Hiking and Bicycling Greeneville & Greene County Tennessee
KATY TRAIL BICYCLE TRIP
Members of the Greeneville Hiking Club completed more than 230 miles as they biked the Katy Trail in Missouri during September of 2003. Those riding bicycles were Patty Altman, Andy Daniels, J.C. Hensley, Peggy Moore, Katrina Rogers, Pam Shelton and Ned Sanders. The van was driven by Barbara Hicks, who shuttled the bikers from trailhead to trailhead each of the five days they rode.
The “Rails to Trails” project is American’s longest such trail beginning in Clinton and ending in St. Charles, Missouri. The Katy Trail follows the Missouri River and passes through the world’s bread basket of agriculture and Missouri’s legendary wine country.
The trail is covered with a fine-crushed limestone surface, packing’ down almost like pavement.
Small towns were located about every 10 miles since the railroad had to be accessible for farmers to market their products. “
The trail was once the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT). Many unusual elevator granaries were all along the trail. The weather was perfect every day, in the upper 70 degrees. Much of the enjoyment along the trail came from exploring and stopping in the small towns that dot the trail’s edge. Lots of snakes and turtles had to be dodged while biking the trail.
Special attractions were the Katy Depot in Sedalia located in the Broad Bottoms geographic region of Missouri. This was a great place for Katy Trail souvenirs and touring the Railroad Heritage Museum.
Another highlight of the trip was hiking across the Boonslick Bridge, a crossing point on the Missouri River to the Katy Trail. This bridge was completed in 1997 at a cost of $17.3 million.
The area was the first permanent American settlement west of St. Louis in the 1800s, where Daniel Boone and his son made salt, a precious frontier commodity used in preserving meat
The group spent the night in Boonsville at the Victorian ‘Riverscene’ bed and breakfast.
The owner shared stories of the past, including a scrapbook of the flood of 1993 and how the house survived being inundated with more than four feet of water.
The Katy Trail passed through various landscapes including dense forest wetlands, deep valleys, open pastureland, and rolling acres of yellow soybean farms. Even a camel and some buffalo were spotted. It has been designated as a Millennium Legacy Trail and an official segment of the Lewis & Clark National Historical Trail.
The trail winds in solitude through blackened tunnels from the MKT Railroad, rusty bridges which unfolded like a history book.
Large Bluffs of Limestone where the Lewis and Clark party camped in caves along the Missouri River in this area;
Maroon-colored petroglyphs symbolizing a water source were still visible. Skeletal remains of millions of sea creatures were also compressed in the bluffs region, and old log cabins dotted the countryside depicting the pioneer past.
The group had lunch, on the fourth day of hiking, in Herman. Mo. This area was founded by Germans from Philadelphia because of the similarities to the Rhine River in Germany. It is the location of the famous Stone Hill Winery.
The group toured the Deutschheim State Historical site and visitors’ center in the old German school building. The night was spent at a bed and breakfast known as the Schwegmann House, built in 1861 by a prosperous German miller. It overlooked the Missouri River and a railroad with more than 80 trains passing in the night. Ear plugs were furnished.
Other points of interest the club enjoyed were: touring Graceland, Sun Studios and Beale Street in Memphis; visiting Buffalo National Park; driving through the Ozarks Mountains; the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson. Mo.; the historical districts of St. Charles and St. Louis; Jefferson Expansion Memorial; and viewing St. Louis from top of the Gateway Arch.