Cyclists at Rocheport station on Katy Trail.

Rocheport, Missouri

Rocheport is a small city on the western edge of Boone County at the heart of the US State of Missouri. As part of the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area, Rocheport comprises the Rocheport Historic District, which includes several buildings dating back to the 1830s. The community was initially intended to be named "Rockport" but was changed to "Rocheport" after a French missionary's request in 1825. This cozy town with an array of fine bed and breakfasts, award-winning wineries, shops, galleries, and dining options draws thousands of tourists throughout the year.

Geography And Climate Of Rocheport

missouri river in rocheport
People enjoying the view of the Missouri River in Rocheport.

Placed at an elevation of 614 ft, Rocheport covers a total area of 0.27 square miles, all of which is occupied by land. Rocheport is approximately 14.7 miles from Columbia, 46 miles from the state capital - Jefferson City, and 115.5 miles from Kansas City. The name “Rocheport” has been derived from a French word which means a ‘rocky port’ or a ‘port of rocks.’

According to the Köppen Climate Classification, Rocheport experiences a humid continental climate with hot, wet summers and cold winters. July is the year’s hottest month, having an average high temperature of 88.9°F. January is the year’s coolest month, having an average low temperature of 20.2°F. May, June, and September are the most pleasant months in Rocheport, while January and December are the least comfortable months. With 197 sunny days per year, Rocheport receives an average of 44 inches of rainfall and 14 inches of snowfall annually.

Brief History Of Rocheport

Before the arrival of the Europeans, the indigenous people initially inhabited the present-day Rocheport area. The site’s proximity to the Missouri River, its fertile soils, and the protection given by the massive bluffs attracted early travelers. In 1803, after the Territory of Louisiana was purchased, President Thomas Jefferson ordered the American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to traverse the western territories. On June 7, 1804, the exploration team arrived at the confluence of the Moniteau Creek and Missouri River, close to the current settlement of Rocheport. William Clark noted down his observations on the land, native flora and fauna, and pictographs of the Big Manitou Bluffs in his journal.

In due course, Rocheport became a permanent settlement and served as a trading post for the Native Americans and the settlers. The town grew rapidly, keeping pace with the development of steamboat transportation on the Missouri River. During the American Civil War, the town was subjected to constant guerrilla raids by Union and Confederate troops. After the end of the war, Rocheport prospered as a commercial hub, specifically after the completion of a railroad that linked Missouri, Kansas, and Texas.

Population And Economy Of Rocheport

Rocheport Children's Park Sign in Rocheport MIssouri
A children's park in Rocheport, MIssouri.

As per the latest US Census, Rocheport has a population of about 226 inhabitants with a median age of 52.7. The top ethnic groups in the city include White (Non-Hispanic) at 97.8%, White (Hispanic) at 1.33%, African American (Non-Hispanic) at 0.442%, and Asian (Non-Hispanic) at 0.442%. About 99.6% of Rocheport’s residents are U.S. citizens, and the average car ownership in the city is two cars per household.

Rocheport has a median household income of $40,938 and a median property value of $182,000. The city’s economy employs about 128 people. The most prominent industries in Rocheport include Accomodation & Food Services followed by Retail Trade and Health Care & Social Assistance.

Attractions In And Around Rocheport

Katy Trail State Park

Katy trail state park
Three cyclists enjoying exploring the Katy Trail State Park.

This Missouri State Park contains the Katy Trail, the county's longest continuous recreational rail trail. The Katy Trail State Park runs about 240 miles from Machens to Clinton, mainly along the Missouri River's northern banks on the former corridor of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. Whether you are a cyclist, hiker, or jogger, the Katy Trail allows its users to travel through some of the state's most scenic areas and offers numerous recreation opportunities. Some sections of Katy Trail also form a portion of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail as well as the American Discovery Trail. The Katy Trail attracts about 56,000 visitors to Rocheport every year.  

Moses U. Payne House

Moses Payne house from Roby Farm Road
The Moses U. Payne house as seen from Roby Farm Road. Image credit: Grey Wanderer, via Wikimedia Commons

Also called Lyn Bluffs, the Moses U. Payne House is a historic home close to the Missouri River. Spread over 3.8 acres, this vernacular house type has a large frame central hall plan and a front porch with ornamental ironwork. On October 7, 1994, the House was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Blufftop At Rocheport

Well-known for offering blufftop views of the Missouri River, the tourists who visit the Blufftop at Missouri can sip award-winning wines produced at the Les Bourgeois vineyards. Located just off Interstate 70, the tasting room is home to the brand’s distillery, whereas The Bistro offers lunch and dining services on weekdays and special brunch on weekends. Visitors can also browse the gift shop to collect some beautiful souvenirs or house accessories.

Preserving its small-town charm, Rocheport is indeed a beacon of serenity amidst this fast-paced world. Set on the rugged bluffs of the Missouri River, this picturesque quaint town possesses the friendliness and warmth the Midwest is known. With an array of recreational activities, the magnificent surroundings of the Katy Trail, award-winning wineries, amazing galleries, unique stores, and delicious cuisine, Rocheport has a lot to offer and is an ideal place for a quick day trip or a leisurely weekend escape.  

  1. Home
  2. Places
  3. Cities
  4. Rocheport, Missouri

More in Places