Galena Trails and Maps

Looking for the best trails around Galena?

Find the top rated trails in Galena, whether you're looking an easy walking path or a long bike trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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  • Length
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
19 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Badger State Trail

40 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Bear River Recreation Trail

5.6 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Cheese Country Recreation Trail

47 mi
State: WI
Crushed Stone

Clinton Discovery Trail

4.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Copper Creek Trail

0.75 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone
Accordion

Galena River Trail

4.5 mi
State: IL
Crushed Stone

Gilroy Rustic Park Trail

0.5 mi
State: IA
Ballast, Grass

Grant Wood Trail (Jones County Segment)

2.7 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Great River Trail

60 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Heritage Trail (IA)

29.4 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Hoover Nature Trail (Overview)

115 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Grass, Gravel

Jane Addams Trail

14.8 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Lynn Boulevard/Westwood Trail

3.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Military Ridge State Trail

38.8 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Pecatonica State Trail

10 mi
State: WI
Crushed Stone

Rountree Branch Trail

3 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Concrete

Sugar River State Trail

25 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Wolf Run Trail (WI)

2 mi
State: WI
Crushed Stone
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Badger State Trail runs from the Illinois border to the southern neighborhoods of Madison. The first 34 miles from Illinois to Purcell Road near Fitchburg have a crushed limestone surface, while the ...
WI 40 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Bear River Recreation Trail follows part of the Maquoketa River outside of Spragueville and Preston, through bucolic countryside of woodlands, farms and river lowlands. You can start the trail in the ...
IA 5.6 mi Crushed Stone
If you're looking for an invigorating motorized trail experience, the Cheese Country Trail (a.k.a. the Tri-County Trail) will not disappoint. The 47-mile trail meanders through the heart of southwest Wisconsin's ...
WI 47 mi Crushed Stone
Located in the scenic riverside city of Clinton, the Clinton Discovery Trail offers trail users a wonderful way to make the most of the city's prime location on the banks of the Mississippi River. Dedicated ...
IA 4.8 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Copper Creek Trail runs for a short distance from the town of Preston, heading northwest along Copper Creek to meet with the Bear River Recreation Trail. You'll find a nice picnic spot with a gazebo ...
IA 0.75 mi Crushed Stone
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 ...
IL 4.5 mi Crushed Stone
Located in the quaint community of Lost Nation, the Gilroy Rustic Park Trail is one of the most picturesque places in Clinton County. The half-mile path is lined with trees and, although the trail is overlain ...
IA 0.5 mi Ballast, Grass
Accordion
Nearly 3 miles of the Grant Wood Trail in Jones County has been constructed so far (2012) along a former Milwaukee Road right-of-way in Marion and Olin. The trail is named for the early 20th-century Iowa ...
IA 2.7 mi Crushed Stone
The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along 60 miles of the Mississippi River. The route is a mixture of paved rail-trail, small-town sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes on the street and a stretch ...
IL 60 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Iowa's Heritage Trail runs for nearly 30 miles between the city of Dubuque and the town of Dyersville to the west. Short portions of the trail are paved within the two communities, but the vast majority ...
IA 29.4 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Hoover Nature Trail is a planned rail-trail built on an abandoned Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad right-of-way. When complete, the trail will run through 6 counties and 16 towns between Cedar ...
IA 115 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Grass, Gravel
Stretching north from Freeport, Illinois, to the Wisconsin state line, the Jane Addams Trail is a natural wonder. Expect to see birds and wild animals-from exotic aerial hunters, such as owls and hawks, ...
IL 14.8 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The trail user can be transported from the bustling Westwood Fitness and Sports Center to a beautiful wooded trail that offers Elkhorn Creek on the far outer loop of the trail, a shelter at the top of ...
IL 3.7 mi Asphalt
Note: Trail passes are required year-round for cyclists and inline skaters, ages 16 and up. You can buy them at self-registration stations on the trail or at select parks and private businesses. The passes ...
WI 38.8 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Pecatonica State Trail from Belmont to Calamine promises a journey through some early Wisconsin history. Old Belmont was Wisconsin's capital when it was still a territory, and you can visit the First ...
WI 10 mi Crushed Stone
The Rountree Branch Trail begins where Chestnut Street in Platteville crosses the Rountree Branch stream and continues 2.7 miles to Keystone Parkway. The trail connects trails on the UW-Platteville campus ...
WI 3 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail starts at one end at the edge of the Hoover Park parking lot and heads into a scenic wooded trail crossing a wooden bridge over Woodlawn Creek and traveling ...
IL 2 mi Asphalt
If you can't make it to Switzerland do the next best thing: take the Sugar River State Trail to "America's Little Switzerland"—New Glarus, Wisconsin. Settled in 1845 by a small tribe of Swiss pioneers, ...
WI 25 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Wolf Run Trail supports a wide variety of users on its two miles of crushed gravel, situated on the outskirts of Mazomanie in northwestern Dane County. Heading southeast from the charming little ...
WI 2 mi Crushed Stone

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Trails by activity

Badger State Trail

WI - 40 miles

The Badger State Trail runs from the Illinois border to the southern neighborhoods of Madison. The first 34 miles from Illinois to Purcell Road near Fitchburg have a crushed limestone surface, while the ...

Bear River Recreation Trail

IA - 5.6 miles

The Bear River Recreation Trail follows part of the Maquoketa River outside of Spragueville and Preston, through bucolic countryside of woodlands, farms and river lowlands. You can start the trail in the ...

Clinton Discovery Trail

IA - 4.8 miles

Located in the scenic riverside city of Clinton, the Clinton Discovery Trail offers trail users a wonderful way to make the most of the city's prime location on the banks of the Mississippi River. Dedicated ...

Copper Creek Trail

IA - 0.75 miles

The Copper Creek Trail runs for a short distance from the town of Preston, heading northwest along Copper Creek to meet with the Bear River Recreation Trail. You'll find a nice picnic spot with a gazebo ...

Accordion

Copper Creek Trail

IA - 0.75 miles

The Copper Creek Trail runs for a short distance from the town of Preston, heading northwest along Copper Creek to meet with the Bear River Recreation Trail. You'll find a nice picnic spot with a gazebo ...

Galena River Trail

IL - 4.5 miles

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 ...

Gilroy Rustic Park Trail

IA - 0.5 miles

Located in the quaint community of Lost Nation, the Gilroy Rustic Park Trail is one of the most picturesque places in Clinton County. The half-mile path is lined with trees and, although the trail is overlain ...

Great River Trail

IL - 60 miles

The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along 60 miles of the Mississippi River. The route is a mixture of paved rail-trail, small-town sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes on the street and a stretch ...

Heritage Trail (IA)

IA - 29.4 miles

Iowa's Heritage Trail runs for nearly 30 miles between the city of Dubuque and the town of Dyersville to the west. Short portions of the trail are paved within the two communities, but the vast majority ...

Hoover Nature Trail (Overview)

IA - 115 miles

The Hoover Nature Trail is a planned rail-trail built on an abandoned Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad right-of-way. When complete, the trail will run through 6 counties and 16 towns between Cedar ...

Jane Addams Trail

IL - 14.8 miles

Stretching north from Freeport, Illinois, to the Wisconsin state line, the Jane Addams Trail is a natural wonder. Expect to see birds and wild animals-from exotic aerial hunters, such as owls and hawks, ...

Lynn Boulevard/Westwood Trail

IL - 3.7 miles

The trail user can be transported from the bustling Westwood Fitness and Sports Center to a beautiful wooded trail that offers Elkhorn Creek on the far outer loop of the trail, a shelter at the top of ...

Military Ridge State Trail

WI - 38.8 miles

Note: Trail passes are required year-round for cyclists and inline skaters, ages 16 and up. You can buy them at self-registration stations on the trail or at select parks and private businesses. The passes ...

Rountree Branch Trail

WI - 3 miles

The Rountree Branch Trail begins where Chestnut Street in Platteville crosses the Rountree Branch stream and continues 2.7 miles to Keystone Parkway. The trail connects trails on the UW-Platteville campus ...

SMART (Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail)

IL - 2 miles

The Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail starts at one end at the edge of the Hoover Park parking lot and heads into a scenic wooded trail crossing a wooden bridge over Woodlawn Creek and traveling ...

Sugar River State Trail

WI - 25 miles

If you can't make it to Switzerland do the next best thing: take the Sugar River State Trail to "America's Little Switzerland"—New Glarus, Wisconsin. Settled in 1845 by a small tribe of Swiss pioneers, ...

Wolf Run Trail (WI)

WI - 2 miles

The Wolf Run Trail supports a wide variety of users on its two miles of crushed gravel, situated on the outskirts of Mazomanie in northwestern Dane County. Heading southeast from the charming little ...

Badger State Trail

WI - 40 miles

The Badger State Trail runs from the Illinois border to the southern neighborhoods of Madison. The first 34 miles from Illinois to Purcell Road near Fitchburg have a crushed limestone surface, while the ...

Bear River Recreation Trail

IA - 5.6 miles

The Bear River Recreation Trail follows part of the Maquoketa River outside of Spragueville and Preston, through bucolic countryside of woodlands, farms and river lowlands. You can start the trail in the ...

Cheese Country Recreation Trail

WI - 47 miles

If you're looking for an invigorating motorized trail experience, the Cheese Country Trail (a.k.a. the Tri-County Trail) will not disappoint. The 47-mile trail meanders through the heart of southwest Wisconsin's ...

Clinton Discovery Trail

IA - 4.8 miles

Located in the scenic riverside city of Clinton, the Clinton Discovery Trail offers trail users a wonderful way to make the most of the city's prime location on the banks of the Mississippi River. Dedicated ...

Accordion

Clinton Discovery Trail

IA - 4.8 miles

Located in the scenic riverside city of Clinton, the Clinton Discovery Trail offers trail users a wonderful way to make the most of the city's prime location on the banks of the Mississippi River. Dedicated ...

Copper Creek Trail

IA - 0.75 miles

The Copper Creek Trail runs for a short distance from the town of Preston, heading northwest along Copper Creek to meet with the Bear River Recreation Trail. You'll find a nice picnic spot with a gazebo ...

Galena River Trail

IL - 4.5 miles

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 ...

Gilroy Rustic Park Trail

IA - 0.5 miles

Located in the quaint community of Lost Nation, the Gilroy Rustic Park Trail is one of the most picturesque places in Clinton County. The half-mile path is lined with trees and, although the trail is overlain ...

Grant Wood Trail (Jones County Segment)

IA - 2.7 miles

Nearly 3 miles of the Grant Wood Trail in Jones County has been constructed so far (2012) along a former Milwaukee Road right-of-way in Marion and Olin. The trail is named for the early 20th-century Iowa ...

Great River Trail

IL - 60 miles

The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along 60 miles of the Mississippi River. The route is a mixture of paved rail-trail, small-town sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes on the street and a stretch ...

Heritage Trail (IA)

IA - 29.4 miles

Iowa's Heritage Trail runs for nearly 30 miles between the city of Dubuque and the town of Dyersville to the west. Short portions of the trail are paved within the two communities, but the vast majority ...

Hoover Nature Trail (Overview)

IA - 115 miles

The Hoover Nature Trail is a planned rail-trail built on an abandoned Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad right-of-way. When complete, the trail will run through 6 counties and 16 towns between Cedar ...

Jane Addams Trail

IL - 14.8 miles

Stretching north from Freeport, Illinois, to the Wisconsin state line, the Jane Addams Trail is a natural wonder. Expect to see birds and wild animals-from exotic aerial hunters, such as owls and hawks, ...

Lynn Boulevard/Westwood Trail

IL - 3.7 miles

The trail user can be transported from the bustling Westwood Fitness and Sports Center to a beautiful wooded trail that offers Elkhorn Creek on the far outer loop of the trail, a shelter at the top of ...

Military Ridge State Trail

WI - 38.8 miles

Note: Trail passes are required year-round for cyclists and inline skaters, ages 16 and up. You can buy them at self-registration stations on the trail or at select parks and private businesses. The passes ...

Pecatonica State Trail

WI - 10 miles

The Pecatonica State Trail from Belmont to Calamine promises a journey through some early Wisconsin history. Old Belmont was Wisconsin's capital when it was still a territory, and you can visit the First ...

Rountree Branch Trail

WI - 3 miles

The Rountree Branch Trail begins where Chestnut Street in Platteville crosses the Rountree Branch stream and continues 2.7 miles to Keystone Parkway. The trail connects trails on the UW-Platteville campus ...

SMART (Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail)

IL - 2 miles

The Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail starts at one end at the edge of the Hoover Park parking lot and heads into a scenic wooded trail crossing a wooden bridge over Woodlawn Creek and traveling ...

Sugar River State Trail

WI - 25 miles

If you can't make it to Switzerland do the next best thing: take the Sugar River State Trail to "America's Little Switzerland"—New Glarus, Wisconsin. Settled in 1845 by a small tribe of Swiss pioneers, ...

Wolf Run Trail (WI)

WI - 2 miles

The Wolf Run Trail supports a wide variety of users on its two miles of crushed gravel, situated on the outskirts of Mazomanie in northwestern Dane County. Heading southeast from the charming little ...

Badger State Trail

WI - 40 miles

The Badger State Trail runs from the Illinois border to the southern neighborhoods of Madison. The first 34 miles from Illinois to Purcell Road near Fitchburg have a crushed limestone surface, while the ...

Bear River Recreation Trail

IA - 5.6 miles

The Bear River Recreation Trail follows part of the Maquoketa River outside of Spragueville and Preston, through bucolic countryside of woodlands, farms and river lowlands. You can start the trail in the ...

Cheese Country Recreation Trail

WI - 47 miles

If you're looking for an invigorating motorized trail experience, the Cheese Country Trail (a.k.a. the Tri-County Trail) will not disappoint. The 47-mile trail meanders through the heart of southwest Wisconsin's ...

Clinton Discovery Trail

IA - 4.8 miles

Located in the scenic riverside city of Clinton, the Clinton Discovery Trail offers trail users a wonderful way to make the most of the city's prime location on the banks of the Mississippi River. Dedicated ...

Accordion

Copper Creek Trail

IA - 0.75 miles

The Copper Creek Trail runs for a short distance from the town of Preston, heading northwest along Copper Creek to meet with the Bear River Recreation Trail. You'll find a nice picnic spot with a gazebo ...

Galena River Trail

IL - 4.5 miles

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 ...

Gilroy Rustic Park Trail

IA - 0.5 miles

Located in the quaint community of Lost Nation, the Gilroy Rustic Park Trail is one of the most picturesque places in Clinton County. The half-mile path is lined with trees and, although the trail is overlain ...

Grant Wood Trail (Jones County Segment)

IA - 2.7 miles

Nearly 3 miles of the Grant Wood Trail in Jones County has been constructed so far (2012) along a former Milwaukee Road right-of-way in Marion and Olin. The trail is named for the early 20th-century Iowa ...

Great River Trail

IL - 60 miles

The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along 60 miles of the Mississippi River. The route is a mixture of paved rail-trail, small-town sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes on the street and a stretch ...

Heritage Trail (IA)

IA - 29.4 miles

Iowa's Heritage Trail runs for nearly 30 miles between the city of Dubuque and the town of Dyersville to the west. Short portions of the trail are paved within the two communities, but the vast majority ...

Hoover Nature Trail (Overview)

IA - 115 miles

The Hoover Nature Trail is a planned rail-trail built on an abandoned Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad right-of-way. When complete, the trail will run through 6 counties and 16 towns between Cedar ...

Jane Addams Trail

IL - 14.8 miles

Stretching north from Freeport, Illinois, to the Wisconsin state line, the Jane Addams Trail is a natural wonder. Expect to see birds and wild animals-from exotic aerial hunters, such as owls and hawks, ...

Lynn Boulevard/Westwood Trail

IL - 3.7 miles

The trail user can be transported from the bustling Westwood Fitness and Sports Center to a beautiful wooded trail that offers Elkhorn Creek on the far outer loop of the trail, a shelter at the top of ...

Military Ridge State Trail

WI - 38.8 miles

Note: Trail passes are required year-round for cyclists and inline skaters, ages 16 and up. You can buy them at self-registration stations on the trail or at select parks and private businesses. The passes ...

Pecatonica State Trail

WI - 10 miles

The Pecatonica State Trail from Belmont to Calamine promises a journey through some early Wisconsin history. Old Belmont was Wisconsin's capital when it was still a territory, and you can visit the First ...

Rountree Branch Trail

WI - 3 miles

The Rountree Branch Trail begins where Chestnut Street in Platteville crosses the Rountree Branch stream and continues 2.7 miles to Keystone Parkway. The trail connects trails on the UW-Platteville campus ...

SMART (Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail)

IL - 2 miles

The Sterling Multi-Activity Recreational Trail starts at one end at the edge of the Hoover Park parking lot and heads into a scenic wooded trail crossing a wooden bridge over Woodlawn Creek and traveling ...

Sugar River State Trail

WI - 25 miles

If you can't make it to Switzerland do the next best thing: take the Sugar River State Trail to "America's Little Switzerland"—New Glarus, Wisconsin. Settled in 1845 by a small tribe of Swiss pioneers, ...

Wolf Run Trail (WI)

WI - 2 miles

The Wolf Run Trail supports a wide variety of users on its two miles of crushed gravel, situated on the outskirts of Mazomanie in northwestern Dane County. Heading southeast from the charming little ...

Recent Trail Reviews

Heritage Trail (IA)

Our absolute favorite trail in Iowa.

November, 2016 by mummer005

Iowas great secret! We went to "destination trail" in Minnesota the week before our 1st visit to Heritage Trail and I was afraid of being underwhelmed by a nearby Iowa trail.Wrong!This the Root River Trail,just on a smaller scale.It is a beautiful,scenic,historic trail and such a magical place.Durango is a great starting place going in either direction.A must do in our state!

Sugar River State Trail

Difficult Trail for 3 wheel bikes

September, 2016 by 4csmiley

A nice path, not as bad as some comments may lead you to believe. From New Monticello to Broadhead, the center grass is problematic for a 3 wheel as one and sometimes two tires will be in the grass the entire time. Adds another level of resistance. There is a restroom/water stop in Monticello and one in Albany.There are a tremendous amount of Walnuts on the path and a few branches. Since I am low to the ground, I usually try to grab what branches I can and move them off the path as I ride by them, but in some areas there were more than I could handle. Nothing really of any size, but would not be good for a road bike tire. The surface can be fairly spongy if it has rained recently. Scenery is ok, mostly tree covered and what isn't is usually by a farm field.

Cheese Country Recreation Trail

Nice trail

September, 2016 by stanleyeggleston1

Spent a nice quite five days in the area. Also enjoyed good food, shopping, what a beautiful area.

Accordion

Heritage Trail (IA)

nice Sunday walk

August, 2016 by swickham99

Nice trail though very busy with bikers. If looking for a 4 mile Sunday stroll start in Sageville and walk to the old bridge for lunch and back!

Badger State Trail

Enjoyable Ride

August, 2016 by cipzip317

Very pleasant ride on well kept trail from Monroe south to Clarno. Shady trail with some openings to view very pleasing pastoral setting in the country. Connected to Jane Addams trail at state line and continued south to Orangeville, IL. Returned to Monroe and visited the brewery/distillery/winery.

Sugar River State Trail

Maintenace is lacking

August, 2016 by keenedw

We triked the trail today, other trikers be warned. This is a snowmobile trail grudgingly given to the cyclers in the warmer months. The trail appeared to have no maintenace of significance for along time. We started from the southern terminus in Brodhead and turned arounf before getting to Albany. The trail has a middle crown that is weed filled and rough, the trail shows marks of severe snowmobile damage that should be rectified. There were many small branches obstructed the trail.
The trail fees are not going toward Maintaining the Trails as they should.

Heritage Trail (IA)

Fantastic trail!

August, 2016 by ebyoung

We had a wonderful day biking this trail on 8 Aug 2106! It is extremely well maintained and the scenery is wonderful, with the first 2/3 in shady groves with limestone bluffs and the last part between Farley and Dyersville through cornfields. There was a warning about a bridge out but the road names are not on the trail map, so here's the deal: there is a bridge down near Farley, about 0.5 mile W of Boge Road. It is not possible to walk around the bridge. However, if coming from Sageville, turn left onto Boge Road which is gravel and a bit tricky to cycle on, but the section is very short up to Hwy 20/Old Highway. Turn right on the highway (not much traffic) and continue to the next right turn towards Farley (just before the rail bridge over the road). Keep taking the 'truck route' until you get to Holy Cross Rd and turn right. At the bottom of the hill, there is a track running off the right side of the road down to the trail. The trail goes through a culvert under the road so you can't see it from the road. Turn left on the trail to continue to Dyersville. Highly recommended trail!

Heritage Trail (IA)

Don't Miss This Trail

August, 2016 by andrearose99

If your near Dubuque, Iowa, I recommend this trail very highly. It's relatively flat with good scenery.

Badger State Trail

Beautiful and fun

August, 2016 by yesimahuman

I love this trail which takes you through scenic farmland and some small towns. My favorite circuit is going from my house in Fitchburg down to the Stewart Tunnel south of Belleville. A good 35 mile ride.

Be prepared for crushed limestone. I find the going to be pretty slow once I hit that and there are some holes (a few rather large) to watch out for. Otherwise it's in decent shape.

Heritage Trail (IA)

Bridge out

August, 2016 by bob.gertsen

There is a bridge out about 1 -2 miles east of Farley. Trail is closed there.

Great River Trail

I Wish I Could Rate it Higher...

August, 2016 by sundog70

Planned to do 60 miles roundtrip, from Rapids City to Thomson and back. Beautiful day for riding in July - temps not high, not humid, slight breeze. The small towns of Rapids City and Port Byron were quite nice to ride through; a lot of direct river access/views. Primarily flat with a few small slopes or hills here and there. Cordova also has a couple nice riverfront parks with working water fountains. However, we ended up only doing half, and turning around just before Albany. My biggest gripe - which almost had me turning around sooner - was how closely the trail follows highway 84. It's better than nothing or riding on the road, don't get me wrong, but as someone who prefers more remote trails the segments along the road just killed it for me. A lot of ugly spots, auto noise and fumes. A lot of trash and bottles tossed onto the median between the road and the trail or onto the trail itself. 84 isn't exactly high traffic but it also isn't low. The trail also soon started to angle away from the river and once north of Cordova, you barely see it again, at least through the point where we turned. There are stretches where vegetation is growing out into the trail and you frequently have to ride on the outer edge of the trail - generally not a problem as the trail was not busy, and a stretch where someone has clearly gone in to try and cut things back but ended up leaving a lot of wood debris which isn't great for bike tires. There were also some spots where a couple holes are in the trail; one marked by some orange cones that hopefully no one moves as it could cause serious damage or even injury if someone rode into it. Some nice little wooden bridges at various points but with a little too much rise, which caused some bumps for my 700x38c tires and I can't image what they do for road bike tires if you hit them wrong, so keep an eye out when approaching bridges. The 3M factory also doesn't make for a great view (sorry 3M, I buy your products, I just don't enjoy biking past you) although things did start to look a little nicer just north of the plant for a while, detouring through a nice little woods before going back to following 84. The trail comes to an abrupt end where one has to ride for about half a mile on Meredosia Road, which has no shoulder or bike lane but does seem to be low traffic. You then catch the Albany Mounds Trail (if you are riding north, there is no sign to tell you to turn left and the trail/sign is hidden; just turn left at the first road you come to and the trail head is right there). The trail does have a couple small hills, max 8% grade, and rides through a lovely field of Bluestem grass and then a short wooded section, with views of the tops of a few mounds over the grasses. At the far end of the trail is a nice rest area with a shelter, working water fountain, and pit toilets. The mounds were one of the highlights of the trip, natural and peaceful even with the nearby houses encroaching, and I highly recommend it. Unfortunately we decided not to go on so never made it into the town of Albany or beyond as the thought of more roadside trail riding was so unpalatable by this point. It may have gotten better, I don't know, and we'd really wanted to visit the sand prairie area by Thomson, the Heirloom cafe, as well as the lock and dam, but not this day. The second highlight of the day did occur after retracing our route, on one of the ugly stretches of roadside trail - I happened to look down and found wild cactus growing! So that made up for things a bit. All told, just shy of 40 miles roundtrip, with a really nice meal at Brothers restaurant in Rapids City, just a block or two away from the parking area. There were definitely several good points as mentioned above, and plenty of people would likely not mind the close proximity of the trail to the road, it just isn't my cup of tea. We may go back another day and ride Savanna south to Albany to see what we missed.

Great River Trail

good but so much lost.

August, 2016 by tiztim_tl

Living in Chicago, I'm spoiled: the Lake Front Trail which lead to the McClory Trail which leads to Skokie Valley Trail--all lovely smooth asphalt. The perfumed streets (thanks to the plants installed by professional landscaping)of the North Shore suburbs are paradise to any cyclst with nearly an infinite choice of routes. Then, of course, eschewing asphalt you can chose among the Fox Valley Trail (mostly but not entirely asphalt), and Illinois Prairie Path will both take you to the Wisconsin state line. The I&M Trail parallelling teh Illinois River is one of the original bicycle trails for the area.
So, now no longer in Chicago and happily living in rural NW Illinois, I feel churlish complaining about any nearby trail. All of them show admirable effort for which I am grateful and can raise their quality over time to that of the Chicago-area trails.

There is so much potential we miss! I am convinced that many trails are installed by workers who never themselves spend much time on a bike or assume bike trails are mostly for little kids. Many do not appreciate the differences and capabilities of road, trail, hybrid and other bikes and what kind of trail and routing is best adapted for these types.

The signage here is ambiguous and a sometime thing. I was stunned at Albany to find myself directed onto Uther Rd: two miles of sharp, unstable gravel on top of an unyielding substrate. This a road to eat tires. This is the worst route I've seen in the many states and many thousands of miles of trails. My Schwalbs protected me from disaster and having to hitch a ride back to my car. My route is then directed into a steep hill an alternate route would easily avoid. There is a long stretch of cement trail right up against the pounding, busy highway for miles. I am sure in time a better, quieter and more scenic and enjoyable route will be found and established
.
The trail is in many places exposed to sun and wind on unprotected prairie trails and open streets. I'm surpised the US govt-maintained (I assume) trails are so good (smooth, lovely asphalt) and missed opportunity (straight through open prairie. A lightning storm there would be truly scary).

So, I'm writing mostly not criticize. If I seem critical, I apologize but I write hoping what I have to say will be read by administrators and designers. We have a gem now, but somewhat in the rough. I remember the 50s and 60s when the radical idea of a bicycle trail of any kind was met with derision and hopelessness. We've made a lot of progress then. We'll make progress more. Soon we'll have Interstates exclusively for bicycles! I hope I live long enough.

To all cyclists reading: Take this trail! use it from top to bottom. Every bike on this route validates and strengthens it.

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