The Katy Trail is the longest-developed rail-to-trail project in the country. At 240 miles long, the trail runs from Clinton to Machens, Missouri, with 26 trailheads and four fully restored railroad depots along the way! The Katy attracts people of all ages and interests. Whether you are a bicyclist, hiker, equestrian, nature lover, or history buff, the trail offers ample opportunity for recreation as well as a place to enjoy nature and an avenue to discover the past.
The Katy Trail - Marthasville to Machens
St. Charles County is included in what we like to call the "beginning" of the trail - but if you're coming from the west side of the state you may disagree...This section of the trail is in an area known as "Missouri's Rhineland" due to the number of Germans who flocked to this part of the state in the mid-1800s.
St. Charles holds the distinction of being one of the most historic towns along the trail and offers trail users an opportunity to get off their bikes and stretch their legs - or offers a comfortable starting point for their Katy adventure.
In Defiance, Missouri, the shadow of the Katy railroad still exists at the former train depot. It is the depot, built in 1894, that earned the town its name when it lured the railroad stop away from the neighboring town of Augusta.
The town of Augusta, first settled in 1836 on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, soon became the center of German cultural traditions and it is here that the Germans established vineyards and where many wineries still thrive today.