Have you heard about the Katy Trail? This is a 265 mile walking and biking trail from Clinton, MO to Machens, MO. In the near future, the Katy Trail will connect through Lee’s Summit as it continues into Kansas City.

The new Katy Trail extension through Lee’s Summit is a Jackson County project, trail construction should begin sometime this year. If you haven’t checked out the Katy Trail, you are missing out.

Kent, Kathy and Ana Lewis, a family from Lee’s Summit, MO recently decided to take a weekend family trip on the Katy Trail. Kent stays active biking and running throughout the year, Kathy had not been on a bike in over 15 years, and Ana is an active 10 year old kid. So, a trip on the trail can be for all ages and all levels of biking experience.

“The trip was very family friendly. This ride was part of Missouri Peddler’s Jamboree with bands and food every 7-10 miles along the route. We biked the MKT trail from Columbia to McBaine…….then Katy trail from McBaine to Booneville on Saturday……then back to Columbia on Sunday. This was about 35 miles each day. Most of the riders camped out at the park in Booneville; we stayed at a house close to the trail in Boonville. Much of the route is along the Missouri River. There are great views of the river and bluffs. We made stops in the little river towns along the trail. Rocheport has a quaint downtown with bed and breakfasts, some restaurants, and a winery nearby. The great thing about the Katy Trail, is that it gets you away from the competition and the stress of the city. You can go at your own pace, enjoy the scenery,” shares Kent Lewis.

If you are interested in trying a daytrip or weekend trip on the Katy Trail take some tips from the Lewis’s, “Come prepared for various weather conditions, wear sunscreen and a helmet, have a local bike shop tune up your bike, bring a small tool kit, bring some money for emergencies, try a few rides on gravel to get used to the trails crushed limestone, bring water and snacks. Most important, don’t be in a hurry and enjoy the Missouri scenery.”

To learn more about the current Katy trail, visit www.mostateparks.com/park/katy-trail-state-park. Next time you are thinking of a day or weekend trip, consider the Katy trail for some great scenery and wonderful family time. If you want to try a local training ride, consider the trails at Longview Lake, Little Blue Trace Trail, or the Lee’s Summit parks.

Molly Wichman, a Lee’s Summit resident and member of the Livable Streets Advisory Board, a mayor-appointed, volunteer board whose goals include working to make our community and our streets more “livable,” safe and accessible for all of our citizens.