Best Rail Trails Illinois  by Ted Villaire

Best Rail Trails Illinois Guide Book

by Ted Villaire (Falcon Guides)
Best Rail Trails Illinois  by Ted Villaire
Best Rail Trails Illinois is the complete guide to walking, jogging, biking and cross-country skiing more than forty of the most popular rail trails in Illinois. Written by an author with expert knowledge of the Praire State, this easy-to-use book provides mile-by-mile descriptions of the top rural and urban rail trails -- from the Chicago area's Prairie Path, one of America's first rail trails, to trails in the St. Louis area and those set in the breathtaking beauty of the Shawnee National Forest, as well as numerous other urban, suburban, and rural rail trails statewide.

© 2010 Ted Villaire/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Rail Trails Illinois" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 42.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 42.

This route is jammed with scenic vistas and fascinating local history. While tracing the route of the Des Plaines River, the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, and the I&M Canal, you’ll pass two museums ...
Willow Springs, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 20.1
The list of things to see and do along Chicago’s Lakefront Path will make your head spin: two dozen beaches, three golf courses, two skate parks, Soldier Field Stadium, Buckingham Fountain, a handful ...
Chicago, IL - Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 17.7
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As you trace Mississippi River levees from Alton south to Granite City, you’ll travel alongside the river and one of its channels, as well as adjoining ponds and wetlands. Be sure to give yourself tim ...
Alton, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 16.6
There’s nary a better way to get to know the cities of Bloomington and Normal than following this urban trail as it runs through the center of each town. The tree-lined north section of the trail take ...
Normal, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 11
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Explore this patchwork of trails that run through a series of city parks and neighborhoods in southwest Decatur. Along the way you’ll encounter plenty of watery attractions, such as Stevens Creek, the ...
Decatur, IL - Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 5.3
If you like riparian landscapes, you’ll love the Des Plaines River Trail as it winds alongside tree-laden riverbanks, through dense bottomland woods, alongside ponds, and over footbridges. Quiet oak s ...
Half Day, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 24.8
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Located only 30 miles west of downtown Chicago, the Fox River Trail has plenty of great things going for it. As this pathway hugs the Fox River between Aurora and Algonquin, it passes numerous communi ...
Carpentersville, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 32.8
Like the other rail trails in Madison County, the Glen Carbon Heritage Trail takes you through a variety of interesting environments. At the beginning, near the village of Glen Carbon, the trail shado ...
Maryville, IL - Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 12.2
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As the Great Western Trail makes a straight shot west from Villa Park, it cuts through residential areas and brushes against community parks and forest preserves. Expect to see woods, prairie, and wet ...
Villa Park, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 11.7
Setting out toward Sycamore from St. Charles, the first half of the path presents you with attractive woodland intermingled with acres of bright and shiny housing developments. A rural landscape takes ...
Saint Charles, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 17.1
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As you follow this short trail between two small rural towns, you’ll encounter wide-ranging views of the surrounding farmland. You’ll cross Maucopin Creek and its wooded banks on the north end of the ...
Farmersville, IL - Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 4.4
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the I&M and Hennepin Canals were dug in northern Illinois to speed up transportation between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. The Hennepin ...
Hennepin, IL - Backpacking,Cross-Country Skiing,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 60.3
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Shooting south from Rock Falls, this historic towpath attracts cyclists, hikers, and anglers who come to enjoy the stocked waters, the peaceful wooded banks, and the canal’s abundant birdlife. Swallow ...
Rock Falls, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 28.9
In 1848 the Illinois and Michigan Canal provided the final shipping link between the East Coast of the United States and the Gulf of Mexico. From Chicago the canal angled southwest, running beside the ...
Rockdale, IL - Backpacking,Cross-Country Skiing,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 61.9
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These two connected branches of the Illinois Prairie Path take you through a suburban landscape that is largely residential, sometimes industrial, and often feels more remote than it actually is. As t ...
Aurora, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 27.2
The Illinois Prairie Path, one of the first rail trails in the nation, runs along the route of the former Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin Railway, an electric railroad line that carried commuters and freig ...
Glen Ellyn, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 13.4
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While exploring this route between southwest Springfield and the nearby town of Chatham, you’ll see suburban neighborhoods, attractive woodlands, and the occasional agricultural field. Near Chatham th ...
Springfield, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 9.2
The Jane Addams Trail offers a satisfying ramble through wetlands, prairie, wooded landscapes, and farmland of northwest Illinois. While following the Richland Creek floodplain, the trail crosses twen ...
Florence, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 13
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Starting out in Mattoon, the west half of this trail runs through sprawling tracts of farmland that are interrupted now and then with ravines, ponds, creeks, and patches of prairie and woods. In Charl ...
Mattoon, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 12.1
The best part of this trail is the north section that runs through bottomland woods, over the Sangamon River, and beside Lake Taylorville. The rest of the trail allows you to clock some mileage on a p ...
Taylorville, IL - Cross-Country Skiing,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running,Walking - Trail Length: 14.5
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