Missouri: Katy Trail Tour
8 Day Inn Bike Tour
Come join us on a tour that is mostly flat and a historian’s paradise. The Katy Trail is the country's longest rail trail and is beautifully graded in finely crushed limestone over hard-packed dirt. It's been a favorite among cyclists for decades. We'll cycle its entire 240 miles, so you'll be able to explore the historic towns along the way and appreciate the beauty found along the Mighty Mo Missouri River.
The first 6 women to sign up receive 5% discounts.
Flat terrain on one of the longest and finest crushed stone rail trails in the country. Average 43 miles per day. Leisurely to moderate cycling level. We recommend riding a bike with tires at least 32c wide.
7 nights lodging, 7 breakfasts, 6 dinners, daily snacks, vehicular support, luggage transfer, mechanical support, cue sheets and electronic GPS files, and trained guides.
$195 for Specialized Vita hybrid, Specialized Sirrus hybrid or Cannondale Topstone 2 adventure road bike. $350 for Gazelle T10 Ultimate low-step e-bike or Specialized Vado step-thru e-bike.
Fly into Kansas City, MO and out of St. Louis, MO. From the Kansas City airport, WomanTours will provide a 90-minute shuttle at 12:00pm to our starting hotel for $75 per person. At the end of the tour, you can take a 20-minute taxi to the St. Louis airport. You can also fly round-trip to St. Louis or drive and leave your car near our ending hotel in St. Charles. WomanTours will provide a 4-hour shuttle from St. Louis to our starting hotel in Kansas City for $100 per person on the day before the tour starts. You would be responsible for your own hotel room for this extra night before the tour begins.
Katy Trail Bike Tour Itinerary
DAY 1: We start our tour with a rental bike fitting, an orientation and then dinner together. Our hotel in Clinton, MO is about an hour from downtown Kansas City, but only two miles from the start of the Katy Trail. 0 miles.
DAY 2: After a hearty breakfast, we leave Clinton and hop on the Katy Trail. Before farms and cattle ranches were established, this leg of the original Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (called MKT or Katy for short) used to be prairie land, and you will cycle through miles of restored tallgrass vegetation like big bluestem and golden compass plant. It’s the perfect environment for birdwatching. Look out for the ground-dwelling killdeer and the ground-feeding Eastern Meadowlark.
Before we reach our hotel in Sedalia, be sure to check out the Katy Depot for its excellent exhibit on railroad history and perhaps more importantly, the best gift shop on the trail. 41 miles, +794'/-659'.
DAY 3: Today’s route offers a change in scenery as we cycle from the Osage Plains to the Ozark borderlands. Expect a bit of gently rolling terrain through pastures, row crops, woods and river bottom country. Our final destination is Boonville, a historic river town with more than 450 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 35 miles, +940'/-1066'.
DAY 4: Our trail companion for much of today will be the Missouri River, nicknamed the Big Muddy because of the enormous amount of silt and sentiment it transports. The longest river in North America, the Missouri was vital in the push toward westward expansion. Lewis & Clark traveled along this stretch of the Missouri, carefully recording details of the breathtaking Manitou Bluffs and rock drawings made by Native Americans. We’ll actually see a pictograph above a cave that is named after the explorers.
The day’s ride also takes us through the Katy Trail’s sole railroad tunnel before we call it a day in Jefferson City, the state’s capital. The Capitol building, perched on a bluff over the Missouri River, is photo-worthy. 57 miles. +1308'/-1543'.
DAY 5: The people who live along the Missouri have the river to thank for the rich bottom-land soil that supports its farming. Today’s ride showcases an abundance of soybean and corn fields, but the Missouri can also bring misery -- when it floods. We’ll observe a measurement of the worst floods of the 20th century when we pass Standing Rock, a boulder-like remnant from the area bluffs where record flood levels were marked.
The ride breaks in Hermann, a town known for its German heritage as well as its vineyards and wineries that proliferate in this region. You can sip a local wine with dinner tonight. 48 miles, +1096/-1118'.
DAY 6: Still in the heart of Missouri’s Rhineland region, today’s cycling unfolds with miles of dolomite bluffs, fertile farmland, hardwood forests, and of course, the Mighty Mo.
Before reaching our hotel in Washington, we pass through Marthasville, where pioneer Daniel Boone was originally buried. His body was later moved to Kentucky, but whether the correct body was exhumed remains controversial. Monuments mark both sites just to be sure. 36 miles, +1035'/-987'.
DAY 7: Forests and river bottomland fill the frame of our final day of cycling. There is an option to ride all the way to Machens, there the Katy Trail eastern terminus lies, or call it the tour’s end in St. Charles, where in 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark began their pioneering to the Pacific Ocean. We will toast our own adventure on the Katy Trail with a celebratory dinner tonight. 42 or 67 miles, +1028'/-1144'.
Day 8: Everyone is free to leave at her leisure today. Take a 20-minute taxi to the St. Louis airport if you’re flying. Find your car near our final hotel if you’re driving. Missouri will miss you! 0 miles.
- Katy Trail State Park
- Missouri River
- Manitou Bluffs
- Lewis & Clark cave and pictograph
- Standing Rock
- Missouri Wine District
- Historic St. Charles, former state capital
- Traffic-free cycling on secluded trail through woods, prairies, farmland