“Nothing compares with the simple pleasures of a bike ride,” – John F. Kennedy

The second week of April is upon us, which means we are heading into the second week of the #moparkschallenge! I headed out to the Katy Trail State Park over the weekend with the intention of biking the trail, but the weather was a little too cold and wet for my biking tastes, so I took a walk along the trail with my dog instead. There were so many sights and sounds to take in! Bright red cardinals sang merrily from alongside the trail, and pretty spring flowers such as bluebells, violet varieties, and purple phlox added color to the verdant landscape. Spring is in full bloom!

Many trailheads offer rest stops with maps, water fountains, benches, and restrooms for visitors. Some even have bike pumps and bike repair tools!

Katy Trail State Park is a railroad corridor that was repurposed into a biking and walking trail by the MO Department of Natural Resources. The trail spans 240 miles across the state of Missouri and runs east-west, from Machens, MO, near St. Louis, all the way to Clinton, MO, near Kansas City. The trail follows the meandering path of the Missouri River, and runs through wetlands, prairie remnants, and forests replete with colorful maple, sycamore, redbud, and dogwood trees. Due to the variety of habitats encompassed by the trail, many different Missouri mammals, songbirds, and birds of prey can be spotted from the Katy Trail.

Adventures on the Katy Trail are always nicely complemented by a stop at any of the local businesses that can be found along the trail. Wineries, breweries, coffee shops, restaurants, and mom-and-pop shops selling a variety of antiques and trinkets feel the benefits of doing business along the trail – “biking season” is definitely “business season” for many. Annually, visitors to the Katy Trail spend $8 million dollars or more in the local trail communities! A favorite stop of mine is Kate’s Coffee in Augusta, MO. Housed in a quirky vintage home, Kate’s Coffee offers a variety of delicious coffee drinks and food options that provide a blast of much needed refueling after a long bike ride or hike! I highly recommend completing your state park adventures by patronizing the local economy, wherever that may be.

Follow these links for more information about Katy Trail State Park:


And remember – sign up for the #moparkschallenge before you go!

Pretty Missouri wildflowers growing trailside.