It was once a five-mile stretch between Rocheport and Huntsville, and now the Katy Trail celebrates its 20th anniversary at 225 miles.
The trail is now Missouri’s state trail, and it runs from St. Charles to Clinton. The trail was dedicated on April 28, 1990, with a $2.2 million donation from Ted and Pat Jones. Ted Jones is the son of investment firm founder Edward Jones.
Department of Natural Resources spokesman Judd Slivka said the area used to be a railroad bed that was put into “bank status” because it was no longer being used. This allowed the government to use it for a Rails-to-Trails project, according to a previous Missourian story.
Rails-to-Trails is a nonprofit organization with a mission to create trails in place of old rail lines.
Slivka said about 300,000 Missourians use the trail each year. The Katy has drawn visitors from across the globe.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the trail, Dan Burkhardt, a retired investment banker, and his wife Connie started the Katy Land Trust, which protects the scenic views along the Katy Trail and prevents properties from being developed on it.
What else can be done to expand and enhance the Katy Trail? Do you use the trail for any recreational purposes?