Exploring Missouri wine country is a cinch on the Katy Trail, a 240-mile state park that reaches across most of the state. It’s built on the former corridor of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) Railroad – hence the name. Thanks to Missouri’s German immigrant communities, this section was also once the second-largest wine producing region in America. Prohibition temporarily severed the industry, but revival efforts in the 1960s eventually restored winemaking in towns across Missouri. The leg between Rocheport and Defiance might be the most scenic stretch of wine country in the state, and there’s no better way to see it than by biking the Katy.
It’s a route rich with viticultural history, limestone bluffs and tranquil river views. (Heads-up, history buffs: The trail often follows the footsteps of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in the early 1800s.) The Katy’s flat, hard surface makes for easy cycling, and it’s open year-round, dawn to dusk. With 18 wineries and vineyards located five miles or less from the trail, this is a perfect weekend outing for both sweet- and dry-wine enthusiasts.
Need we say more? Hop on the trail, follow our guide and sip away. –Rose Hansen