A Cycling Journey: The Katy Trail Across Missouri

Bike America’s longest “rails-to-trails” project, the Katy Trail, learning about the MKT Railroad, Lewis and Clark and visiting the region’s historic sites and towns.
Rating (4.91)
Program No. 12693RJ
8 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Bike along the Missouri River and through dense forest, prairies, rolling farmland and wetlands as you cover up to 188 miles of the 240-mile Katy Trail, America's longest “rails-to-trails” project. A protected state park, the Katy Trail follows 240 miles of the former Missouri- Kansas- Texas (MKT) Railroad Corridor from St. Charles to Clinton. Enjoy expert-led educational sessions on the fascinating history that surrounds this storied trail.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Biking 26-51 miles daily on relatively flat, gravel terrain. Elevation of 500 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Bike along the scenic Katy Trail — often with the Missouri River on one side and bluffs on the other.
  • Learn about MKT Railroad history, the Missouri River and the journey of Lewis and Clark.
  • Visit Herman's Deutschheim State Historic Site and explore the culture of the Midwest in towns along the trail.

General Notes

Select dates are designated for small groups and are limited to 24 participants or less. Participants must bring own helmet and may bring own bike or choose bike-rental option at added cost. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Undaunted Courage, Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
by Stephen Ambrose
Ambrose recreates the high adventure and politics of late 18th-century America in this classic history, rich in details of Native American life, geography, flora and fauna.
The Journals of Lewis and Clark
by Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Bernard DeVoto (Editor)
A classic condensed version of the Lewis and Clark journals, originally published in 1953 and long the standard.
Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die
by Chris Santella
Santella showcases a wide variety of expertly selected places to bike, from the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia and the Indochina Trail in Vietnam to the urban jungle of New York City.
It's All About the Bike, The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels
by Robert Penn
A paean to craftsmanship and tradition. En route to building his dream bike (oh, what a brilliant quest!), Robert Penn explores the culture, science and history of the bicycle.
St. Charles (Then and Now)
by Jessica Dreyer, Vicki Berger Erwin
Settled in 1769, St. Charles is an example of historic preservation -- though by the 1960s many of the buildings had deteriorated and would have been demolished if not for the efforts of educated citizens who spurned a period of revitalization and restoration. Through photos, both old and new, readers will see the city of St. Charles as it was and is now.
Missouri Off the Beaten Path
by Patti DeLano
A fun series that introduces travelers (and locals!) to sites they’d want to see if they knew about them. The guide covers local dining, hidden attractions, unusual locales and quirky cultural tidbits.
Images of America: Missouri Wine Country
by Don Graveman, Dianna Graveman
During the Civil War, Missouri was the largest producer of wine in the union and before Prohibition it ranked in second place. Today the area overlooking the Missouri River is officially recognized as the country’s first wine district. Using archival photos, this book uncovers the fascinating history of this region, including the influence of German settlers.
The Cyclist's Anthology
by Nicky Slade
This entertaining anthology presents short excerpts from Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, HG Wells, EM Forster, Dervla Murphy and many more. In all, 50 authors share their thoughts and insights into the wonderful pastime of cycling.
The Lewis and Clark Journals
by Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Gary Moulton (Editor)
The definitive one-volume selection of the most significant, noteworthy and historic entries from the journals of Lewis and Clark, with helpful scholarly notes and annotations.
Weird Missouri
by James Strait
Part of an award-winning series, Weird Missouri introduces tourists to the off-the-beaten path destinations, including ghostly sites and peculiar roadside attractions, as well as local legends and crazy characters. Heavily illustrated.

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