Katy Trail Frequently Asked Questions

Ask the experts. We have compiled the most frequently asked questions regarding the Katy Trail. Still have questions? Contact Us.

The Katy Trail is open sunrise to sundown 365 days a year. Overnight camping is permitted in designated areas only.

Mopeds, motorcycles, gas golf carts, automobiles, or any other gas powered vehicles are not allowed on the Katy Trail.

Electric bicycles (e-bikes) and tricycles are allowed on the Katy Trail. The maximum allowed speed is 20 mph. Also allowed are electrically powered mobility devices for persons with disabilities, such as Segways.

All groups or organizations desiring to use Katy Trail State Park for a special event activity must obtain a special event permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

E-mail or call 573-449-7402 to speak with staff at the Katy Trail State Park office located in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park for information on how to obtain a special event permit.

The distance of the Katy Trail State Park in Missouri is 240 miles. The park begins in Clinton, MO and ends in Machens, MO. Twenty six trailheads can be found along the way, many offering modern restrooms and clean drinking water. Calculated the distance from one point to another is a snap with our interactive chart.

The Katy Trail is generally open 365 days a year, however, sections can be temporarily closed due to maintenance or even flooding. Always check current conditions before venturing out on your trip.


Absolutely! Leashed dogs are allowed on the full length of the Katy Trail and can offer fantastic company. One item to consider is that for those partaking in longer journeys, your pets paws should be considered. A solid set of dog shoes will keep your pooch happy.

Yes! A large portion of the Katy trail follows the Missouri River. The most prone months are March – May. Areas to watch include Rocheport and St. Charles. The most up to date information can be found in our conditions section.

Generally Hybrid bikes work best as they have slightly wider tires than road bikes and often a softer front suspension. Plenty of riders prefer mountain bikes and a few will venture on road bikes as well. If you decide to take a road bike the recommendation would be to run a tire with more grip and wider than a standard road tire.

For Katy Trail bike recommendations check out our gear section.

Campers can stay at designated campgrounds both public and private along the trail. Camping is not permitted outside of designated areas.

Yes! Numerous shuttle services operate along the Katy Trail that can take you and your gear from point A to point B.

Yes, horses are permitted between Clinton and Sedalia as well as Portland to Tebbetts.

Absolutely! The Katy trail is used by roughly 400,000 per year with minimal incidents. Like any outdoor adventure, some simple actions can reduce threats.

• Let someone know when you are using the Katy Trail, where you are traveling, and when you will return.
• Wear sunscreen. Some sections of the trail offer shade while others may not offer cover for a mile or more.
• Invest in a good insect repellent in warm months. Nothing will tarnish a good adventure like a tick or mosquito encounter.
• If you are not an expert of identifying poisonous snakes do not approach them or venture into areas of tall grass where they may be hiding. August tends to be be the most active times for snakes in Missouri so do not be surprised to see one sunbathing along the trail.
• Carry some form of dog repellent. Some rural areas along the trail have dogs off leash.
• If you think you brought enough water, bring more. The trail can heat up fast and water will often be miles away.

The spring and summer months are the most active on the trail and for good reason. Blooming flowers along the trail, warm temperatures, and sunshine make for a breathtaking trip. Fall is a favorite of many as the foliage is spectacular. Fall foliage becomes most vibrant in mid October with average temperatures often perfect for biking and running.

Free parking can be found at the trailheads along the Katy Trail. Like any park, exercise common sense and stow away your valuables as well as lock your doors. This will help ensure incidents remain few and far between as trailheads are regularly patrolled. For more information visit our interactive parking map.

The Katy Trail is remarkably flat as one would expect being a former railway. Some sections of the trail are known to have gradual slopes which most will only perceive by the extra effort it takes to bike or run up a long gradual increase in elevation. Expect some short uphill sections near bridges or levees but these are few and far between giving your legs plenty of time to recover.

Tags: Flat, Katy Trail