Whether you’re interested in a relaxing bike ride or a five-day trek, the Katy Trail offers something for everyone to enjoy. The nation’s longest rails-to-trails project stretches across the state of Missouri between Machens and Clinton and conveniently winds less than two miles North of Hermann. When you’re in an adventurous mood and ready to blaze new paths, here are some important things to know about the Katy Trail.
The Katy Trail History
During the glory days of train travel, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad, also known as Katy, operated its way across the states. In 1986, the railroad ended its operation to Machens. However, this was a blessing in disguise as it offered the state the opportunity to transform the abandoned railways into a recreational heaven. Thanks to the generous donations of Edward D. Jones, the Katy Trail was able to undergo construction. Today, the trail is a popular pathway for hikers, bikers, and even horseback riders as it twists its way through some of Missouri’s most beautiful locations.
The Katy Trail Features
If you’re embarking on the trail, Hermann is a great place to start! Located just across the river, you’ll find a trailhead at mile marker 100.8, about two miles north of Hermann. From here you’ll be able to follow the paved path east toward Augusta or west in the direction of Portland. No matter which way you decide to travel, you’ll find plenty of activities accented by gorgeous views! Here are some of the things you’ll be able to enjoy along your journey:
It’s no surprise one of the most scenic trails in the nation also has interesting wildlife to accompany it. Some of the animals you may encounter on the ground include deer, raccoons, mink, beavers, and opossums. You’ll also find an abundance of birds if you look to the skies! Make sure to bring your binoculars along in case you spot a bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, chickadees, or woodpeckers. The shores along the river are also great places to find waterfowls, blue herons, and sandpipers.
Although the Katy Trail has its own rich history, many more stories were made along the path long before the railroad was even built. Lewis and Clark and Daniel Boone were some of the famous historical figures who trekked down the trail many years ago, and the historical markers you’ll find will tell you all about the people who once stood where you tread. Just off the trail in Matson, you’ll find the home of Daniel Boone! You will also discover the history of the trail’s importance during WWI and WWII.
The Katy Trail Events
During most the year, there are plenty of events to participate in on the trail! If you’re visiting this summer, the St. Charles Riverfest or Missouri State Fair may be well worth a visit! In the winter, don’t miss a chance to get into the holiday spirit at the Augusta Christmas Candlelight Walk! Check the Katy Trail Calendar for a full list of events!
If you wish to start planning your journey, the Katy Trail map will help you get started!
If Your Adventure Leads You Through Hermann, Relax and Rejuvenate With Us
Whether you are starting down the trail in Hermann or just passing through, a comforting stay at our upscale bed and breakfast is in order. Providing endless amenities in our inn suites and Riverbluff Cottages, relaxing spa packages, and personalized dining, we are the best choice for a memorable overnight stay or luxury vacation.
Photo Credit: marekuliasz / Thinkstock