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Katy Trail Goes East From St. Charles

Brad Choat
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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon attend the ribbon cutting of latest section of Katy Trail. April 2, 2011 (KMOX/Brad Choat)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon attend the ribbon cutting of latest section of Katy Trail. April 2, 2011 (KMOX/Brad Choat)

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ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOX) The nation’s longest developed Rail-Trail project is now a little longer.

Governor Jay Nixon was in St. Charles, Saturday, to cut a ribbon on a newly-completed 11-mile portion of the Katy Trail, heading east to Machens.

“Over the past twenty years the Katy Trail has had a tremendous effect on the state and the communities along it, much as the railroad did. The trail has become a national and international destination,” Nixon said.

The Katy Trail now stretches 240 miles — from Machens to Clinton, Missouri.

It attracts more than 300,000 hikers and bicyclists annually.

State Parks Director Bill Bryan said the newly-opened section of trail has been in the works for quite some time, “We acquired this section of the Missouri Kansas Texas Railroad corridor in 1987. Before we were able to develop this section of trail, however, the floods of 1993 and 1995 got in our way.”

Bryan says the flooding caused two giant scour holes— holding the project back until grant money could pave the way for a path around the holes.

Governor Nixon said this weekend’s mild weather provides a good opportunity to check out any section of the Katy, “We see families with children of all ages on the trail. On bikes, on foot, and even in strollers. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and is a key part of the Children & Nature Challenge, an effort headed up by the First Lady to get kids outside.” 

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