Cyclists, hikers, equestrians and outdoor enthusiasts have come to the Katy Trail for over 30 years to enjoy the longest developed rails-to-trails project in the country. Built on the former corridor of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, the trail stretches for just about 240 miles between Machens, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers in eastern Missouri, and Clinton, just a stone’s throw from Truman Lake.
History of the Katy Trail
More than 100 years ago, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT), often called the Katy, carried passengers and cargo along the banks of the Missouri River, cutting through the state from east to west before heading to destinations south and west. In the 1980s, the railroad track was severely damaged by flooding and was subsequently abandoned by the railway. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources acquired the right of way to develop Katy Trail State Park. Since then, restaurants, inns, rest areas and other services have sprung up to help visitors get the most out of their time on the trail.
How Long is the Katy Trail?
The Katy Trail winds through Missouri for nearly 240 miles, with much of its path following the Missouri River. In addition to the longest river in North America, you’ll also pass by towering bluffs, leafy canopies and over 20 charming small towns.