Hike on Katy Trail- January 2010


I had read a story on Backpackinglight.com by Lucas Boyer, who had just recently thru-hiked the length of the Katy Trail (225 miles). I have not been on much of the Katy Trail as it is considered just a bike path, straight and flat, but it is right in my backyard so to speak. I decided to take the day and walk a section. In order to make it somewhat challenging I decided to hike 20 miles from downtown St.Charles, the beginning of the Katy Trail, to Defiance, MO.


6:47 am and starting off from the trail head in the dark, not really sure how long 20 miles in 32 degree weather and heavy fog is going to take!

The trail follows the Missouri River or the flood plain of the river the whole way- passing under the Page Extension HWY 360 Bridge

I would actually recommend starting from the Page Extension parking lot. The first 4 miles of the trail are not very pretty and you have to walk next to the road a bit.
After 7 miles the first Katy Trail stop you come to is Greens Bottom Road depot. There is no town but a roadside shop (closed in winter) with water and snacks with maps and info
The Trail is long and straight but the parts that are right along the Missouri river bluffs are pretty
You pass under the very busy HWY 40/61 Missouri River Bridge. I have looked at the trail from the highway many times and wanted to see "what was down there"
Just after the bridge is a quarry lake, hidden by the bluffs from the highway

The day was mostly cloudy but the sun did come out for awhile mid morning. It stayed cold all day around 38 for a high
some of the rock formations along the river are very pretty

nice view of the river along Weldon Springs area
The next stop along the trail is Weldon Springs Conservation area 10 miles from Green Bottom. 4 miles to go


The Femme Osage River crossing is lovely, but frozen.

Finally to Defiance, MO. Ted and Kate's Tavern, normally a hang our for bikers, but today just a few people having beers and me and Vicky having Burgers and Fries.
20 miles in 6 hr and 22 minutes- a touch over 3 miles per hr. not bad, but my feet paid for it later coming off the hard packed gravel of the bike trail.
Wildlife:
Eagle
Read Headed Woodpecker
Cardinals
and the occasional bike rider and jogger

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