April 17, 2015

Contact: Steph Deidrick

Groundbreaking ceremony for North Jefferson Beautification Project celebrates Katy Trail State Park

The 25th anniversary of Katy Trail State Park, the nation’s longest completed rail-trail conversion, will be celebrated on Tuesday, April 28 at the North Jefferson trailhead. The event will begin at 2 p.m. with a groundbreaking ceremony for the North Jefferson Beautification Project, which will feature an expanded parking area, small picnic shelter, and native landscaping when complete.

Representatives from Edward Jones, the financial services firm donating the cost of the picnic shelter, will be recognized during the ceremony. Other honorees to be recognized include Pat Jones, who along with her husband, Ted, gave the initial donation to make Katy Trail State Park possible; the Missouri Department of Transportation, for donating approximately 1.5 acres adjacent to the existing trailhead; the Conservation Foundation of Missouri Charitable Trust, for their continued support of Katy Trail State Park; and the City of Jefferson, for their assistance in connecting the Katy Trail to Jefferson City.

Katy Trail State Park is built on the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, which ceased operations in 1986. The first section of Katy Trail was dedicated on April 28, 1990 at Rocheport. The trail runs from Machens to Clinton, a distance of approximately 240 miles. Today, nearly 400,000 visitors use the trail annually and a 2012 economic impact study found that Katy Trail-related expenditures made by trail users generate almost $18.5 million annually.

For more information about the event, call Katy Trail State Park at 573-449-7402. The North Jefferson trailhead is located north of Jefferson City, and can be reached by taking the Rt. W/Airport exit off Highway 54. For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.