When I was a young lass, the Katy Trail wasn’t nearly as popular or highly regarded as it is now. As a matter of fact, it’s so “new” that in 2010, they just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the trail. The trail system is made up of the old railway byways, and now is used strictly for recreation by Missourians all year ’round.
Up to this point, I really haven’t spent much time exploring the Katy Trail. In high school, Coach Branham pushed me to run miles and miles on that thing every night after school for track practice. I was the only female long distance runner so I spent many lonely miles on the trail. Long miles. By myself. All by myself.
As I’ve grown older, my friends and colleagues of outdoor enjoyment have told me many-a-story about biking from Jefferson City to Hartsburg. This was always amazing to me, as it seems like such a long way to bicycle. I know when the Hartsburg Winery was down there (RIP. You will never be forgotten), people would stop for a glass of the good stuff before heading back to the capital city.
Several years ago, before I was a Mommy, Robby, myself and some friends took advantage of a nice, spring day and made plans to bike from Jeff City to Hartsburg. This DID NOT HAPPEN. Well, for me it didn’t happen. The April winds were so full of ridiculousness that day that it took all I had just to make it maybe halfway there. Part of the group did make it all the way and caught up with us on the way back but I tell ya I just don’t know how in the world they did it.
A couple weeks ago, when God teased us with that delightful ball of fire in the sky, Robby, Baby O, and I went for a bike ride. We got on at the trailhead in Jeff City and just started biking. I’m happy to announce that I BIKED ALL THE WAY FROM JEFFERSON CITY TO HARTSBURG! Woohoo. Go me!
It really did give me a feeling of accomplishment. It’s not that long of a bike ride (20.8 miles roundtrip to be exact) but I felt so proud of myself. All these years of hearing people who biked the Katy from Jeff to Hartsburg and I’d never been able to say that “I did”. But now I can.
The ride was enjoyable and was a good distance to get exercise but not too long that your toosh has worn out. We did take that sweet little Olivia but she didn’t get bored or cranky during the ride. She actually even got a little shut eye.
Bring your water-the only place to get refreshed in between is the Claysville Store. If you’re a lady and you’re traveling alone, I hate to tell ya this but you really should bring your pepperspray. I remember a story of a woman that got kidnapped (or something along those lines) when she was jogging by herself years ago.
There’s a nice little restroom facility when you get to Hartsburg and Dotty’s Cafe offers free refills for your water bottles. How nice, huh?
What’s your favorite section of the Katy?
Pan, The Gravel-Roadin’ Guru