Looking for the best trails around Peru?

Explore the best rated trails in Peru, IL. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail and Grove Road Trail. With more than 26 trails covering 4111 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

Recent Trail Reviews

Joe Stengel Trail

This summer I'm going to ride my bike from Dixon to polo on the bike paths

January, 2023 by daytonraines43

This summer I'm going to ride my bike from Dixon to polo on the bike paths

DuPage River Trail

A Pleasant Trail thru Parks and on City Streets

October, 2022 by buehler868

This trail is a nice one if you are looking for something other than a super straight rails to trails corridor. I parked at the nearby and beautiful DuPage County St James Forest Preserve and took a connecting trail to the start of the officially named West Branch DuPage River Trail that heads south. Most of the route is in Forest Preserves, alongside the West Branch of the DuPage River.
Once you come upon the spectacular Naperville Riverwalk, north of downtown Naperville which does not allow bikes, you must use city streets. That provides a nice variety. South of downtown the trail is again in parks. One can travel all the way south into Will County, with more options for connecting trails.

DuPage River Trail

Marvelous variety of habitat

September, 2022 by dfuener

The eastern side of this well maintained trail contains a wide variety of habitat including riverside, prairie, woodland, lakeside, wetland, and urban making this a 4 season ride. We biked through acres of golden rod in bloom which was just magnificent. The trail does get more urban traveling west and has intersections but does a good job of staying by the river.


Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

I and M Canal Trail

September, 2022 by dhn14519_tl

Started out from Utica and rode to trails end in LaSalle. Trail was in fairly good shape, but needed weeds cut down. Went back to Utica and headed towards Ottawa. The trail was like an old maintenance road that had been neglected. Very tall weeds that prevented me in many places from seeing where I could ride. After going about two miles I turned around because I didn't feel safe. It's a shame that there is so little maintenance on what is a beautiful area.

DuPage River Trail

Great Trail - nice blacktop

August, 2022 by brettbaumrucker

Parked at the public parking lot trail access by KLB tax services. This is a perfect distance from Boilingbrook to Naperville, around 8 miles. This trail takes you right along the river. Notable scenic areas are Whalon Lake, Hidden Lakes Trout Farm, beautiful homes in the Knoch Knolls Rd. area and the Naperville River Walk. Seen many ducks, birds big and small, squirrels, ground squirrels, even some deer in the woods right after the Dupage Sports Complex. It takes you through prairie, woods and many parks along the way. Very well maintained. Awesome blacktop surface. You see plenty of people along the trail. Didn’t ride the whole trail past downtown Naperville but hope to another time. Downtown Naperville is super nice. Q-BBQ is amazing, so is the salted caramel gelato at Sweet Home Gelato. Enjoy! - BRB

Great American Rail-Trail

A nice ride. The hub is a good place to start.

August, 2022 by jodieo1

A nice ride. The hub is a good place to start.

Virgil L. Gilman Trail

Good medium-short ride

July, 2022 by hose+traillink_tl

I started from the eastern trailhead off Hill Avenue. The parking lot is quite small – it can fit about six cars or so. There are other plenty of other access points with parking lots with more space, but the eastern side didn't seem to be nearly as busy as the other parts of the trail.

I will say this trail is pretty interesting from a road bike perspective. It goes through a decent amount of variety – everything from suburban backyards to country homes to pretty farmland to city parks to extremely dense forest, some of which was absolutely breathtaking. The western end was particular jaw dropping in this regard; as someone who's seen plenty of typical Illinois forests, this was something else. It was both lush and dense, but you could see far into the woods. This is the middle of summer so it was shockingly green – not just typical forest preserve green, but glowing green. In addition, there were a number of bridges to cross, either over roadways or bodies of water, ranging from ultra modern to some that looked positively rustic.

I split this trail into the eastern and western sections. The eastern section is a bit more rough – there's much more root upheave to the paved surface. It's not overwhelming (I'm looking at you Old Plank Road Trail), but there are enough that you need to be paying attention or some may sneak up on you and cause a crash. For that reason plus the fact that there are far more road crossings (that cars never seem to stop for you) on the eastern section, and it's a bit slower than the western section.

The western section has far fewer road crossings and allows you to pick up some speed and momentum. You can easily hit 25 MPH in some sections, especially off the bigger bridges. By the way, you should maintain control on the descent from those bridges; one has a rough patch of pavement (there are signs warning you about this), but more importantly, sometimes there are turns that sneak up on you. Speaking of which, there ARE a number of turns throughout that you may need to slow down, especially if you're riding it for the first time. It makes the ride interesting, but I'm so used to extremely straight trails here in Illinois that I was caught by surprise a few times. Not enought to cause an issue, but it did get my heart pumping a few times.

I did stop at Bliss Woods when it turns gravel and skipped the last half mile of the western section, as I didn't want to ride the crushed limestone of that part on my road bike. You could do it though easily with any bike though. Also note that there is a very small section that takes surface streets through an odd industrial / residential neighborhood and it's not well marked where you should turn when the trails dumps you there. Really there's only one way to go with one turn (which is marked) but it would probably be helpful to make a note of it. This happens going westward when you cross South Lake Street.

My suggestion is to start on the eastern side – you can use the rapid-fire road crossings and rougher surface to warm up and cool down, leaving the western section for a fun, speedy ride. Definitely a ride to hit if you're in the area.

Hennepin Canal Parkway

Hennepin Trail-Rock Falls

July, 2022 by dynomight

We started out at the park on E 2nd Street in Rock Falls. Very nice park along the river....had bathrooms but they were locked (in July???). Hit the trail in Rock Falls and headed south on the trail. First 3 miles of the trail were on asphalt, very bumpy conditions. After that, it was what appeared to be packed dirt, maybe had limestone on it at one time. Had to be watchful of craters and debris on the path. Could have used some pruning as well. Some areas of the trail were very narrow. Was fairly quiet on the trail, ran across a few people fishing, some walking, and only one other set of people biking. Could only go 16.2 miles and then came upon a Trail Closed sign. If you like less traffic, this is a good trail...but could use some maintenance. We saw some snakes, rabbits, squirrels, and deer. There were a couple places along the way to stop to go to the bathroom...but no place to get water.

Fox River Trail (IL)

Great trail with lots of destinations

July, 2022 by emilylarson730

This trail is one you have to experience. There are many downtowns that have great destinations for food and activities. The trail is asphalt, well maintained and has clear signs for the most part. It is very scenic along the Fox River.

Great American Rail-Trail

so good

July, 2022 by fear2321

We took electric scooters and did 16miles of this trail was so beautiful seen 6 deer 5 turkeys will glad go back and explore more

Fox River Trail (IL)

Great trail with connections

July, 2022 by pzd7z27ryp

I will admit I had low expectations for this trail based on some of the reviews but was pleasantly surprised. I rode this trail for 26 miles from Oswego to South Elgin. From Oswego north for about 2.5 miles there is some root heave and it’s annoying. Beyond that 95% of this trail is paved and the rest is smooth crushed limestone. Signage along the way was adequate

Hennepin Canal Parkway

3.5 star ride - from Bureau to Wyanet

June, 2022 by ericevan

Trail biked - I started at the east end in Bureau. The parking lot there has bathrooms and trashcans, and plenty of parking. I biked east to Wyanet, and back.

Bike used - a Specialized Sirrus hybrid.

Bike accommodations - hybrid to mountain bike mostly. Road bikes will not survive many portions of this trail. I was leery to ride my hybrid in some sections near Tiskilwa because of the mid sized gravel in spots.

The trail composition from Bureau to Wyanet varies. From Bureau to the Tiskilwa area the trail was a mix of dirt, small gravel and portions of asphalt..although those overed by cindery rocks. Some areas are nicer than others and I didn't see any areas that were unmanageable for my hybrid tires.

The trail composition greatly improved heading west of the Tiskilwa area. The trail becomes a powdery earth and can even accommodate road bikes. Until you get to this point, however, you'll need to keep both hands on the grips.

The trail follows a series of disconnected water canals that serve as nice scenery. Every so often you'll come across a lock, which are numbered, giving you an idea of how many away you are from your starting point. A river also carves the trail in many areas, offering some nice views. As for wildlife..I spotted several turtles in canals and one trailside (almost accidentally biked over him). I also saw a pair of deer and a ton of colorful birds (red, yellow, blue, orange, black, white, gray, brown). The Orioles were a rare treat.

In the stretch I took there were only a couple of places where I spotted benches. One is in the Tiskilwa area. Bridges span the lock areas which offer nice water drains to view and areas to sit on the edge for a break. During my two hour ride I saw a dozen other bikers, and this was on a 75 degree, cloudless Saturday in mid-June. Suffice it to say, there aren't many folks out here unless you count the occasional fisherman.

Other nuances, the trail offers a nice split of shade and sun, but more on the sunny side. I saw one parking lot with trail signs in my stretch.

Seeing as the trail quality greatly improved on the eastern outskirts of Wyanet, I would love to come back and continue biking west on this trail some day.


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