Rocheport is proud to be named “Best Mid-Missouri Small Town’ by Inside Columbia Magazine’s 2013 readers’ poll. Here’s the scoop:
Best Mid-Missouri Small Town
1825 was a really good year. That was when the little trading post of Rocheport established itself as a town, and started on the path to becoming Columbia’s favorite neighbor. There’s history everywhere in the charming little town. From the General Store to the amenity-laden bed and breakfasts to the restaurants that have everyone raving, Rocheport is worth the 20-minute drive and a Saturday afternoon. Just head west on I-70; you can’t miss it.
The Les Bourgeois Winery announces their new executive chef, Joshua Smith, as of February 1, 2013. A native of St. Joseph MO, Chef Joshua has trained and practiced his culinary skills in New Orleans, Italy and Spain and most recently at Sycamore in Columbia MO. See his full bio on the Les Bourgeois website.
Area fine dining options have expanded to include four-course dinners and a Sunday brunch aboard the Columbia Star Dinner Train.
The Columbia Star utilizes two vintage streamlined passenger locomotives (1948 and 1953) to pull three restored 1938 dining cars on a 42 mile round trip to Centralia, Missouri on the old Wabash Railroad tracks. The trip takes a leisurely three hours. Capacity is 200 people. A former baggage car has been converted into a full kitchen.
Columbia Star guests are treated to a full wait staff and bar. Appetizers, drinks, and an elegant four-course meal are prepared on the train. Diners get full white linen, fine china, and candlelight service.
This service is available year round with Friday and Saturday departures at 7 p.m. and a Sunday brunch departing at 11:30 a.m.
For more information including reservation information visit Columbia Star Dinner Train
Harvest is in full swing and more productive than ever thanks to the newest addition to the Les Bourgeois family, a 14,000 square foot production facility that will enable our winemakers to focus on higher quality products.
Check out the news story and video here:
Rocheport businesses (all of them!) are open and keeping normal hours. Even if we experience higher than normal river levels this summer, our B&B’s, shops, and restaurants are nearly all located well out of the way of high water so it will not affect your enjoyment of Rocheport.
Occasionally, our close neighbor to the South, the Missouri River, becomes a force of nature and asserts itself by occupying a full measure of real estate along the ancient path to the Mississippi River at St. Louis. This spring and summer, upper reaches of the Missouri River are at high flood levels due to heavy snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains and heavy rainfall in the immense Missouri River basin. High water levels on the upper Missouri River do not necessarily translate to high water levels at Rocheport. The river and valley are much wider here than in the north and much water can pass by us without causing flood levels locally.
Presently, our water level is 21.5 feet at the Boonville gauge. Because Rocheport doesn’t have its own river gauge, we use the closest gauge for reference and it is located just upstream in Boonville. 21 feet at Boonville is officially defined as the beginning of “Flood Stage.” In Rocheport, no one notices or cares when the river reaches 21 feet. No Rocheport property, businesses, citizens, or visitors are affected at this water level.
Water levels must rise to about 27 feet before first effects are noticed. At 27 feet, the Katy Trail State Park surface in low spots located about two miles west and eight miles east of Rocheport first go under water. Locals and savvy trail users usually ride slowly or walk bikes through the short distance required when water is up to about six inches deep on the Katy Trail. Rocheport tends to attract more Katy Trail traffic at times of high water because cyclists can ride out along the banks and safely observe the awesome power of the Mighty Missouri from a few feet away. The Katy Trail near Rocheport is generally regarded as the most beautiful section of the entire 238 mile trail and high river water is an added bonus.
River water will first cover the Katy Trail at the lowest spot inside Rocheport City Limits at about 31 feet. Even this level of water will not impair your ability to access the Trail and safely cycle out under the bluffs and enjoy views of the River.
Rocheport is not protected by any levee. This means there are no levees to break or be topped by rising water. Therefore, very few Rocheport buildings are located in harm’s way even if water levels reach extremely high levels.
To access current Missouri River level information and predictions go to the U.S. Geological Survey website Missouri River Levels at Boonville. This is a wonderful website which we keep on “favorites” so objective information can be imparted when inquiries are made.
UPDATE: As of May 25th, the new bridge is complete! Cyclists can once again enjoy trips in both directions from Rocheport!
A seventy ton steel span of the Katy Trail State Park Bridge at Rocheport, Missouri was lifted off on Saturday, March 5, 2011. This was done in preparation for a complete rebuilding of the railroad bridge over Moniteau Creek at the Katy Trail Tunnel. The tunnel was built by men and mules in the 1890′s and was the only railroad tunnel built on the Katy Railroad in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. Builders say the new bridge will be open for visitor traffic in May, 2011.
Les Bourgeois Winery is making good progress on building their new winery operations facility at the I-70 Rocheport exit. Tours of the new facility are now available on weekends. For the complete story click here.
We have a new attraction in the Rocheport area! Anheuser-Busch has opened their newly-constructed Clydesdale horse breeding farm called Warm Springs Ranch just a few miles west of Rocheport at the I-70 Overton exit. Public tours are available April-Octoberat 10 am and 2 pm with an advance reservation. Space is limited and reservations are required. For more information and online reservations, visit their website.