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Katy Trail to downtown St Louis


Many cycling tourists incorporate the Katy Trail into longer tours, and often want to know how they can continue from the eastern end of the trail to downtown St Louis.  Below are some suggestions, courtesy of the St Louis Bike Federation.  We highly recommend crossing the Missouri River at the Page/364 bridge, a new bridge with a bike lane that's separated from automotive traffic by a concrete wall.  This crossing is at mile 42.8, just three miles from trail's end (if you want to visit historic St Charles, you can easily backtrack to this bridge).  Note that this bridge was opened in 2004, so it will not appear on older maps.  After crossing the bridge, you'll be on a bike path that leads 3 miles to the Creve Coeur Park trails.  The suggested routes below all start at Creve Coeur Park.  Here's a good map of the Creve Coeur Park trails and general area.  And here's a MapQuest link to the southwest corner of Creve Coeur Park.  Again, this link will tell you how to get to Creve Coeur Park from the Katy Trail

From downtown St Louis, most riders take the Riverfront Trail 11 miles north and cross the Mississippi River at the Chain of Rocks bridge.  To find the St Louis Riverfront Trail, head north on the street that runs right next to the river, Lenore K. Sullivan Blvd (which everyone simply calls "Wharf Street").  Less than a mile north of the Arch, you'll be among some old industrial buildings, and you'll see a sign on the right for the Riverfront Trail.  The trail heads off to the right (east), just a short distance after the sign - watch for the turnoff with the tiny little footbridge going over it.

Besides the Chain of Rocks Bridge, an alternate Mississippi River crossing is the historic Eads Bridge.  Located immediately north of the Gateway Arch, the Eads is quite bike-friendly, and provides some superb views of the Arch and St Louis skyline.  But be careful not to get lost on the eastern end of the Eads Bridge, as there are some high-crime areas in East St Louis, IL.

To continue north along the river after crossing the Chain of Rocks Bridge, you can use the MCT Confluence Trail on the Illinois side.

Do not attempt any of these routes without a map of the area.  Even with the best directions, it's easy to get off-route and lost.  Plus, a map will give you a sense of distance.

These routes are listed in no particular order.  But if we get any positive or negative feedback on the routes, we will rank them.

Route Suggestion 1

Pretty direct, but some narrow roads & steep hills out of CCP:
1. Creve Coeur Park trail to Marine Road
2. Right on Marine, up winding narrow climb (no shoulder here, for about 0.4 mile)
3. Marine changes to Westport Drive (residential & office park)
4. Westport Drive changes to Craig Road - this is right around the time you cross Page Ave, about 2.25 miles from where you left Creve Coeur Park
5. From Page @ Craig, continue south 2.2 miles to Olive (residential). Left on Olive 0.3 mile (commercial) to Right/south on Mosley at next light
6. Mosley 1.2 miles (residential) to Left/east on Ladue Road
7. Ladue Rd 4.7 miles into Clayton (mostly residential, becoming commercial after crossing under I-170)
8. Right/south on Forsyth, which then curves to the east (high-rise commercial)
9. Continue on Forsyth 2.4 miles until reaching Forest Park (just after passing through Washington University and crossing Skinker). At Forest Park, ride on the paved trail, heading left/north. Glance to your left (west) for a nice view of Washington University's Brookings Hall.
10. Exit the paved trail after less than 1/10 mile, to Lindell Blvd heading east (park and exclusive residential, then urban commercial)
11. After about 4 miles on Lindell, its name changes to Olive St, just after crossing Grand Ave. Continue east on Olive (urban).
12. Olive takes you to the Arch grounds (about 2.75 miles after crossing Grand Ave, or 4.5 miles from the eastern edge of Forest Park)

While in Forest Park (steps 9-10), you can visit the St Louis Art Museum, History Museum, Zoo, or Science Center.

Bike shops:
To reach Big Shark Bike Shop, turn left on Skinker where Forsyth hits Forest Park (step 9).  Take Skinker for less than a mile to Delmar, then right on Delmar for about a block to 6133 Delmar.
To reach Mesa Cycles, turn right from Forsyth (after step 8) onto Big Bend.  Continue straight on Big Bend for about one mile, to 1035 S Big Bend (just past Clayton Rd).
To reach The Touring Cyclist, turn right from Forsyth (after step 8) onto Big Bend.  Continue straight on Big Bend for about one mile to Clayton Rd.  Go left on Clayton and ride one block to 6638 Clayton Road, in the strip mall a few doors to the right of the Schnucks store.

Route Suggestion 2

A bit longer, but a less harrowing way out of CCP:
1. Creve Coeur Park trail to Marine Road
2. Left on Marine Road
3. Right/east on (old) Creve Coeur Mill Road
4. Creve Coeur Mill Road 1.7 miles to Right/southeast on Rose Acre Drive
5. Rose Acre Drive 0.4 mile (residential) to Left/east on Glengrove
6. Glengrove 0.25 mile to Right/south on Bennington
7. Bennington 0.4 mile to Left/east at the dead-end (GlenPark)
8. GlenPark 0.2 mile to Right/south on McKelvey
9. Follow the main flow of McKelvey for 1.3 miles as it curves around, briefly becomes Bennington, and then becomes McKelvey again. Left/east on Dorsett (commercial)
10. Dorsett changes to Midland after crossing Lindbergh at 2.5 miles. Continue east on Midland.
11. After 7 more miles, Midland dead-ends at Delmar, after having turned in a southward direction. Go Left/east at Delmar
12. Delmar 0.35 mile to Right/south on Big Bend
13. Big Bend 0.7 mile to Left/east on Forsyth (along southern edge of Washington University campus)
14. Enter Forest Park: join at step 9 in Route Suggestion 1 above

If you want to visit the University City Loop, the hippest spot in St Louis, continue straight on Delmar for 1/4 mile, rather than turning right on Big Bend at step 12.

Bike shops:
To reach Big Shark Bike Shop, continue straight on Delmar for about one mile, to 6133 Delmar, rather than turning right on Big Bend at step 12.
To reach Mesa Cycles, continue straight on Big Bend for about one mile, to 1035 S Big Bend (just past Clayton Rd), rather than turning left on Forsyth at step 13.
To reach The Touring Cyclist, continue straight on Big Bend for about one mile to Clayton Rd, rather than turning left on Forsyth at step 13.  Go left on Clayton and ride one block to 6638 Clayton Road, in the strip mall a few doors to the right of the Schnucks store.

Traffic on Dorsett might be a bit heavy, but it lightens up when it changes to Midland.

Route Suggestion 3

1. Creve Coeur Park trail to Marine Road
2. Right on Marine, up steep winding narrow climb (no shoulder here, for about 0.4 mile)
3. After 1.6 miles on Marine (park & residential), Right/southwest on Bennington Place. There is a YMCA at Marine @ Bennington.
4. Bennington Place 0.9 mile (apartment complexes) to Left/east on Fee Fee Road (where Bennington ends)
5. Fee Fee Road 0.5 mile (residential) to Right/south on Ross Road (where Fee Fee ends, also residential)
6. Ross Road 1.3 miles to Left/east on Olive (suburban commercial - may have heavy traffic during busy times of day)
7. Olive Road 0.6 mile to just after St Monica's Church and before I-270 - go right/south on the service road (Coeur De Ville)
8. Follow Coeur De Ville 1.2 mile, parallel with the highway, to Ladue Rd
9. Left/east on Ladue Road (exclusive suburban residential)
10. Ladue Rd 4.5 miles to Right/south on Price Rd (or you could have continued into Clayton on Ladue Road, per step 7 of route #1)
11. Price Rd 0.8 mile to Left/east on Clayton Rd (residential, then shoping mall & commercial)
12. Follow Clayton Rd 3.5 miles to Skinker, which is at the southwest corner of Forest Park.
13. Left/north on Skinker 0.9 mile to Forsyth.
14. Enter Forest Park: join at step 9 in Route Suggestion 1 above

Bike shops:
To reach Big Shark Bike Shop, continue north on Skinker rather than turning into Forest Park at step 13.  Take Skinker for less than a mile past Forest Park to Delmar, then right on Delmar for about a block to 6133 Delmar.
To reach Mesa Cycles, turn right from Clayton Road (after step 11) onto Big Bend.  1035 S Big Bend is just around the corner.
To reach The Touring Cyclist, watch for 6638 Clayton Road just after crossing Big Bend, in the strip mall a few doors to the right of the Schnucks store.


To get to Union Station (beautiful and historic, with lots of shops & restaurants), from Olive you'll take a right on 20th street and go south for two blocks.

Safety note: If you stray from this route when riding between Forest Park and downtown, avoid going more than a few blocks north, as this may be a higher crime area.  Notable exceptions include Euclid Ave, which is just a few blocks east of Forest Park.  Heading North on Euclid takes you to the Central West End, which has lots of restaurants, quaint shops, and large old houses. Also Grand Avenue (about halfway between Forest Park and downtown) is a major entertainment district just north of Lindell.  Here you'll find the historic Fox Theatre, Powell Symphony Hall, the Sheldon Theatre, and a few bars and restaurants.


Please let us know if you have other route suggestions, or if you have any problems or comments regarding the suggestions above.


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