Family Weekender: St. Louis

Katy Trail State Park
By Gary Lantz
Go Guide: Katy Trail State Park

Activities: Walking, hiking, backpacking, jogging, biking, birding, nature study, sketching, photography.

Age Levels: All ages.

Hours from St. Louis: One hour to several hours, depending upon where you choose to access the trail.

Getting There: For a map of trail access points, visit This site charts public access points and availability of public services.

Contact: For information on trail mileage, visit, or call the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-334-6946 for a free brochure.

Reference: Missouri Hiking Trails by Ramon Gass. Distributed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 1-800-334-6946.

Extra Treats: Check out the Jefferson City historic riverfront district near the State Capital Complex, just across the river from the midway access to the Katy Trail.


The Katy Trail system is an great asset for every Missouri family who likes to hike, bike, stroll or soak in the beauty of the fabled Missouri River valley.

The Katy follows the old Katy Railroad route stretching from Clinton to St. Charles, Missouri, covering 225 miles. Inclines are gentle and the panoramas can be spectacular. Since the old railroad tracks often clung to the bottom of limestone bluffs overlooking the broad Missouri, hikers and bikers find themselves splitting the difference between some awesome rock sculpture and the surge of one of the nation's mightiest rivers.

This extensive trail system also connects quaint Missouri towns at regular intervals. Many of these communities offer trail access, parking, food, bike rental, public telephones, camping, lodging and restrooms.

Autumn and early winter are among the best of times to explore the Katy system. Humidity is lower, vistas are broader and temperatures are often excellent for a vigorous few hours, days or weeks along this outstanding Missouri trailway.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 17 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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