Rock Island Corridor and Katy Trail Connection

Updated 3/16/2017: View the information presented at the March 2017 public meetings to learn more about the timeline, trail heads, local trail connections, and much more.

Connecting Kansas City to the Katy Trail State Park is part of BikeWalkKC’s 10 Year Vision for Greater Kansas City. We are working with many public and private stakeholders to achieve the western end of the vision to extend the Katy Trail from border to border across Missouri.

The Katy to KC Connection is made up of multiple trail segments and connections via the MetroGreen trail network.

  1. 2016: Windsor to Pleasant Hill
  2. 2018: Truman Sports Complex to View High Drive in Lee’s Summit
  3. Post 2018: View High Drive to Pleasant Hill



rockislandstatepark2016: Rock Island State Park between Pleasant Hill and Windsor
The Missouri State Parks is currently building a 45 mile segment from Pleasant Hill in KC’s southeast suburbs eastward to Windsor, where it will join the existing Katy Trail. This segment is using an inactive portion of the Rock Island Railroad owed Ameren, the St. Louis utility company. Funding was secured as part of legal settlement over a dam failure at an Ameren reservoir in Mid-Missouri. After a slow start, progress is accelerating and completion is planned by the end of 2016.

Related: Rock Island Trail State Park and the Missouri Rock Island Trail coalition.

2018: Jackson County Rock Island Trail – Truman Sports Complex to Lee’s Summit
In 2016 Jackson County and the Kansas City Transportation Authority jointly purchased Union Pacific’s Rock Island line between the Truman Sports Complex and Greenwood. The corridor will initially become a multi-use trail, and it will be preserved for future public transit service like bus rapid transit or commuter rail. Jackson County began trail planning in 2016, and the first phase of trail between the Truman Sports Complex and View High Drive is due to open by the end of 2018.

Related: Jackson County’s Rock Island Rail Corridor Authority, the agency in charge of the current trail development work.

After 2018
There is no timeline yet for the next segment between View High Drive and Greenwood. Planning for that segment is expected to begin when the first segment is closer to completion.

Greenwood Gap
A small section of the corridor through the town of Greenwood is still an active railroad and was not part of the Union Pacific sale to Jackson County and the KCATA. Planning is underway to identify an alternate corridor for a trail or on-street connection to Pleasant Hill.

3. Local trail connections
Once the Rock Island corridor is complete, there will be several local connections to the MetroGreen trail network. Most of the metro area will be within a half-day’s ride of Katy Trail! Some of these local trails are open now, some are under development, and others are just dreams waiting for funding.

  • Brush Creek Trail to the Country Club Plaza, with a future extension into Northeast Johnson County
  • Blue River Trail planned to stretch from Leawood to the Missouri River
  • Downtown Kansas City via the planned Blue River Trail and a future eastward extension of the Riverfont Heritage Trail
  • Downtown KCK via the western leg of the Riverfront Heritage Trial
  • The Route 150 Trail from Lee’s Summit 71 Highway in South KC, with a future extension west to Johnson County
  • Northland via new paths on the Heart of America and Chouteau Bridges


Updated March 2017

How you can help make this all happen
Become a member of BikeWalkKC to help us work towards this awesome goal. Your membership supports our work with local cities and counties to bring the Katy to KC and build out the MetroGreen network so the whole region can access the Katy. Join today, or if you are already a member, make a donation.