On our first full day we planned on hiking on the Katy Trail State Park. It is the longest developed rail-trail in the country. It was built on the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad line and is 240 miles long. It runs between Clinton and Machens with 26 trailheads along the way. Part of it has been designated as an official segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The trail runs closely along the Missouri River and there are many ranches and farms along the way. We only went five miles (round trip). But, are hoping to take bikes next time and go farther.
The main reason I wanted to get on the trail was because of an important story in my family. My Papaw, Marquis Frank Turner, was born in McBaine, MO and my family was from the area. When he was a young adult, his father, Jesse Porter Turner, was killed in an accident on the MKT line when he jumped off a moving handcar to retrieve his sister's hat. She never wore that hat again. It was 1918 and he was 49 years old. It was a Sunday afternoon and they were visiting family, traveling from McBaine to Providence which is about an 8 mile trip. I didn't get to that location this time, but I will in the future.
There are many trestle bridges from the train days. There is one original tunnel in the Rocheport area, which I really want to photograph. The trail where we were was surrounded by corn and soybean fields. There are sections that go right along the Missouri River and the bluffs which are beautiful.
This was a former mercantile that was built when the railroad went in.
Notice the large, carved ear of corn on the right.
Check out more information on the KATY Trail State Park at