Katy Trail: St. Charles to Machens

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Katy Trail: St. Charles to Machens is a 25.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near St. Charles, Missouri that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 25.3 miles Elevation Gain: 219 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly


mountain biking

road biking


bird watching



partially paved

rails trails



wild flowers

The trail allows users to travel through some of the most scenic areas of the state. The majority of the trail closely follows the route of the Missouri River so hikers and bicyclists often find themselves with the river on one side and towering bluffs on the other. The trail travels through many types of landscapes including dense forests, wetlands, deep valleys, remnant prairies, open pastureland and gently rolling farm fields. In the spring, the trail is brightened with flowering dogwood and redbud, while the fall is colored with the rich reds and oranges of sugar maple, sumac and bittersweet. With so many types of habitats, wildlife is abundant, especially birds. Chickadees, nuthatches, robins, orioles and many types of woodpeckers are common. Red-tailed hawks and turkey vultures are often seen soaring above the trail, and bald eagles are common in the winter. Because of its location along the Missouri River flyway, migrating birds and waterfowl can be seen frequently. Watch for great blue herons, sandpipers, Canada geese and belted kingfishers. Katy Trail State Park also takes users through a slice of rural history as it meanders through the small towns that once thrived along the railroad corridor. From the area known as "Missouris Rhineland" that portrays the heritage of the German migrants to the historic town of Rocheport that dates from before the Civil War, these towns reflect the rich heritage of Missouri. These communities make great places to stop and explore during a ride on the trail. Although the scenery often changes, the trail remains fairly level and constant as it meanders through the countryside. Trail heads, which provide parking areas and other amenities, are located periodically along the trail. Many communities also offer services to trail users.

mountain biking
3 months ago

We enjoyed seeing the river.

5 months ago

Did a short hike near Bangert Island Trail when that was closed due to flooding. The section we did was uneventful, noisy, and littered with trash.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

I ran just over 19 miles of this segment of the trail. Not the most exciting, but it is flat and offers a mix of small town and rural scenery with a couple views of the river.

mountain biking
Sunday, May 27, 2018

Monday, April 30, 2018

Great Trail

Monday, August 07, 2017

love riding my bike on the katy trail. very picturesque.

mountain biking
Friday, September 09, 2016

Amazing trail! Lots of fun to bike with lots of traffic

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Flat, but busy and muggy on Mothers Day 2016. A brisk walk of 88 minutes was what I ordered myself.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Great flat trail to bike on!

road biking
Monday, September 21, 2015

It's great... I only traveled Defiance to Augusta. There are other trails for mountain biking etc. great places for wine, beer and bar b que. super flat. Not paved but light graveled road. Restrooms about every 8 miles.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Awesome trail, bring a bike lock there's a few places to stop along the trail to grab a bite to eat and could beer.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Very flat but easy to travel on.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Love biking this trail.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

it's very good

rock climbing
Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wore my new

Saturday, July 07, 2012

For running it provides dirt, an even, flat surface, and a gazillion miles of possibilities. Parts are covered. Others exposed. I don't find it particularly scenic and the LONG straightaways can make you feel like you're not going anywhere. Best place I know of around St Louis, though, for a long flat run on dirt.

mountain biking
Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Nice easy ride. I have ridden the trail at different time from Machens to Treloar. The farther you get from the St. Louis area, the less traveled. When the trail is along the Missouri, very scenic. the section from Machens to St. Charles is mostly thru flat farmland and not very scenic. But an easy ride. If daring, you can go from the Machens trailhead by county road over to Portage de Sioux and look at the scenic Mississippi River. Trail conditions are generally very good to excellent. Weekends can be a pain as many bikers are out, so I, being semi-retired, go thru the week and skip the crowds. Can be a little disconcerting with very young kids on their small bikes in the way of adult, fast bikers.

mountain biking
Thursday, April 12, 2012

My brother, cousin, and I just completed this trip a week or so ago. We did the trail end to end in 5 days. Started in Clinton Missouri and ended in Machens Missouri. Trip was amazing. I highly recommend staying at the Turner Katy Trail Shelter in Tebbetts MO. Great place to stay and the town people so friendly.

mountain biking
Monday, January 16, 2012

Planning on doing the whole thing in spring, pretty much flat the whole way it's more of a distance challenge than anything. Found a few nice trails attached to it on the partsivr been on.

road biking
Friday, June 24, 2011

Fantastic Rail to Trail park with incredible sites! So far have only used the eastern most 60 miles of the 255 mile trail, but am hoping to complete the entire length some day. www.bikekatytrail.com

mountain biking
Thursday, November 25, 2010

Did the trail in Aug with extreme summer heat. On and off shade made is pleasant. Surface was chat (small gravel). Grade was never severe. Many scenic areas, things to do and rest stops/town every 7 -10 miles. Biked from the western terminal in Clinton, Mo to Jefferson City, Mo in two days. Camping for night needs to be planned out. Their is not trail side primitive camping and public facilities Not plentiful.

road biking
18 hours ago

mountain biking
13 days ago

16 days ago

26 days ago

1 month ago

road biking
1 month ago

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