Weekend getaways are just a hike, bicycle ride away

A view of the Missouri River from Cooper's Landing. This is just one destination to experience along Katy Trail. (Courtesy/Cooper's Landing)
A view of the Missouri River from Cooper's Landing. This is just one destination to experience along Katy Trail. (Courtesy/Cooper's Landing)

With the Katy Trail just outside Jefferson City, it is a popular destination for Mid-Missourians seeking to get outside and take a short bike ride or hike before dinner.

But if you are looking for a nearby weekend getaway, Katy Trail has plenty of activities beyond biking and hiking to entertain if you push past the local route.

And you won't even have to fill up a gas tank for the weekend getaway.

A Katy Trail trailhead is located on the northern edge of Jefferson City. The Canterbury Hill Winery and Restaurant overlooks the trailhead; the restaurant features wine made on-location, and it is a great spot near the trail to get some rest before continuing. Canterbury Hill also hosts live events, such as seating for the Jefferson City fireworks show July 4 or dueling pianos July 15.

Located only 10 miles northwest of Jefferson City is the small town of Hartsburg, which the Katy Trail runs directly through. One tourist destination here is the Hart Creek Conservation Area. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, the area is home to a fishing lake and a primitive camping site. Hunting, fishing and opportunities to watch local wildlife serve as a great excuse to take a break from traveling along Katy Trail.

Looking for somewhere in Hartsburg to grab a bite to eat? The Burg is a local restaurant and bar sure to satisfy. If you happen to stop by on the weekend, you can also enjoy a variety of live music and entertainment.

Although it might seem far away now, it is never too early to consider fall festivities. Hartsburg hosts an annual Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 8-9 that attracts people from all across the area. If you happen to be traveling on the trail during that time, be sure to make a stop to enjoy the attractions.

Located 19 miles northwest of Jefferson City is Easley, home to Cooper's Landing. Right on the Katy Trail, this is a perfect location to rest for an evening. Cooper's Landing is home to a marina, if you are interested in boating along the Missouri River. Guests can also ride in a two-hour motorboat tour during the Big Muddy Boat Ride Series.

Not interested in boating? Cooper's Landing is also host to a rotating variety of live music and food trucks throughout the week and weekend. Food trucks include 2 Odd Dawgs, Fresh Harvest Grill and The Patty Wagon. Cooper's Landing also has a country store which offers any items someone going along the trail might need.

For something unique along the Katy Trail, consider stopping by Boathenge near Cooper's Landing. Boathenge is made up of six boats positioned vertically upright in a field. According to Boathenge's website, the boats were discovered one day by locals after reportedly appearing overnight. This is a unique sight to behold, one which can only be found by traveling on the Katy Trail.

Thirty-five miles away along the Katy Trail is the city of Rocheport, with a large variety of activities for cyclists and hikers to enjoy. The town offers several different bed and breakfasts, such as the Katy Trail Bed and Bikefest located in the heart of Rocheport. School House is another option for bed and breakfast, which includes staying in an old-fashioned public school building.

The Les Bourgeois Winery and Bistro serves as a location in Rocheport to enjoy local wine and craft beer. The A-Frame Winegarden offers scenic views of the Missouri River, while also offering food and drinks. For just drinks, they offer a tasting room where you can try various wines, beer and other spirits from the area.

Les Bourgeois hosts a Summer Music on The Blufftop series on most Sunday evenings. These events offer a variety of live music from local artists throughout the summer. Les Bourgeois offers tours of the winery and other wine making facilities as well.

Forty-five miles outside of Jefferson City is New Franklin, directly on the Katy Trail. There are two conservation areas near New Franklin to enjoy. The Davisdale Conservation Area features more than 800 acres of woodland and a scenic view of limestone bluffs created by the Missouri River, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The Diana Bend Conservation Area is also located just outside of New Franklin. This area offers a destination to fish and view local wildlife. Boating and hunting are also available here when permitted.

For somewhere more urban, try Miracle Coffee Cup. This local restaurant offers traditional diner food with a small town atmosphere.

If you happen to be traveling through New Franklin in the summer, stop by the city park to watch a public showing of a movie. These events are held throughout the summer.

Only four miles away from New Franklin is Boonville, which is directly along the route of Katy Trail. This city has many local options for food, such as Main Street Diner or Palace Restaurant.

Boonville also has Isle of Capri Casino and Hotel, which can offer a nice change of pace from the biking or hiking of Katy Trail. If you are looking for a smaller place to stay overnight, Boonville offers the Katy Retreat. Located less than half a mile from Katy Trail, this is a whole house available to stay in.

Boonville can offer guests many different entertainment options, such as Warm Springs Ranch. The ranch, which is billed as "the official breeding facility of the Budweiser Clydesdales," offers guided walking tours and additional experiences with the Clydesdales.

A couple of different museums can be found in Boonville, such as the Rivers, Rails and Trails museum. This tourist destination offers a chance to view train memorabilia and steamboat history within Missouri. The Mitchell Antique Motorcar Museum offers the largest collection of antique Mitchell motorcars and wagons in the world, according to the Boonville tourism website.

With Katy Trail stretching across Missouri, there are plenty of opportunities for those traveling the trail to enjoy the destinations or to make their own adventures just off the trail.

  photo  Courtesy/Cooper's Landing: A crowd is gathered at Cooper's Landing to enjoy spending time outdoors. Cooper's Landing is located outside the nearby town of Easley.
  photo  Courtesy/Cooper's Landing: The sun sets on the Missouri River while a fire burns at Cooper's Landing. Much of Katy Trail runs along the Missouri River.