Galena River Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The Galena River Trail is built upon an old railroad spur of the Burlington Railroad main line, constructed in 1886. The spur linked Galena to Galena Junction, where the main railroad line—still active—follows the Mississippi River. Trains on the spur stopped running around 1960. You can still see some of the old signal foundations along the trail between the railroad bridge underpass and where the trail joins South Park Avenue.

The trail corridor is mostly wooded, providing cool shade on hot summer days. In winter, the trail makes for a peaceful cross-country skiing or snowshoeing venture.

Some of the trail highlights include wetlands, limestone bluffs and the original stone foundation of an old house. Wildflowers and wildlife abound. For more details about the location of these and other highlights, visit the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation.

The trail ends abruptly at the main line tracks near the Mississippi River; across the way is a national wildlife refuge that preserves the wetland and slough habitat. There are plans to continue the trail another 2+ miles south, following the river and tracks to Aiken. The trail includes picnic tables along the way, interpretive signs, an information kiosk and porta potty at the trailhead under US 20/Spring Street.

Parking and Trail Access

From US 20 (Spring/Decatur streets in Galena) turn north on Park Avenue; after a short distance, take the first left into the parking area. The trailhead is just under the US 20 bridge. There may be a fee to park, depending on the time of day. The city does issue permits for free parking here; call City Hall at 815-777-1050. You can also park at Galena Recreational Park on Field Street.


Good family trail

   August, 2014 by

We have a second home nearby and use the trail more often than we expected we would because of it's length. As others have said, it's a short but its a very pretty ride, well maintained and mercifully shaded for those hot days. The trail is especially more

   November, 2012 by gephart1

Very well maintained and a great hike. Lots to see along the way! read more

Galena trail is a lovely little trip!

   July, 2011 by dkhilman

We took this trail because my daughter was giving her 1 & 2 year old thier first bike experience, and we didn't want anything too tough. It was a VERY hot day, but the entire path is quite shaded and relatively level. There is a great little picnic stop more