Katy Trail State Park and Clark's Hill/Norton State Historic Site

two adults with toy dog and Lewis and Clark trail sign
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, five special dogs, the Lewis and Clark Pups, will travel in the paws of their ancestor Seaman, dog of Meriwether Lewis. The pups will travel more than 3,700 miles to complete their mission to commemorate and protect the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. They will be joined by Seaman Jr. who will complete his portion of the mission on the International Space Station.

As they make their stops they will be reporting back in on their adventures. Follow Rocky, Harper, Dakota, Keelie and Seaman Jr. at: go.nps.gov/NewfieNews

Dakota, reporting in! I stopped in the state of Missouri to visit Katy Trail State Park and Clark's Hill/Norton State Historic Site. I got to experience a lot of nature and to meet lots of new friends here!

My tour guides Anthony and Dean led me to a part of Katy Trail where we saw people walking, biking, and even riding horses. There are 26 trailheads that make up 240 miles of trail. That’s a lot of land to explore! In fact, I learned it’s the longest developed rail-trail in the whole country. It was built on the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad after the trains stopped traveling on it. I liked the trail because it follows along the Missouri River and I got to spot things like old telegraph poles, restored rail depots, and a fun tunnel the train used to ride through.

two adults with toy dog at wooden overlook
Here are Dean, William, and I at one of the overlooks on the trail. I couldn’t believe we were so high up that we could see the tops of the trees. This sea of green went on as far as the eye could see– I can feel the fresh air now just looking at this picture! They told me about the Katy Land Trust here, which works with nearby landowners to ensure that the beautiful land surrounding the trail is preserved.
two visitors with toy dog
Next, I headed over to Clark’s Hill where I met some other visitors, Khloe and Greg. We stopped at the signs that are posted outside to learn about the history of the site. We learned about the Corps of Discovery’s time here, the natural history of the land, and the plants and animals that call it home.
Girl and toy dog near trail sign
It was really exciting to arrive at the trailhead for Clark’s Hill/Norton State Historic Site after I learned it follows the same route that Lewis and Clark took on their journey! The Corps of Discovery camped here at the base of what’s called Clark’s Hill. It’s called that because he climbed the hill and wrote about it in his journal. He measured the hill, the Osage and Missouri Rivers, and wrote about Indian mounds that he spotted. The trail took us to an overlook where we could see the mounds, the corps campsite, and the rock where Clark actually stood and made his observations!
two adults with canoe paddle and toy dog
Here I am at the end of the day with park staff Lauren. She shares with volunteer Janeen about our trip down to the river and our hike at Clark’s Hill/Norton State Historic Site. It was such a fun day, and so special to walk in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, seeing the same sights they saw.

Learn more:
Katy Trail State Park
Clark’s Hill/Norton State Historic Site

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Last updated: August 3, 2018