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Monday, March 8, 2010

Biking Creve Coeur Lake to Katy Trail to Bangert Island

SportyPal Track from Creve Coeur Lake to St Charles
(For Larger Size Click Image)

On Sunday afternoon, I went for a bike ride beginning at Creve Coeur Lake, going across the Katy Trail Connector and the Page Extension Bridge, then taking the Katy Trail towards Saint Charles, MO. Along the way, I took a detour to Bangert Memorial Wildlife Area. Then I continued to the beginning of the Katy Trail in Saint Charles, MO. In total, I rode about 20 miles roundtrip. The SportyPal track is missing the first 4 or so miles of my ride as my Windows Mobile 6.5 phone crashed. I cannot wait to get rid of WM 6.5 and move to the iPhone or Nexus One once they are available on Verizon's network. Below a few maps and photos from each segment of the trip will be presented.

Creve Coeur Lake

Creve Coeur Lake is the largest park in the St. Louis County Park System, at a little over 2000 acres in size. The park has picnicking, athletic fields, a golf course, and trails. Creve Couer Lake also has a connector to the Katy Trail that takes you across the Page Extension Bridge. There is fishing and non-gasoline powered boating in Creve Couer Lake. According to the legend, the lake was created by the tears of an Indian girl whose lover had died. Her "tears" are the Dripping Springs Waterfall. Visit the official website here.

Creve Coeur Lake Map

Creve Coeur Lake

Dripping Springs Waterfall

Sunset Mallard Lake

Katy Trail State Park

The Katy Trail State Park is one of the longest rail to trail projects in the United States at 225 miles long. The trail is built on the former right of way for the Kansas and Texas Railroads along the Missouri River. The trail begins at Saint Charles and ends at Clinton. Generally speaking the trail is flat and has its lowest elevation near Saint Charles and its highest near Clinton, but the climb is gradual about 1 foot or so every mile going West. The trail is a lot of fun.

Map of the Katy Trail

Katy Trail Entrance from Connector Trail
Page Extension Bridge in the Background

Example of the Katy Trails Pug Limestone Trail

Bangert Wildlife Area

Along the Katy Trail just before entering Saint Charles is the Louis H. Bangert Memorial Wildlife Area. This wildlife area is an island in the Missouri River. Bangert Island is a fun place to ride with some interesting views. On this ride, a skunk came out and walked right past me. I think this is one of the few times I have seen a skunk in the daylight. See below for some photos and maps of Bangert Island.

From the website:

"Guests may enter the 160-acre park from the Katy Trail entrance along Old South River Road in St. Charles and then cross a slough that connects Bangert Island to the mainland.  While using the park's 2.6 miles of natural surface trail for hiking or mountain biking, guests may encounter white-tailed deer, turkey, raccoons, opossums, and a variety of songbirds.  A typical wooded Missouri River island, the land features cottonwood, sycamore, box elder, silver maple, and black willow trees.  In addition to bird-watching, hiking, bicycling, and photography, park guests may also fish along the banks of the Missouri River that flows below the park."

Bangert Island Map

Bangert Island Entrance Off of the Katy Trail

Stream on Bangert Island

Missouri River from Bangert Island

Example of the Trail on Bangert Island

Skunk (Black Thing Near Photo Center) on Bangert Island

A Video from YouTube of Cycling on Bangert Island

Saint Charles

Part of the Katy Trail State Park
Boat House and Lewis and Clark Exhibit

Trailhead Brewery in Saint Charles

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