JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 26, 2019 – If you’d like to know about Katy Trail State Park before you go, you can now take a virtual tour of the trail using ArcGIS StoryMap. Developed through a cooperative agreement between the Missouri Geological Survey, a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the Arizona Geological Survey, this story map increases access to geologic, historic and cultural features of the park.
A story map can create awareness, and maps are an integral part of storytelling. The public can learn about the trail from afar or guide their trip while on the trail. The Katy Trail State Park Story Map helps tell the remarkable story about the park using custom maps that inform and inspire. The statewide geologic map of Missouri is presented as an interactive map that moves along with users as they traverse the trail, providing location coordinates. The story map not only describes the geology along the trail, but also provides information about important minerals and agricultural areas that contribute to the state’s economy and much more.
“The story map is a convenient way to look at the trail in advance and assist with planning your trip,” said Melanie Smith, deputy regional director of the northern region for Missouri State Parks. “It offers Katy riders insight into the unique geological and natural features that can be found along the trail and can be easily overlooked as you’re peddling by.”
The interactive story map will be integrated into Flyover Country, a free mobile app funded by the National Science Foundation that allows users to locate public geoscience information and save the information for use offline. The Katy Trail State Park Story Map is scheduled to be available in Flyover Country in early 2020. Visit online at flyovercountry.io/.
Breanna Birkett, a student at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla and summer intern with Missouri Geological Survey, developed the Katy Trail State Park Story Map. She and MGS staff coordinated with the Arizona Geological Survey at regular intervals throughout the project to determine design specifications for integration into Flyover County. “We collected field data including photos and geologic descriptions, processed the data, and selected locations to include in the final product,” said Birkett who integrated the data into story map. “We even have a couple of videos that were taken at points along the trail. One I especially like takes the user inside the Rocheport Tunnel, a railroad tunnel under Moniteau Bluff just west of Rocheport. People who aren’t able to walk or ride the trail benefit by having the virtual experience.”
The Katy Trail was built on the former corridor of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, or the Katy for short. The Katy Trail is a 240-mile long trail spanning nearly the entire width of Missouri from Clinton to Machens. The Katy Trail is the longest continuous rail-trail, featuring four fully restored railroad depots, more than 30 trestle bridges, tall bluffs along the Missouri River and much more. With 26 trailheads, trail users can enjoy learning about the rich heritage of Missouri while exploring the lavish countryside on foot, by bike or on horseback for a portion of the trail or for the entire length of the trail. The Division of State Parks, a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, manages the trail.
Katy Trail State Park attracts people of all ages and interests. Whether you are a bicyclist, walker, equestrian, nature lover or history buff, the trail offers opportunities for recreation, a place to enjoy nature and an avenue to discover the past. Check out the Katy Trail State Park Story Map online at https://modnr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index