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Delight In Fall's Majesty & Vineyards Along The Katy Trail In Missouri Wine Country


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Much of the Katy Trail follows the Missouri River. photo courtesy Missouri State Parks.

August 24, 2018
 
Take in the fall colors and beauty of the countryside and savor the fruit of Missouri Wine Country along the Katy Trail State Park.

 
Traversing the state of Missouri for 240 miles, the trail entices bicyclists, walkers and runners of all ages. The trail, built on the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) Railroad corridor, runs between Clinton and Machens. It has 26 trailheads and four fully restored railroad depots.

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The trail winds through some of the most scenic areas of the state with the majority closely following the Missouri River. It meanders through many rural small towns which once thrived along the railroad corridor.

 
From the Marthasville to Machens section, the trail cuts through Missouri Wine Country, known for its quaint German towns and awarding-winning wineries. These towns include Augusta, Dutzow and Defiance, located on Highway 94, which is often called the "Missouri Weinstrasse (wine road)." Katy Trail follows Highway 94 for nearly 100 miles.

 
Take a break from the trail to tour the wineries and visit the quaint towns.

Augusta

 
Augusta, situated on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River Valley, is about 35 miles west of St. Louis. In 1980 Augusta was designated the "First United States Wine District." With approximately 11 bed and breakfast establishments, restaurants and unique specialty shops, the quaint village is perfect for a weekend getaway.

 
Augusta's annual Harvest Festival will celebrate the area's German heritage Sept. 21-23. The event starts Friday evening with "Swing'n in the Vines" concert and picnic. This event is limited to 100 baskets and sells out. Reservations are required by calling 636-228-4005.

 
Saturday begins with the new Harvest Fest 5K run/walk at 9 a.m. Preregistration required at www.augustaharvestfest5k.com. Other highlights include a parade at 10 a.m., a pie-baking competition, pie walks, music, artists and artisans, pony rides, an inflatable obstacle course for children, a Corn Hole Competition, pancake breakfast and more.

 
The evening concludes with the "Fruit of the Harvest Dinner," which showcases Augusta area wine makers. Reservations are required by calling 636-228-4005.

 
Sunday is Heritage Day at Harmonie-Verein with a theatre performance, chicken/pork steak dinners and a guided History Walk/Wine Cellar tour. For more information, call 636-228-4005.

 
Begin the holiday season at Augusta's Christmas Walk and Christmas Market. Streets are lined with over 1,000 luminaries, there is a scavenger hunt, carolers, free trolley rides and shopping. The walk and market will be held on Fridays, Dec. 7 and 14, from 5 to 10 p.m. The market will also be open on Saturday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information on these events, visit www.augusta-chamber.org.

 
Montelle Winery is among the wineries in Augusta. Its philosophy is to farm its vineyards with a respect for the land and the environment, resulting in wines that are continuously recognized for their uniqueness and superior quality. Relax on Montelle's deck, enjoy the view, wine, music on weekends and cuisine from the Klondike Cafe.

 
Also in Augusta is the family-owned and operated winery Noboleis Vineyards. It features wine tastings, lunch served daily, live music on weekends, a year-round tasting room and a place to relax while enjoying the views of rolling vineyards and hillsides.

Defiance

 
Defiance is the home of Sugar Creek Vineyards and Winery. Former Kirkwood residents Ken and Becky Miller, along with son and winemaker Chris Lorch, have been producing award-winning wines at Sugar Creek for 24 years. Located on the Katy Trail, the winery welcomes hikers and cyclists. The winery features live music on weekends. Guests can bring a picnic or enjoy assorted cheese, sausage and snacks offered by Sugar Creek.

 
For more information on Katy Trail State Park, visit www.mostateparks.com/park/katy-trail-state-park.

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