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Best Weekend Adventure 

Katy Trail: Boonville to Hermann

It's been a long time coming, but the Katy Trail may soon touch ground in Kansas City. Even when it gets here, though, the best of this 225-mile gem will still likely be a weekend getaway for all but the hardcore cyclists. Not to dismiss the scenic potential of traveling through agricultural fields in western Missouri, but the gravel path doesn't meet up with the Missouri River until Boonville, making it one of the best spots to start an abbreviated adventure. For the leisurely cyclist, it's just a short 15-mile pedal from Boonville to Rocheport, home of the bluff-top Le Bourgeois Winery and several cozy bed-and-breakfasts. Another 15 miles down the path — past a funky, pseudo-art display called BoatHenge — is Cooper's Landing. This is the spot to catch a gorgeous sunset over the river's bend and listen to some live bluegrass on the patio that holds in its concrete an imprint of a volunteer's ass, if you look hard enough. For those with more endurance, it's only another 10 miles from Easley to more vineyards in Hartsburg, 20 miles to the Capitol dome in Jefferson City or 60 miles to historic Hermann, also known for its grape-based spirits. Regardless of the number of miles traveled, though, this middle stretch is undeniably the heart of Missouri. The flat trail meanders along the banks of the Big Muddy over ornate railroad bridges and through stone tunnels, shadowed by towering limestone bluffs and massive cottonwood trees. And the abundance of wineries and watering holes in tiny towns populated only by river rats? Well, that doesn't hurt, either.

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