KATY Trail Day 5 Pilot Grove to Sedalia (Georgetown)
I mentioned in the last post, Bill joined me in Pilot Grove to ride the last two days on the KATY Trail. The first 4 days had been along the Missouri River, full of historic towns and sites, as well as beautiful cliffs, the river and countless small tributaries necessitating a variety of bridges along the way. It was much like saying goodbye to an old friend as I crossed the river and headed southwest toward Clinton.
Bill and I did not have a long day out of Pilot Grove, so we had a leisurely breakfast and hit the trail around 9:30.
Our ride was only 27 miles long and there wasn’t a lot of noteworthy things, but I did find the only remnant of the railroad lighting, that I had seen, so I had Bill take a picture. I always enjoy things from a rail trail’s past.
I mentioned the bridges on the first four days. Although less frequent, there are still bridges.
Bill and I reached our destination for our last night on the trail, Sedalia. I chose a guesthouse a little off the trail, Georgetown Countryview Estate. Originally built in 1869, the home was eventually owned by the county and served as the county poor farm, and later, the county nursing home. The current owners bought it at auction in 1988 and ran an assisted living facility, until 2005. After renovations they opened the current bed and breakfast. We had a king suite, with a large two person soaking tub, wonderful after a day on the trail.
The owners, Joe and Tammy Kimbrough, offered to take us into Sedalia to have dinner. They met friends in the bar and waited for us to eat and watch some Monday Night Football, and then we all headed back to Georgetown. Bill and I appreciated the gesture.
My Strava link for Day 5: https://strava.app.link/z0hIuSWRpab
KATY Trail Day 6 – Sedalia (Georgetown) to Clinton
For our final day on the trail, we had over 42 miles planned. I thought I had seen on the map, the town Highpoint, but there didn’t seem to be much there. I guess I did pay attention, because Highpoint is not a town at all, it is High Point, not the town, but the highest point of elevation on the KATY Trail, all 955 feet!
I don’t think we should get too excited. The elevation at the beginning of the trail is 452 and the high point is 955, a difference of 503, over 241 miles, that is a sweet spot for railroads, .0395 percent average grade. If you are hauling millions of tons of freight, grade was a significant consideration when calculating fuel requirements.
Here is a chart illustrating the gradient.
Of course when biking, only the uphill counts. And for my 6 day ride, it was a total of 3,333 feet of elevation gain.
So there is not a lot to note between Sedalia amd Clinton. This section of the trail opened in 1999, a few years after most of the remainder of the trail. Mostly corn, silos and cows dot the landscape. The only town of note is Windsor, where Bill and I stopped for Chinese.
Just before Windsor, is the KATY Trail junction with the Rock Island Spur, currently a 47.5 mile trail to the Kansas City suburb, Pleasant Hill. Eventually, it will be a 250 mile Kansas City to St. Louis Trail, along the former Rock Island Railroad, creating a 450 mile trail loop. I think that will have to be on my bucket list for a revisit.
After leaving Windsor, we kept watching for Keith and Joanette, who were cycling from Clinton to meet us and then ride with us back to Clinton. Once we met up, we rode together our final 14 miles to Clinton.
The thing about the Clinton Trailhead is that it is not quite at the end the trail, another 1/2 mile exists! So I rode to the bitter end and then returned to the trailhead and parking lot.
So, the KATY Trail is off my bucket list. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and particularly enjoyed sharing parts of it with Bill, Keith and Joanette. For me, 268.83 miles, 3,333 ft of elevation gain, and well worth it.
My Strava post link: https://strava.app.link/tVRx4KEUpab