Uniquely Columbia: The MKT Trail

Only in Columbia…

Columbia is fortunate enough to have an abundance of green spaces throughout the city. With over 60 city parks, there’s always somewhere to take a jog, play with your kids or spread out a picnic blanket. One of the hallmarks of the city’s parks and trails system is the MKT Trail.

Winding 8.9 miles through the city, the crushed limestone surface of the MKT Trail is built in the old railbed of the MKT train line. With five access points, most with parking next to the trail, the MKT is ideal for a quick jog or a day long adventure.

The picturesque Flat Branch Park marks the beginning of the MKT.

The trail begins at the Flat Branch Park trailhead and weaves through neighborhoods, nature areas and open spaces.

If you happen through the Stadium section of the trail, make sure to walk through the parking area to explore the beautiful Marting Luther King Jr. Memorial at Battle Gardens. A mixture of sculpture and beautiful landscaping, the gardens are a peaceful spot to rest during your time on the trail.

The trail truly is an all-weather surface and is open for cross country skiing when snow falls. The quiet landscape, flat land and gorgeous scenery make it the perfect cross country skiing locale. Have a new kind of trail experience this winter.

After the MKT makes its nearly nine mile journey through Columbia, it meets with the statewide Katy Trail at the Hindman Junction in McBaine. From there, users can travel east or west on the Katy, which stretches over 225 miles across Missouri. Not only is the MKT Trail a uniquely Columbia experience, it also serves as a gateway to a national treasure in the Katy Trail. Next time you’re in town, hop on the MKT and see where it takes you.

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