COLUMBIA – Missouri’s famous Katy Trail has always been appreciated by state residents, but the long pathway is now being displayed on a national scale.
In USA Today’s 10Best recreational trails, Katy Trail ranks No. 2 in the country. The 240-mile path goes through the Missouri countryside and connects with Columbia’s own MKT Trail.
Runners, walkers, and bikers have used the trail for over three decades, as tomorrow marks the 32nd anniversary since it opened to the public in 1990. The trail takes visitors through some of the most scenic parts of the state and closely follows the Missouri River.
The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau announced the high ranking of Katy Trail on their Instagram, thanking everyone who took time to vote on the contest. From the opening nomination in March until voting closed, the bureau spread the word about the contest and influenced people to support the trail.
Megan McConachie, the strategic communications manager at the bureau, says that they were thrilled to post the news on social media.
“We had promoted it as the contest was going on, so we were really excited to be able to share that result,” McConachie says.
For both residents of Missouri and people just visiting the state, Katy Trail is major. According to the strategic communications manager, the pathway’s uniqueness attracts both Missourians and tourists.
“The Katy Trail is really the longest rails-to-trails conversion in the country and so that makes it very appealing for not just mid-Missouri residents, but also for visitors all over the country to come and enjoy,” McConachie says.
USA Today’s ranking of the trail boosts its popularity in numerous ways. McConachie explained how the contest results provide significant exposure, impacting Katy Trail itself and towns around it.
“Those who are interested in outdoor recreation, especially this time of year, may not have heard of the Katy Trail or know too much about it and so this is a great way to get awareness out about the trail itself and also the communities that are along it,” McConachie says.
Katy Trail ranked behind Chuck Huckleberry Loop in Tucson, Arizona, which took the No. 1 spot in this year’s contest.