New Franklin to Rocheport - New Franklin, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 00.753 W 092° 44.144
15S E 522879 N 4318202
Quick Description: Points of interest and history along the Katy Trail State Park.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 7/15/2021 5:07:13 AM
Waymark Code: WM14JAH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 0

Long Description:

County of marker: Howard County
Location of marker: foot of S. Howard St., just S. of S. Missouri St., New Franklin
Marker erected: 2010
Marker erected by: Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Marker Text:

New Franklin to Rocheport

The distance to the next railhead
at Rocheport is 9.90 miles. Traveling east, the trail is tree- or bluff-lined with views of the agriculture landscape. Bonne Femme Creek at milepost 187.8 is the first bridge crossing for Katy travelers heading for Rocheport. The Lewis and Clark Expedition camped at the old mouth of this creek on June 7, 1804. Capt. William Clark called it "Good Womans River." Capt. Meriwether Lewis and two men paddled partway up the Bonne Femme.

The former site of Pearsons at milepost 184.5 has a panorama of cropfields and the remains of al old tile grain elevator. Davisdale Conservation Area (milepost 182.1) offers primitive camping, hiking, picnicking, hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities. Starting at milepost 180, Diana Bend Conservation Area gives Katy Trail visitors an opportunity to visit a wetland.

At milepost 178.9 is the one and only tunnel on the former Missouri, Kansas & Texas line (MKT). The blackened ceiling stands as a reminder of the trains that passed through this tunnel from 1893 to 1986. Trail users should note the outstanding stonework. The tunnel is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Just past the tunnel, to the right and around the bluff, is the Diana Bend Conservation Area overlook. The Katy Trail crosses Moniteau Creek before entering Rocheport.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:

The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT)
Begun in the 1870s, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, also known as the Katy, ran through much of the Missouri River valley by the 1890s. With the Pacific Railroad running from St. St. Louis to Jefferson City by 1856 and the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad becoming the first cross-state railroad in 1859, the Katy was a relative late comer to the railroad game. However, it provided a vital link between the agriculture of central Missouri and the quickly developing American southwest. The Katy added to Missouri's prosperity, supporting towns along the corridor and causing several new towns, such Mokane and Tebbetts, to spring up almost overnight.

The Katy Ceases Operation
In the fall of 1986, the Katy experienced severe flooding that washed out several miles of track. Due to the cost of repair, the fact that railroad use was in decline, and the company was in financial trouble, the company decided to cease operations. On Oct. 4, 1986, trains 101 and 102 became the very last trains to use the corridor and the Katy ceased operations on its route from Sedalia to Machens.

The Railroad Amendment
The National Trails System Act Amendments of 1983 provided that railroad corridors no longer needed for active rail service can be banked for future transportation needs and used on an interim basis for recreational trails. When the Katy Railroad ceased operations, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources filed for a certificate of interim trail use for the corridor from Sedalia to Machens and it was granted in April 1987. The department used the opportunity to develop one of the most successful rails-to-trails conversions in the United States.

The Development of Katy Trail State Park
The first section of the trail from Rocheport to McBaine opened in April on 1990. In August of 1990, another section from Augusta to jut northeast of Defiance opened. The rail corridor from St. Charles to just past Sedalia was developed by 1996. Through a donation from the Union Pacific Railroad, the department then extended the trail to Clinton, opening the section between Sedalia and Clinton in September of 1999. Funds from the Missouri Department of Transportation will be used for construction of the final section of Katy Trail from St. Charles to Machens. Future plans include the Rock Island Trail-Katy Connector, which will connect the trails at Windsor to Pleasant Hill.

Additional point: Not Listed

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