Traveling Missouri's Scenic Katy Trail

Katy Trail State Park – America’s longest rail-to-trail project – runs across the midsection of Missouri, offering a nearly level route for cyclists. The trail, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is a perfect place for a nature-filled journey that includes many great destinations along the way.

Cyclists can enjoy scenic views all year long: lush green forests and fields in the spring and summer, vibrant colors in the fall, and – once the leaves have fallen – unobstructed views of river banks and towering rock bluffs during the winter.

The 240-mile route takes travelers from tiny bergs to bustling towns – some located just off the trail, others a short ride away. Cyclists can ride along the Missouri River, through wine country and across rolling farm land. They’ll find historic hotels, bed-and-breakfast inns, casual and gourmet dining, shops, and more.

Twenty-six trailheads and four fully restored train depots make it easy to hop on the trail for a short excursion or head out on a multi-day trip.

Here are just few stops you won’t want to miss:

St. Charles – With a 16-block historic district, St. Charles is filled with history and charm. Located just east of St. Louis on the Missouri River, the town – founded by French fur traders in 1769 – was home to Missouri’s first state capitol. It’s also where Lewis and Clark launched their journey to explore the Louisiana Purchase. Visitors will find a wide array of shops, restaurants and lodging options.

Defiance – The unincorporated community of Defiance is a gateway to Missouri wine country. Wineries thrive on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River and the surrounding area. Defiance also has a rich history of Indian, river and railroad lore and is the site of Daniel Boone’s final home.

Hermann – Located across the Missouri River from the Katy Trail, Hermann is a historic 19th century German village and home to a wine trail featuring seven local family-owned wineries, a State Historic Site, and numerous lodging and dining options. Before Prohibition, the area was among the largest wine-producing regions in the world. 

Rocheport – In central Missouri, limestone bluffs and an old railroad tunnel on the trail set the stage for a stop in the tiny town of Rocheport. A number of artists and craftsmen have set up shop in the area, which also is home to bed and breakfasts, several restaurants and a winery with expansive Missouri River views.

Sedalia – The restored historic train depot in Sedalia was once the center of this railroad town. The depot houses a welcome center and is a full-service Katy Trail trailhead with bicycle sales, service and rentals. The town plays host to the Missouri State Fair every summer.


Media Contact

Liz Coleman, PR Specialist, [email protected]
View and download assets, visit Missouri Media Hub

If you publish anything as the result of any Missouri Divison of Tourism's story ideas, please let us know so we can share your work across our social media platforms and say thank you!