Sterling Trails and Maps

312 Reviews

Looking for the best trails around Sterling?

Find the top rated trails in Sterling, 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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Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
31 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Badger State Trail

40 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Bauer Memorial Path

1.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Baumann Park Recreation Path

1.25 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Bear River Recreation Trail

5.6 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Charles Street Community Path

2.6 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Clinton Discovery Trail

4.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Copper Creek Trail

0.75 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Duck Creek Recreational Trail

13.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Eldridge/Long Grove Trail

3.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Four Sisters Bike Path

4.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Great River Trail

62.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Harrison Avenue/Mulford Road Bike Path

3.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Concrete

Hennepin Canal Parkway

104.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

79.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Grass, Gravel

Jane Addams Trail

18.9 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Joe Stengel Trail

7.9 mi
State: IL
Ballast, Grass, Gravel

Kishwaukee River Recreation Path

2.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Kishwaukee-Kiwanis Trail

4.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Lowell Parkway Trail

3.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Lynn Boulevard/Westwood Trail

3.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt
Accordion

Mel Anderson Memorial Path

2.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Oregon Park East Bike Path

0.25 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail

5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Pecatonica Prairie Trail

12.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Perryville Path

6.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Riverfront Trail (IA)

11.9 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Rock Island Trail (IL)

38.2 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Rock River Recreation Path

10 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Saelens Park Trail

1 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Swanson Park Recreation Path

2.4 mi
State: IL
Asphalt
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
Rail-trail fans know that Wisconsin’s Elroy-Sparta State Trail is famous for its three tunnels. The Badger State Trail, which heads south from Madison to the Illinois state line (where it connects...
WI 40 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Bauer Memorial Path provides a short route through residential and commercial areas of Machesney Park, a northern suburb of Rockford. The trail begins at the Harlem Community Center and travels in...
IL 1.3 mi Asphalt
Baumann Park is adjacent to the Kishwaukee River in Cherry Valley, a community on the outskirts of Rockford in northern Illinois. A paved pathway runs through the park and loops around Baumann Park...
IL 1.25 mi Asphalt
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...
IA 5.6 mi Crushed Stone
The Charles Street Community Path offers a neighborhood route through southeastern Rockford, connecting residents to CherryVale Mall on its eastern end. On its western end, Alpine Park is just north...
IL 2.6 mi Asphalt
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....
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...
IA 0.75 mi Crushed Stone
The Duck Creek Recreational Trail, also known as Duck Creek Parkway Trail, traverses three riverfront cities in the Quad Cities region of eastern Iowa, offering residents the opportunity for a...
IA 13.5 mi Asphalt
Running between the rural communities of Eldridge and Long Grove to the north of Davenport, the Eldridge/Long Grove Trail provides a great recreational asset to these small, quiet suburbs. The path...
IA 3.5 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Four Sisters Bike Path forms a horseshoe around the northern end of Rochelle, a small city south of Rockford in northern Illinois. The path connects several schools and parks, and the city has...
IL 4.3 mi Asphalt
The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along more than 60 miles of the Mississippi River in northern Illinois. In places, the paved trail follows the former spur route of the Chicago, St....
IL 62.3 mi Asphalt
In southeastern Rockford, a paved pathway begins at a connection with the Charles Street Community Path then heads south along Mulford Road through a residential area. At Harrison Avenue, the path...
IL 3.5 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The Hennepin Canal Parkway, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a state park, follows an old towpath along a canal opened in 1907 and quickly abandoned due to competition...
IL 104.5 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail follows the eponymous waterway alongside the Illinois River. The trail runs along the old canal towpath from LaSalle to the historical quarry town of...
IL 79.5 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Grass, Gravel
There’s no debating the historical significance of the Jane Addams Trail. Not only is it named for a Nobel Peace Prize-winning social activist who grew up nearby, but the trail also passes the site of...
IL 18.9 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Joe Stengel Trail follows an old railroad corridor for 7 miles between the town of Polo and the much smaller community of Woosung. The trail corridor traces farm country along a route scattered...
IL 7.9 mi Ballast, Grass, Gravel
The Kishwaukee River Recreation Path runs for 2.5 miles in Cherry Valley on the outskirts of Rockford in northern Illinois. The well-maintained, asphalt trail connects the Kishwaukee River Forest...
IL 2.5 mi Asphalt
The Kishwaukee-Kiwanis Trail winds through the northern Illinois town of DeKalb, coursing along a river, through woodlands, among open spaces through parks and through suburban back yards. The trail...
IL 4.5 mi Asphalt
The Lowell Parkway Trail runs through the charming town of Dixon, Illinois, boyhood home of Ronald Reagan. The trail occupies the rail bed of the old Illinois Central Railroad, between Lowell Park and...
IL 3.5 mi Asphalt
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
Accordion
The Mel Anderson Memorial Path, named for a long-serving alderman of the Seventh Ward, stretches nearly 3 miles, connecting Lockwood Park, Searls Park, Bressler Park and Talcott-Page Park. Mid-way,...
IL 2.7 mi Asphalt
Oregon Park East Bike Path is nestled along the east bank of the Rock River in the small town of Oregon in northern Illinois. The 23-acre park offers athletic facilities, restrooms, grills, and picnic...
IL 0.25 mi Asphalt
Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail is a 5-mile pathway in Dewitt, Iowa. The trail provides safe, well-shaded access from residential neighborhoods to the 100 acre Westbrook Park. It includes a concrete...
IA 5 mi Asphalt
The Pecatonica Prairie Trail, formerly known as the Pecatonica Prairie Path, is a 12.5-mile rail-trail extending from the western edge of Rockford to the Winnebago–Stephenson county line west of...
IL 12.5 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Perryville Path runs nearly 7 miles, connecting the communities of Loves Park and Rockford, not far from the northern border of Illinois. A pleasant place to begin your journey is Rock Cut State...
IL 6.7 mi Asphalt
Iowa's Riverfront Trail runs along the Mississippi River through the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf to its eastern endpoint near the large Alcoa plant in Riverdale. In the west, the trail starts...
IA 11.9 mi Asphalt, Concrete
Caution: As of August 2017, the trail is closed due to storm washouts from Mile 13.4 to Mile 13.9; this closure is located approximately 2.5 miles north of Princeville in Peoria County. The trail is...
IL 38.2 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The paved Rock River Recreation Trail winds throughout downtown Rockford and environs, following the east bank of the Rock River through Shorewood Park and Martin Memorial Park. Officially, the trail...
IL 10 mi Asphalt
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...
IL 2 mi Asphalt
The paved trail running through Nick Saelens Memorial Park is a pretty one, with a loop around a small pond and much of it following a tree-lined creek. The park is nestled in the Village of Durand in...
IL 1 mi Asphalt
Swanson Park Recreation Path is sometimes known as the Cherry Valley Path as it's located in the Village of Cherry Valley on the outskirts of Rockford in northern Illinois. The paved path travels...
IL 2.4 mi Asphalt

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Trails by activity

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail

IA - 5 miles

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail is a 5-mile pathway in Dewitt, Iowa. The trail provides safe, well-shaded access from residential neighborhoods to the 100 acre Westbrook Park. It includes a concrete...

Swanson Park Recreation Path

IL - 2.4 miles

Swanson Park Recreation Path is sometimes known as the Cherry Valley Path as it's located in the Village of Cherry Valley on the outskirts of Rockford in northern Illinois. The paved path travels...

Saelens Park Trail

IL - 1 miles

The paved trail running through Nick Saelens Memorial Park is a pretty one, with a loop around a small pond and much of it following a tree-lined creek. The park is nestled in the Village of Durand in...

Four Sisters Bike Path

IL - 4.3 miles

The Four Sisters Bike Path forms a horseshoe around the northern end of Rochelle, a small city south of Rockford in northern Illinois. The path connects several schools and parks, and the city has...

Accordion

Pecatonica Prairie Trail

IL - 12.5 miles

The Pecatonica Prairie Trail, formerly known as the Pecatonica Prairie Path, is a 12.5-mile rail-trail extending from the western edge of Rockford to the Winnebago–Stephenson county line west of...

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....

Badger State Trail

WI - 40 miles

Rail-trail fans know that Wisconsin’s Elroy-Sparta State Trail is famous for its three tunnels. The Badger State Trail, which heads south from Madison to the Illinois state line (where it connects...

Kishwaukee River Recreation Path

IL - 2.5 miles

The Kishwaukee River Recreation Path runs for 2.5 miles in Cherry Valley on the outskirts of Rockford in northern Illinois. The well-maintained, asphalt trail connects the Kishwaukee River Forest...

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...

Eldridge/Long Grove Trail

IA - 3.5 miles

Running between the rural communities of Eldridge and Long Grove to the north of Davenport, the Eldridge/Long Grove Trail provides a great recreational asset to these small, quiet suburbs. The path...

Hennepin Canal Parkway

IL - 104.5 miles

The Hennepin Canal Parkway, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a state park, follows an old towpath along a canal opened in 1907 and quickly abandoned due to competition...

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...

Oregon Park East Bike Path

IL - 0.25 miles

Oregon Park East Bike Path is nestled along the east bank of the Rock River in the small town of Oregon in northern Illinois. The 23-acre park offers athletic facilities, restrooms, grills, and picnic...

Baumann Park Recreation Path

IL - 1.25 miles

Baumann Park is adjacent to the Kishwaukee River in Cherry Valley, a community on the outskirts of Rockford in northern Illinois. A paved pathway runs through the park and loops around Baumann Park...

Jane Addams Trail

IL - 18.9 miles

There’s no debating the historical significance of the Jane Addams Trail. Not only is it named for a Nobel Peace Prize-winning social activist who grew up nearby, but the trail also passes the site of...

Bauer Memorial Path

IL - 1.3 miles

The Bauer Memorial Path provides a short route through residential and commercial areas of Machesney Park, a northern suburb of Rockford. The trail begins at the Harlem Community Center and travels in...

Harrison Avenue/Mulford Road Bike Path

IL - 3.5 miles

In southeastern Rockford, a paved pathway begins at a connection with the Charles Street Community Path then heads south along Mulford Road through a residential area. At Harrison Avenue, the path...

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...

Mel Anderson Memorial Path

IL - 2.7 miles

The Mel Anderson Memorial Path, named for a long-serving alderman of the Seventh Ward, stretches nearly 3 miles, connecting Lockwood Park, Searls Park, Bressler Park and Talcott-Page Park. Mid-way,...

Kishwaukee-Kiwanis Trail

IL - 4.5 miles

The Kishwaukee-Kiwanis Trail winds through the northern Illinois town of DeKalb, coursing along a river, through woodlands, among open spaces through parks and through suburban back yards. The trail...

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail

IA - 5 miles

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail is a 5-mile pathway in Dewitt, Iowa. The trail provides safe, well-shaded access from residential neighborhoods to the 100 acre Westbrook Park. It includes a concrete...

Eldridge/Long Grove Trail

IA - 3.5 miles

Running between the rural communities of Eldridge and Long Grove to the north of Davenport, the Eldridge/Long Grove Trail provides a great recreational asset to these small, quiet suburbs. The path...

Hennepin Canal Parkway

IL - 104.5 miles

The Hennepin Canal Parkway, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a state park, follows an old towpath along a canal opened in 1907 and quickly abandoned due to competition...

Badger State Trail

WI - 40 miles

Rail-trail fans know that Wisconsin’s Elroy-Sparta State Trail is famous for its three tunnels. The Badger State Trail, which heads south from Madison to the Illinois state line (where it connects...

Accordion

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

IL - 79.5 miles

The Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail follows the eponymous waterway alongside the Illinois River. The trail runs along the old canal towpath from LaSalle to the historical quarry town of...

Oregon Park East Bike Path

IL - 0.25 miles

Oregon Park East Bike Path is nestled along the east bank of the Rock River in the small town of Oregon in northern Illinois. The 23-acre park offers athletic facilities, restrooms, grills, and picnic...

Harrison Avenue/Mulford Road Bike Path

IL - 3.5 miles

In southeastern Rockford, a paved pathway begins at a connection with the Charles Street Community Path then heads south along Mulford Road through a residential area. At Harrison Avenue, the path...

Saelens Park Trail

IL - 1 miles

The paved trail running through Nick Saelens Memorial Park is a pretty one, with a loop around a small pond and much of it following a tree-lined creek. The park is nestled in the Village of Durand in...

Jane Addams Trail

IL - 18.9 miles

There’s no debating the historical significance of the Jane Addams Trail. Not only is it named for a Nobel Peace Prize-winning social activist who grew up nearby, but the trail also passes the site of...

Baumann Park Recreation Path

IL - 1.25 miles

Baumann Park is adjacent to the Kishwaukee River in Cherry Valley, a community on the outskirts of Rockford in northern Illinois. A paved pathway runs through the park and loops around Baumann Park...

Perryville Path

IL - 6.7 miles

The Perryville Path runs nearly 7 miles, connecting the communities of Loves Park and Rockford, not far from the northern border of Illinois. A pleasant place to begin your journey is Rock Cut State...

Kishwaukee-Kiwanis Trail

IL - 4.5 miles

The Kishwaukee-Kiwanis Trail winds through the northern Illinois town of DeKalb, coursing along a river, through woodlands, among open spaces through parks and through suburban back yards. The trail...

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...

Four Sisters Bike Path

IL - 4.3 miles

The Four Sisters Bike Path forms a horseshoe around the northern end of Rochelle, a small city south of Rockford in northern Illinois. The path connects several schools and parks, and the city has...

Mel Anderson Memorial Path

IL - 2.7 miles

The Mel Anderson Memorial Path, named for a long-serving alderman of the Seventh Ward, stretches nearly 3 miles, connecting Lockwood Park, Searls Park, Bressler Park and Talcott-Page Park. Mid-way,...

Rock River Recreation Path

IL - 10 miles

The paved Rock River Recreation Trail winds throughout downtown Rockford and environs, following the east bank of the Rock River through Shorewood Park and Martin Memorial Park. Officially, the trail...

Pecatonica Prairie Trail

IL - 12.5 miles

The Pecatonica Prairie Trail, formerly known as the Pecatonica Prairie Path, is a 12.5-mile rail-trail extending from the western edge of Rockford to the Winnebago–Stephenson county line west of...

Lowell Parkway Trail

IL - 3.5 miles

The Lowell Parkway Trail runs through the charming town of Dixon, Illinois, boyhood home of Ronald Reagan. The trail occupies the rail bed of the old Illinois Central Railroad, between Lowell Park and...

Swanson Park Recreation Path

IL - 2.4 miles

Swanson Park Recreation Path is sometimes known as the Cherry Valley Path as it's located in the Village of Cherry Valley on the outskirts of Rockford in northern Illinois. The paved path travels...

Great River Trail

IL - 62.3 miles

The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along more than 60 miles of the Mississippi River in northern Illinois. In places, the paved trail follows the former spur route of the Chicago, St....

Oregon Park East Bike Path

IL - 0.25 miles

Oregon Park East Bike Path is nestled along the east bank of the Rock River in the small town of Oregon in northern Illinois. The 23-acre park offers athletic facilities, restrooms, grills, and picnic...

Baumann Park Recreation Path

IL - 1.25 miles

Baumann Park is adjacent to the Kishwaukee River in Cherry Valley, a community on the outskirts of Rockford in northern Illinois. A paved pathway runs through the park and loops around Baumann Park...

Jane Addams Trail

IL - 18.9 miles

There’s no debating the historical significance of the Jane Addams Trail. Not only is it named for a Nobel Peace Prize-winning social activist who grew up nearby, but the trail also passes the site of...

Perryville Path

IL - 6.7 miles

The Perryville Path runs nearly 7 miles, connecting the communities of Loves Park and Rockford, not far from the northern border of Illinois. A pleasant place to begin your journey is Rock Cut State...

Accordion

Kishwaukee River Recreation Path

IL - 2.5 miles

The Kishwaukee River Recreation Path runs for 2.5 miles in Cherry Valley on the outskirts of Rockford in northern Illinois. The well-maintained, asphalt trail connects the Kishwaukee River Forest...

Mel Anderson Memorial Path

IL - 2.7 miles

The Mel Anderson Memorial Path, named for a long-serving alderman of the Seventh Ward, stretches nearly 3 miles, connecting Lockwood Park, Searls Park, Bressler Park and Talcott-Page Park. Mid-way,...

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...

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail

IA - 5 miles

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail is a 5-mile pathway in Dewitt, Iowa. The trail provides safe, well-shaded access from residential neighborhoods to the 100 acre Westbrook Park. It includes a concrete...

Riverfront Trail (IA)

IA - 11.9 miles

Iowa's Riverfront Trail runs along the Mississippi River through the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf to its eastern endpoint near the large Alcoa plant in Riverdale. In the west, the trail starts...

Rock River Recreation Path

IL - 10 miles

The paved Rock River Recreation Trail winds throughout downtown Rockford and environs, following the east bank of the Rock River through Shorewood Park and Martin Memorial Park. Officially, the trail...

Bauer Memorial Path

IL - 1.3 miles

The Bauer Memorial Path provides a short route through residential and commercial areas of Machesney Park, a northern suburb of Rockford. The trail begins at the Harlem Community Center and travels in...

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...

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

IL - 79.5 miles

The Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail follows the eponymous waterway alongside the Illinois River. The trail runs along the old canal towpath from LaSalle to the historical quarry town of...

Duck Creek Recreational Trail

IA - 13.5 miles

The Duck Creek Recreational Trail, also known as Duck Creek Parkway Trail, traverses three riverfront cities in the Quad Cities region of eastern Iowa, offering residents the opportunity for a...

Lowell Parkway Trail

IL - 3.5 miles

The Lowell Parkway Trail runs through the charming town of Dixon, Illinois, boyhood home of Ronald Reagan. The trail occupies the rail bed of the old Illinois Central Railroad, between Lowell Park and...

Charles Street Community Path

IL - 2.6 miles

The Charles Street Community Path offers a neighborhood route through southeastern Rockford, connecting residents to CherryVale Mall on its eastern end. On its western end, Alpine Park is just north...

Eldridge/Long Grove Trail

IA - 3.5 miles

Running between the rural communities of Eldridge and Long Grove to the north of Davenport, the Eldridge/Long Grove Trail provides a great recreational asset to these small, quiet suburbs. The path...

Kishwaukee-Kiwanis Trail

IL - 4.5 miles

The Kishwaukee-Kiwanis Trail winds through the northern Illinois town of DeKalb, coursing along a river, through woodlands, among open spaces through parks and through suburban back yards. The trail...

Great River Trail

IL - 62.3 miles

The Great River Trail is a breathtaking journey along more than 60 miles of the Mississippi River in northern Illinois. In places, the paved trail follows the former spur route of the Chicago, St....

Pecatonica Prairie Trail

IL - 12.5 miles

The Pecatonica Prairie Trail, formerly known as the Pecatonica Prairie Path, is a 12.5-mile rail-trail extending from the western edge of Rockford to the Winnebago–Stephenson county line west of...

Recent Trail Reviews

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

good relaxing ride, completed in segments

October, 2017 by eric.dobson2

I finally completed the trail in LaSalle last weekend, I had been completing the entire route in segments throughout the summer. Overall, I enjoyed the experience, I liked the historical placards and informative mile markers. Yes, I stopped and read every one of them! I thought it was really well done, and very interesting history of the canal and its construction and usage. Cool grande finale ending up in LaSalle where the packet boat and mule towpath was in full display with the tour.

I started in Lemont where the trail begins, through Lockport (the old canal headquarters) and got through Joliet. A must see is the old Joliet Iron Works, an interesting historical walking tour. The next segment I completed was from Joliet (Rockdale) to Channahon, with beautiful views of the Illinois River. Saw an abundance of varied wildlife as the canal here is wide with plenty of water still left in it. McKinley Woods Park is a nice diversion to take a break. Channahon to Morris was the next segment, again with nice views of barges on the river and the Dresden dam area. From Morris to Marseilles the trail begins to get more woodsy, and at some points the trail goes from crushed limestone to single track dirt. This is where the canal is hard to see, as it has dried up over the years, thus there is less wildlife to see. From Marseilles to Ottawa the trail is still woodsy, but becomes more industrial as you are riding next to train tracks and grain silos along the river for much of it. Ottawa to Utica becomes more scenic as you start to see the St Peters sandstone cliffs at certain points. Finally from Utica to LaSalle you can see much more of this, and the trail ends with a lock with all of its functioning parts, as would have existed back in the day.

I normally ride on much more challenging, tougher and more hilly terrain with my trail bike, so this was a change of pace for me. The trail is in decent shape, but you can tell that it has not been maintained for awhile. There are bridges out in several spots (easy to get around), and fallen trees that you need to lift your bike over. All in all, I would recommend it to the casual rider, seeking an interesting history of the canal from back in the nineteenth century. Happy riding!

Hennepin Canal Parkway

A Nice Ride

September, 2017 by mcaples67

Road 60 miles (30 out and back) from trailhead at Rock River in Colona. We brought our road bikes (23mm tires), expecting paved trails. It was slow going, but certainly doable. The trail is definitely in need of repair and maintenance. It is flat, peaceful and quite beautiful. The canal history and artifacts (locks, etc) are a very interesting perk.
Fortunately we packed extra water. We had trouble finding water stops along the way. There was a fountain at the lock (14 miles from the trailhead) but it was not working in late September even though it was almost 90 degrees.

Pecatonica Prairie Trail

Not your Sunday afternoon dally...

September, 2017 by flmasterman

It was the first day of Autumn and 93° when my riding buddy and I returned to the trailhead in Winnebago in the late morning after travelling west to a private lane just short of Farwell Bridge Road and back - 19.13 miles indicated on my bike's computer.

This bike trail may not be the most scenic, and may not be a 'real' Rail-Trail, as it seems to parallel the old rail line rather than use it, but it's still better than riding the streets in town for this guy. Lots of sunshine under the sparse canopy of power lines meant lots of water consumed on this hot day.

It is paved only in short sections - in the towns/villages of Winnebago and Pecatonica, as well as in the vicinity of Highway 20, where it appears that a very large paved parking lot has been recently constructed on the north side of the road. Other than that, I would classify this as a 'fair-to-rough' hard-pack surface trail.

Some have commented negatively about the loose/sandy section. That section will certainly get a rider's attention, but this 68 year old on an eight year old, 'bottom-of-the-line' Trek Mountain Bike, rode through it without mishap, as did his younger riding partner on a Hybrid Giant bike.

This trail is definitely not for the rider that wishes to just cruise along and visit, while gawking. One must pay attention and watch for the mini-sinkholes, as well as the variations in trail surface. I am a nature lover however, and 'roughing it' has always held a very special place in my heart. This trail is what it is. If one wants a paved path, choose another. If one wishes for a little private time in nature and reap the joy and benefits that comes along with riding a bike, then this 'less than groomed' trail might be just what the doctor ordered.

I also need to point out that the signage along this trail is excellent - every public road crossing is clearly marked with road/street names and stop signs.

A quick stop at the small gazebo along the river near the fairgrounds in Pec will provide one with an interesting history of the river and the Pecatonica Grist Mill of days past.

In summary... I will be returning to this trail to see what is at Farwell Bridge Road and beyond, as well as to complete the ride to Rockford and see what's up on that end.

As stated previously, "This trail is what it is". Take it or leave it.

Accordion

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Most Gorgeous Trail ~

September, 2017 by fitnpeaceful

I don't know how anyone could rate this anything but 5 stars. There are sections of this trail (Channahon to Ottawa) that are absolutely breathtaking - especially on a warm fall day when the leaves are turning color. There are long sections of the trail where you are riding between two bodies of water and it is absolutely spectacular. Access the train in Channahon and ride northeast toward Ottawa. You will not regret it!

Pecatonica Prairie Trail

Went East from Winnebago.

September, 2017 by jorourke61088

Three miles from Westfield road in Winnebago to meridian road where it ends. They are doing construction on a sewer main so I am not sure you can go on it during the week past Weldon road. It looks like they've widened it to move heavy equipment through. There are a couple of rough spots but nothing you can't get through. Fields on both sides and flat.

Rock Island Trail (IL)

Nice ride but some alertness required

September, 2017 by hilbertdr

We rode from Toulon to Dunlap and back. It was a beautiful day and the trail setting is very nice with a mix of woods and fields. The trail was in pretty good shape but you need to be alert for ground squirrel burrows. In the wooded sections there is a fair amount of debris so you need to watch out for the larger branches. It's fun riding but if you get too relaxed you may be jolted back to alertness by a branch or a hole.

The DNR web site lists several closures but there is really only one north of Princeville. Like the previous reviewer we rode around it on county roads to the east and it was no problem. The Toulon to Wyoming section has the worst trail conditions (but is perfectly rideable in spite of the trail closed signs) and we will probably start in Wyoming if we do it again.

We ride hybrids with reasonably wide tires and I'm not sure how much fun it would be on a road bike.

Hennepin Canal Parkway

Nice ride along Hennepin feeder canal

September, 2017 by hilbertdr

We rode from the trail head at Lock 22 (where CR 300E crosses the canal) up along the feeder canal for about 14 miles. The trail was in good shape for most of the way, mostly paved, and it was enjoyable ride. North of the Rte 92 crossing the trail quality deteriorated markedly and it was single track dirt through weeds and grass. We turned around at Osage Rd because of the trail condition. We tried riding west from Lock 22 but gave up after a little over a mail. It wasn't that bad but it was single track through recently mowed but still pretty high grass.

The first thirteen mile north along the feeder canal was a beautiful fun ride with good trail conditions, nice scenery, and a herons, turtles and jumping fish. We also saw very few other people on the ride. North of that and west of Lock 22 the trail was passable but less fun.

We ride hybrids with pretty wide tires. I'm not sure any of it would be fun on a road bike.

Hennepin Canal Parkway

Great Trail

August, 2017 by iembrdr4u

Nice easygoing trail for a newbie like me. Stayed at Hickory Grove Campground (great new owners) then early morning ride. Crushed stone & asphalt a little overgrown on the edges but a great trail

Rock Island Trail (IL)

Nice bike ride

August, 2017 by james.anders.lair

I rode from Wyoming to Toulon and back, then continued south to what used to be Stark, now a small group of homes, returning to Wyoming. The next day I rode from Wyoming to Peoria.

The trail was wet from rains both days, softening the low spots and leaving a few puddles. The rides were enjoyable, with a mix of farm and woods. Signage through the towns was adequate to find my way. Each town has stores that provide a snack or a restroom.

Wyoming has a great coffee shop that makes great baked goods and lunches in addition to their coffee. Next door is a gift shop worth a peek.

I detoured around the washout in the Rock Island Trail Nature Preserve by riding the paved township roads east of the preserve.

Badger State Trail

badger sate trail

August, 2017 by ric.poole1

Rode madison to New Glarus, no probs

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

a good ride

August, 2017 by mikebike313

I rode most of the trail below Joliet on July 28 , 2017. Except for the closures shown on the DNR website (downtown Morris, Marseilles to Ottawa, and two bridges out near Utica), the trail was in decent condition. (I was glad I was on a hybrid and not a skinny bike.)

Joliet to Morris was in good shape. Some of this section is dull, some parts are pleasant.

The closure in Morris has been there for years, and the street detour is easy and not too long.

Morris to Seneca is my new favorite section: quieter and more woodsy than the rest. No trail problems.

Seneca to Marseilles was fine. There’s a good view of the Illinois River if you go a few blocks south of the trail in downtown Marseilles.

Marseilles to Ottawa was mostly dull and pointless. I went around the barricade just west of Marseilles and had to carry my bike over downed trees, which I expected. It got old after a while, though, and since the trail was boring at that point, I wish I hadn’t bothered. There’s a nice paved road next to the trail – use that instead.

Ottawa to Utica is in decent shape, except for the bridge that’s out, and I like this section. I went about 9 miles west from the Fox River aqueduct in Ottawa and came to the bridge. I was tempted to take my shoes and socks off and wade through the two inch deep stream and continue, but turned around instead. (It’s only another mile or so to downtown Utica).

I like the section below Utica, but with the bridge out, I didn’t feel like continuing.

If you accept the closures and the dull parts, the I&M is a good Illinois trail.

Pecatonica Prairie Trail

Washed Out and Rough

August, 2017 by a.swordpeterson

This trail is terrible from the rain the area has had this summer. The Pecatonica River has flooded out the area around Pecatoinca and from the trailhead in Pecatonica you can only get about 1/2 mile west. Going east on the way from Pecatonica to Winnebago is currently dangerous and not rideable because the trail is beyond washed out in places. Even without the current challenges for this trail there are much better and well maintained trails in Northern Illinois.

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