News Release 134

Katy Trail State Park is favorite trail among Rural Missouri readers

Volume 39-134 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., APRIL 29, 2011 – When it comes to deciding Missouri’s favorite trail, there is no question with readers of the Rural Missouri magazine. During the 10th annual Best of Rural Missouri contest, Katy Trail State Park was voted the favorite trail in four of the state’s five regions, including a region where it is not located.

Rural Missouri magazine is a monthly publication of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives and each year surveys its readers for their favorites in 12 categories such as different restaurants, festivals and places to go in five different regions.

In the favorite trail category, Katy Trail, which runs 240 miles from Clinton to Machens in St. Charles County, was ranked as the favorite in the northwest, northeast, central and southwest region (although it is not located in the southwest region). This hiking and bicycling trail is the nation's longest developed rail-trail project and is considered a national and international destination.

The ranking as favorite trail in the state is the latest is a series of reasons for people to take advantage of all the trail has to offer. In 2010, the trail celebrated its 20th anniversary with events throughout the year. On April 2, the 11-mile section of the trail from St. Charles to Machens officially opened, completing the trail on the original corridor acquired in 1987. On April 8, a new pedestrian/bicycle lane officially opened on the Missouri River bridge at Jefferson City. The new lane makes it easier and safer for users of the trail to access Jefferson City.

"The Katy Trail State Park is one of Missouri's priceless treasures," said Sara Parker Pauley, Director of the Department of Natural Resources. "The trail has become a national and international destination connecting people from many different walks of life. It was also one of the first inductees into the national Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. I am so fortunate to able to live next to this amazing trail and enjoy all that it has to offer."

Rural Missouri readers did not forget the rest of the state park system. In the category of favorite state park in different regions, readers chose the following: Watkins Woolen Mill State Park and Historic Site near Lawson; Cuivre River State Park near Troy; Ha Ha Tonka State Park near Camdenton; Roaring River State Park near Cassville; and Montauk State Park near Salem.

When it was time to choose the favorite day trips, four of the five locations chosen also offer a state park or historic site nearby. Favorite day trips follow: Weston, which has Weston Bend State Park nearby; Lake of the Ozarks, which offers Lake of the Ozarks State Park and Ha Ha Tonka State Park nearby; Branson, which has Table Rock State Park nearby; and Ste. Genevieve, where Felix Valle House State Historic Site is located.

"I'm pleased Rural Missouri readers recognized Katy Trail and all of our state park system. I hope this will encourage people who have not visited our parks to experience what they offer. With 85 parks and sites scattered throughout the state, they are a great way for the entire family to experience the outdoors and learn about our state’s history," said Bill Bryan, Missouri State Parks director.

Missouri state parks and historic sites are administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Division of State Parks. For more information about Missouri state parks and historic sites, visit