The Katy region is rich in resources, history, and proud traditions. Here are some of the highlights of why this area is so unique.
In the early 1980s, Edward D. (Ted) Jones of Williamsburg, Missouri experienced a bike ride on a "rails-to trails" project in Wisconsin. Inspired, Ted thought that Missouri and Missourians would greatly benefit from a similar project. What is now the Katy Trail was at that time the abandoned KATY railroad, complete with rails and ties. Over the next several years, Ted and his wife Pat worked with local, state and national organizations -- both corporate and governmental -- to begin the creation of the Katy Trail. His personal generosity and perseverance ultimately resulted in the opening of the Trail at Rocheport in the spring of 1990.
Today, the 225-mile Katy Trail State Park gives all of us an opportunity to enjoy the natural scenic beauty of the Missouri countryside. The Trail currently stands as the longest rails-to-trails project in the United States.
The Missouri River is the longest river in the United States, and winds its way across Missouri before ultimately joining the Mississippi in St. Louis. The Missouri River is vital to Missourians for a number of reasons:
Ever since the 19th Century, the Missouri River Valley has been known as an excellent climate to make wine. A wave of German immigration, beginning in the 1830's, resulted in the establishment of a thriving wine culture. By the time Prohibition shut down legal alcohol production almost a century later, Missouri had climbed to number two in wine production in the entire country. Since the 1960's, a resurgence of interest in local vineyards has led to a renaissance in the wine trade in Missouri, and has produced several microbreweries in the region as well. Combined with the interest in the Katy Trail, tourism is now a significant part of the local economy along the river. Learn more about the Katy region by viewing our slideshow.