From the East
We are often asked where St Louis-area trail users should park their cars for trail access.
The answer, of course, is that it depends on what part of the trail you like best.
If you want to bike, run, or hike along river bluffs, you'll have to head out past Rhineland, but if you are happy
with wooded areas and light suburbs, any of the St Charles or other eastern parking areas will be fine.
But, if you just want to get to the Katy Trail quickly and easily from east of the Missouri River, here are your best options
(click on the links for directions and additional info):
The Page Avenue/364 Bridge lot is just 6 miles from the 270/Page intersection.
It's a large lot accomodating 100 cars, but it could fill up on busy days due to its ease of access.
There's a 1/4 mile ramp from the parking lot down to the trail - the only hill you'll ride all day!
If you park here, you'll be at mile 42.8, which is just over three miles from the St Charles trailhead.
Another option: you could park at Creve Coeur Park and use the 3.6 mile
Katy Trail - Creve Coeur Connector to the Katy Trail.
It's a nice trail with a scenic view as you cross over the Missouri River.
The St Charles Trailhead is another popular parking spot, especially for those coming from North St Louis County.
It has 150-200 parking spots, and it's right next to the Lewis & Clark Boathouse parking lot, offering several hundred slots.
Unless there is a major event going on in St Charles, you're almost certain to get a parking spot here with no problem.
When the other lots are full, you might want to try the
Greens Bottom Trailhead. It's harder to find than the other parking lots (but you'll find good directions if you click the link), so fewer people go there to park.
There is a longer drive involved: if you're coming out highway 40, it's 18 miles from Chesterfield Mall to the trailhead.
Or, if you're taking Page/364, it's 12 miles from the Page/270 intersection.
Greens Bottom trailhead is at mile 45.7, which is about six miles from the trail's eastern end.
Another option for those coming out highway 40 is the
Weldon Spring Trailhead, at mile 56 on the trail (16 miles from trail's end).
But be aware that the turn-off from highway 94 is not well marked.
See the link for details.
The section between Greens Bottom and Weldon Spring offers nice views of the river and lots of shade.
Going beyond Weldon Spring, you can simply follow highway 94 south and find a new town and another trailhead every few miles.
Driving south on 94, you'll pass through
Defiance (mile 59),
Matson (mile 60.6),
Augusta (mile 66), and
Dutzow (mile 74), all of which have trailheads with parking.
From the West
We are also often asked where Kansas City-area trail users should park their cars
for trail access, not to mention visitors coming up from Oklahoma, Texas, or beyond.
Again, the answer depends on what part of the trail you like best, and -- for hikers and runners --
how far you can travel between water stops.
Clinton or Sedalia will get you to the western section of the trail with its peaceful farmland,
while Boonville or Rocheport will put you on the Missouri River.
Clinton is at the western end of the trail, and only about 75 miles from KC. Click the link for directions.
Sedalia is also fairly accessible, at a distance of 90 miles from KC. Click the link for directions.
Those from the KC area who want to see the river will have to go just a bit farther.
Boonville is about 100 miles east of Kansas City.
But if you're coming here to see the Missouri River, you'll only see it briefly, as you cross it.
The trail doesn't link up with the river again until Rocheport, some 13 miles east by trail.
If you just want to travel alongside the river,
Rocheport is about 115 miles from Kansas City.
Head south/east on the trail from Rocheport, and you'll have the river by your side
(though you might want to start with a quick jaunt west of Rocheport to go through the famous
Side note: a few years from now, Kansas City area residents may have the Katy Trail come to them!
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