• MKT Trail Young Cyclists
  • MKT Trail Bridge
  • MKT Trail Cyclists on Bridge 11
  • MKT Runner at Mi. Marker 5.25
  • MKT Trail Mural

MKT Nature and Fitness Trail

Columbia Parks and Recreation is planning to close a short section of the MKT Trail and Hinkson Creek Trail/MU Rec Trail the week of December 10.  Both projects will take one day each to complete and are weather dependent due to the nature of concrete repairs.

The MKT Trail closure/detour route is scheduled to occur on Tuesday, Dec. 11.  A short section of trail between Stadium Boulevard and the Stadium/Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Trailhead will be affected. Trail users are advised to use the detour on Stadium Blvd that day. If the weather causes a delay, the work will be done later in the week or the following week.

The Hinkson Creek/MU Rec Trail closure is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 13.  Repairs will take place on the trail section between the Greenbriar Connector and the MKT Trail, near the 6.75-mile marker.

Should weather cause the project to be delayed, the work will be rescheduled for the week of Dec. 17.  For more information, call Parks and Recreation at 573.874.7460. 

Maps for the project sites and MKT Trail detour can be found at the following links.

MKT Trail Maintenance Project and Detour Route

Hinkson Creek Trail Maintenance and Trail Closure

Trail Miles: 8.9 miles, limestone (4.7 miles - City of Columbia, 4.2 miles - Boone County)

Trailheads & Connectors

(A) Jay Dix Station Park

  • Jay Dix Station Trailhead
  • Photo of Jay Dix Park entrance sign
  • Jay Dix Station Trailhead

(A) Jay Dix Station Park

Map & Address: 3725 S. Scott Blvd

Trail: MKT Nature and Fitness Trail

Support Facilities:

Parking lot

(B) MKT Trail – Scott Blvd. Access

  • MKT Scott Boulevard Access Sign

(B) MKT Trail – Scott Blvd. Access

Map & Address: 3800 S. Scott Blvd.

Trail: MKT Nature and Fitness Trail

Support Facilities:

Drinking fountain, Parking lot, Restroom (open year round), Bike fix-it station, Information Kiosk

Maps & Documents:

MKT Trail - Scott Blvd. Access

These approximately 5 acres located just southeast of the intersection of the MKT Trail and Scott Blvd. have been developed into an open field that can be used as a soccer practice area. A 34-car parking lot was constructed off Scott Blvd.  to serve this area as well as providing access to the MKT Trail. The MKT Trail connects to the County’s portion of the MKT trail at this access through an underpass that leads to the west side of Scott Blvd. The County’s portion of the trail is 4.2 miles and connects to the cross-state KATY Trail.

(D) Forum Nature Area

  • Forum Boulevard MKT access

(D) Forum Nature Area

Map & Address: 2701 Forum Blvd.

Trail: MKT Nature and Fitness Trail

Support Facilities:

Drinking fountain, Parking lot, Restroom

(H) Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at Battle Garden

  • Fitness Stations at MLK Stadium Trailhead
  • Photo of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Sign at Stadium Blvd.

(H) Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at Battle Garden

Map & Address: 800 W. Stadium Blvd.

Trail: MKT Nature and Fitness Trail

Support Facilities:

Drinking fountain, Parking lot, Restroom

Maps & Documents:

Map of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at Battle Garden

(J) MKT Trail Plaza

  • MKT Stewart Plaza
  • Photo of seating area at MKT Plaza

(J) MKT Trail Plaza

Map & Address: 501 S. Providence Rd.

Trail: MKT Nature and Fitness Trail

Maps & Documents:

MKT Trail Plaza Plan Concept by HDR Engineering

The MKT Trail Plaza was constructed in 2009 and funded by GetAbout Columbia as part of the Stewart and Providence intersection improvement project. The plaza is located in a triangular green space bounded by accesses from Providence Road, Stewart Road, and the MKT Trail. A seating area with a drinking fountain and four benches that face the creek and a commemorative plaque offers an ideal place for trail users to take a rest or meet up with friends.


James T. Scott Memorial Plaque

Members of the Association of Black Graduate and Professional Students solicited donations to have a marker placed in the plaza in memory of James Scott, a 35-year-old black man who was lynched by a mob from the Stewart Road Bridge in 1923. Scott was married at the time and working as a janitor at the MU medical school when he was accused of raping the 14-year-old white daughter of an MU German professor. Mr. Scott proclaimed his innocence to the end and never received his day in court.

(K) Flat Branch Park

  • Flat Branch Park sign

(K) Flat Branch Park

Map & Address: 101 S. 4th St.

Trail: MKT Nature and Fitness Trail

Support Facilities:

Drinking fountain, Parking, Bike fix-it station

101 S. 4th St.
(park area at 4th St. and Locust St.) – Phase I

400 Locust St.
(park area between Locust St. and Elm St.) – Phase II, Trailhead with street parking and parking lot off Elm St.

Possible expansion of Flat Branch Park – 
City Council Presentation 10-17-16

Trail Information

MKT Trail Map

Connectivity to MU Rec Trail and Mile Markers

Trail Guide Brochure

The MKT Trail is Columbia’s premiere trail.  It ranked second in the nation for “Best Urban Trail” in the 2015 USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards. This 10-foot wide trail built on the old railbed of the MKT railroad begins in downtown Columbia in Flat Branch Park at 4th and Cherry Streets. The all-weather crushed limestone surface provides opportunities for walking, jogging, running, and bicycling. The City’s 4.7-mile MKT links to Boone County’s 4.2 miles of trail at the southwest edge of the city at Scott Blvd. (Contact Boone County at 573-886-4400 for maintenance concerns on the MKT Trail west of Scott Blvd.) The County’s trail connects with the State of Missouri’s Katy Trail State Park near McBaine. The distance from the start of the MKT Trail to the Katy Trail is 8.9 miles. The KATY Trail extends for 240 miles from St. Charles in eastern Missouri to Sedalia in western Missouri.


Support Facilities

  • Fitness stations at Stadium and Forum trailheads
  • Drinking fountains – open year-round at Stadium, Forum, and Scott Blvd.
  • Playfields at Scott Blvd. Access
  • Restrooms: Stadium (Open from April 15th to October 15th), Forum (Open year round), Scott Blvd. (Open year round)
  • Bike repair station at Scott Blvd.

The Forum Nature Area Trail winds through 108 acres including a small demonstration wetland habitat. It reconnects to the MKT Trail near Twin Lakes Recreation Area.

Thanks to funding support from the Park Sales Tax, trail users can travel the MKT Trail all the way to the Katy Trail without crossing a street. The trail was routed under Stewart, Providence, and Elm Streets as part of a capital improvement project completed in 2007. The year-round restrooms that the replaced port-a-pots at Forum and Scott Blvd. accesses were installed in 2008 and were also funded by the Park Sales Tax.


MKT Trail History

Capital Improvement Projects