(Dec. 12, 2008) — Missouri’s Katy Trail State Park is just one of countless attractions that help to highlight the scenic beauty of our state while generating economic growth through tourism.
The 225-mile long Katy Trail has the distinction of being the longest developed rail-to-trail conversion project in our nation. It is estimated that approximately 350,000 people annually use the trail. As governor, one of my longtime priorities has been to help connect the Katy Trail to the Kansas City area.
Something positive can sometimes come from tragedy. Such is the case with the opportunity to complete the Katy Trail to the Kansas City area. As a part of the settlement over the collapse of the Ameren Taum Sauk Reservoir that caused significant environmental damages, including damage to Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, my office and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources negotiated a settlement with Ameren that provides the department with the license needed to expand the Katy Trail alongside the old Rock Island Railroad corridor from Windsor to Pleasant Hill. Ultimately, this important acquisition will lead to the extension of the Katy Trail from St. Louis to Kansas City.
This year the Katy Trail was inducted into the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a national nonprofit organization that works with communities to preserve unused rail corridors by transforming them into trails. This recognition stands as a testament to the importance of the Katy Trail.
I look forward to the day when cyclists can travel all the way across Missouri on this beautiful trail.