quaint, small town has a historic district, antiques shops and B&B’s. 

If you keep following the trail, you will arrive in Sedalia, which formerly operated as a major hub of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, and is also the home of the Missouri State Fair. A must-see is the Katy Depot, a national historic landmark built in 1896 out of limestone from the nearby Georgetown quarry.

Katy Depot. Photo courtesy of Visit Missouri.

An alternate activity on the Katy Trail between Sedalia and Clinton is horseback riding. Horses are prohibited on most portions of the trail, making this 35-mile path a special treat for equestrians to enjoy along with their fellow hikers and cyclists. The trailhead parking lots on this stretch are more spacious to accommodate trucks with horse trailers.

Katy Trail State Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Missouri.

Make your plans to explore today the trail is calling. Start your Katy Trail journey at