Katy Trail Guide

Enjoy Fall on Missouri’s Katy Trail. New guidebook for hikers and cyclists takes you there!

Missouri author Brett Dufur releases new 11th edition of his book, The Complete Katy Trail Guidebook

For hikers and cyclists, October is the best time to enjoy the outdoors. Cooler days and fall’s vibrant leaf displays make it a perfect time to explore.

A record number of cyclists have been making miles on Missouri’s Katy Trail State Park. At 240 miles in length, this bike path is the longest rails-to-trails project in the country. Stretching cross-state from Kansas City to the St. Louis area, exploring this bike path has just gotten easier for daytrippers and cyclists wanting to bike the whole trail.

“Riding the whole Katy Trail is an Everyman’s Everest,” said author Brett Dufur. “With proper planning, anyone can do it… Many cyclists travel from all over the United States to come and explore what Missouri’s Katy Trail is all about.”

The Complete Katy Trail Guidebook ($21.95) can be ordered online at https://pebblepublishing.com/collections/frontpage/products/the-complete-katy-trail-guidebook. The guidebook will be available on Amazon soon. By Brett Dufur. ISBN: 978-1-891708-46-6. $21.95.

For that reason, Dufur has been updating and publishing his book, The Complete Katy Trail Guidebook, since 1995. This week, he released his 11th edition. His revisions were extensive. “It’s like a whole new book inside there!” he said.

Of Brett’s writing style, the St. Louis Times wrote: “Where most guidebook authors finish, Brett is just getting warmed up... This book contains fun facts not even a history teacher would know…”

Recent years have been challenging for trailside businesses. “2019 was the second highest flood year along the trail, and then in 2020, Covid hit,” he said. “But then cycling just exploded. Everyone wanted to be outdoors, riding bikes and enjoying nature. I’ve been inspired by the tenacity of many of these small towns to not only survive the economic challenges they have faced, but to see they have really dug in their heels and have doubled down to improve and enhance the trail experience for visitors up and down the trail.”

Dufur says it has never been easier to plan a weekend trip or plan a successful weeklong Katy Trail tour. “The trail has really come into its own, in terms of services, lodging, restaurants, camping, shuttles and more. It was exciting seeing dozens and dozens of new businesses popping up to cater to the growing demand of cyclists, many of them local, but also many cyclists coming from all around the country.”

“Missouri really couldn’t ask for a better 240-mile welcome mat to share what Missouri hospitality is all about. The trail weaves through so many small towns and gorgeous stretches of Missouri River valley scenery, along bluffs, Missouri River views, old railroad towns and more. For nature lovers and history lovers, it really can’t be beat,” he said.

Dufur’s book is published by Pebble Publishing, Inc., of Rocheport, Mo. The 192-page book includes mileage charts, a fold out map, close to 100 photos and information on all of the sites and stops, towns and history along the trail. Longer stories and articles are included for those rainy day armchair odysseys.

Missouri’s Katy Trail State Park holds the distinction of being the longest rails-to-trails project in the country. Only 14 are more than 100 miles in length. According to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, more than 2,200 rail-to-trail bike paths have been developed in all 50 states, and the District of Columbia, spanning 24,676 miles. There are an additional 852 rail-trail projects in development, which would total an additional 9,000 miles once completed. 

For cyclists eager to explore this fall, be sure to check the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Fall Leaf map, to see when peak color is expected. Generally the third week of October is the peak of fall’s dazzling display. https://mdc.mo.gov/trees-plants/fall-color

The Complete Katy Trail Guidebook ($21.95) can be ordered online at https://pebblepublishing.com/collections/frontpage/products/the-complete-katy-trail-guidebook. The guidebook will be available on Amazon soon. By Brett Dufur. ISBN: 978-1-891708-46-6. $21.95.

Brett’s companion book, The Katy Trail Nature Guide ($16.95) is a handy one-volume guide to the most commonly seen nature seen along the trail to answer all of those "What's That?" questions. More information is online at https://pebblepublishing.com/collections/frontpage/products/the-katy-trail-nature-guide

Learn more about the Katy Trail at www.katytrailstatepark.com.

Author Brett Dufur is available for interviews to promote the Katy Trail and his new book. Please email Pebble Publishing at pebblepublishing@gmail.com. Wholesale book order requests may also be directed to the same email address.