Birds of the Katy Trail Bicycle Tour

Overview:  A first of its kind bicycling tour is being offered on May 5-10, 2024 for people to ride the Katy Trail and bird watch along the way.  The trip is designed as a fully supported guided bicycle tour limited to ten people with lodging and meals provided.   It is a six day trip spanning roughly 120 miles of the Katy Trail beginning in Clinton, Missouri and ending in Jefferson City, Missouri.  Birding will be along the Katy Trail and will be done on a self-directed basis.  A few birding spots will be visited on the trip in Clinton, Columbia, and Eagle Bluffs Conservation area.  Eagle Bluffs is one of the top birding locations in Missouri with a list of 284 species of birds.  A guest speaker will address the group about birding in Missouri at the start of the trip.

Lodging – Five nights lodging is provided in this trip with overnight stays in Clinton (Hampton Inn & Suites), Sedalia (Historic Hotel Bothwell), Boonville (Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast), and two nights in Rocheport (School House Bed & Breakfast). 

 Transportation – For those not driving to Clinton, Kansas City Airport is the nearest airport to the start of the trip in Clinton, Missouri.  One way car rental from Kansas City to Clinton is an option, as is the Amtrak Train from Kansas City to Warrensburg, Missouri – 30 miles from Clinton.  We provide shuttle transportation from the train station in Warrensburg to Clinton. Participants considering riding the remainder of the Katy Trail from Jefferson City to St. Charles may consider flying into St. Louis and shuttling from St. Charles to Clinton.  Daily shuttles are available, call for details.  Amtrak train service provides service along the trail with stops in St. Louis, Jefferson City, and Kansas City.  Katy Trail Tours and Shuttle provides transportation from Jefferson City to Clinton at the end of your trip, which is included in the price of the tour.  We also provide vehicle transports in case you want to drive to Clinton and have your vehicle transported to Jefferson City at a discounted rate .  Please contact Greg Shannon at 417-372-9220 if you have specific travel/shuttle requests or questions.  Amtrak train departs Jefferson City daily at 5:32pm headed towards Kansas City.

Birding aspect of this tour:  All levels of birders are welcome on this tour but I ask participants to be tolerant of those less experienced with birding.  There will not be a birding guide on the tour and for most part the tour is self-directed with cyclists stopping at their leisure to look for birds.  I will be traveling on bike with the group and will have suggestions on areas to check out for birding opportunities.  I have designed the trip to be “light” on biking to give people more time to enjoy the sights along the trail including plenty of time to look for birds.  Most cycling trips complete the trail in 6 days.  This trip is designed to complete half the trail in 5 days.

Bike riding information:  What if you are not an experienced bike rider?  No worries, bike at your speed and stop and bird watch whenever you desire.  Cycle as much as you want and make use of the SAG wagon if you cannot complete the daily trip, or consider renting an e-bike to ease the biking demand.   I recommend training for the ride so you will be more comfortable during the tour.  If you are bringing your own bike, take it to a local bike shop to make sure it is tuned up and ready for the trip.

Trip Itinerary with Dates

Day 1 Sunday, May 5th Arrive in Clinton – No scheduled riding on trail.  Birding opportunities at Clinton Conservation Center and Artesian Park.  Evening meeting at Clinton Conservation Center.

Day 2 Monday, May 6th Clinton to Sedalia – 37.5 miles although cyclists can individually choose to start in Calhoun to shorten the ride to 28.1 miles.

Day 3 Tuesday, May 7th Sedalia to Boonville – 35.3 miles with options to shorten ride at beginning or end of ride.

Day 4 Wednesday, May 8th Boonville to Rocheport – 13.5 miles or 31.1 to Columbia

Day 5 Thursday, May 9th Rocheport to Eagle Bend Conservation Area – 9.8 miles

Day 6 Friday, May 10th Rocheport to Jefferson City 35.1 miles – can start in McBaine to shorten ride to 26.3 

Pricing $2,500 per person.  This includes 5 nights of *double occupancy lodging, meals and snacks, luggage transport of one 50lb bag per person, shuttle at end of trip back from Jefferson City to Clinton, trip t-shirt and Katy Trail Guide book & Sticker. *Single occupancy is $300 extra.

Add on charges:

  • Bike rentals: E-bikes $400 per week, Gravel Bikes $280. Hybrids $200 (Helmets, lock, trunk bag for bike rack, extra tubes, and bike tools included)
  • Panniers/Saddle Bags $35 a week
  • Vehicle transport from Clinton to Jefferson City, $150, or $300 to St. Charles if you plan to ride the entire trail.