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Story and photos by Lincoln Purvis, photo editor
If you’re looking for a fun day trip or wanting to get more active in the
outdoors, consider exploring the Katy Trail by bike. The Katy Trail is a prime
place to enjoy Missouri’s fall foliage, and the time is now!  Colors generally
peak around the second or
third week of October.
The Katy Trail is a 237-
mile gravel trail stretching
across most of Missouri.
More than half of it follows
Lewis and Clark’s path up
the Missouri River, where
you can ride beneath
towering river bluffs.
After leaving the river, the
trail meanders through
peaceful farmland and
small-town Americana.
The trail is divided into
sections by the trailheads
along it. Trailheads offer
varying amenities, from
water and restrooms to
restaurants and hotels.
For college students
in the Fulton area, the
stretch between the
small communities of Mokane and Portland offers a great round trip that is
achievable in a single afternoon.
Out and back, the section totals 18.2 miles and wanders through the Missouri
River’s foodplain, under bluffs and over creeks as they spill into the river.
This section is suggested, primarily due to its close proximity to the river and
to the William Woods University campus, as well as the low amount of traffc
throughout the year.
Mokane is a community that, like many other towns on the Katy Trail, grew
up around the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (known as MKT or Katy).
In this town of about 200 people you can fnd basic amenities like a bank, two
bars and a small market and gas
station.
Riders then head east toward
Steedman. Along the way,
riders pedal through fertile
farmland and eventually cross
the Auxvasse Creek over one of
the longest railroad bridges on
the trail.
Just a mile down the trail from
the Auxvasse Creek lies the
small town of Steedman.
When the railroad was in
existence, Steedman was a
small railhead, but is now a
residential community that
offers nothing much to riders
except a reminder of what
happened to many towns when
the railroad was phased out.
Just a mile down the trail, riders
will encounter Standing Rock,
which records water levels for
at least seven foods: 1903, 1923, 1935, 1943, 1944, 1947 and 1993. Although
the trail here is more than a mile and a half from the river, it is still in the
foodplain and vulnerable to the powerful Missouri.
Since this section of the trail follows a part of the Lewis & Clark National
Historic Trail, wayside markers recount the expedition’s travels through
the area.