Pontiac, IL Birding Trails and Maps

263 Reviews

Looking for the best Birding trails around Pontiac?

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

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18 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Chenoa Route 66 Prairie Trail

1 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Constitution Trail

43 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Concrete

DuPage River Trail

33.1 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

El Paso Walking Trail (IL)

2.8 mi
State: IL
Crushed Stone

Great American Rail-Trail

3743.9 mi
State: DC, IA, ID, IL, IN, MD, MT, NE, OH, PA, WA, WV, WY
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Hennepin Canal Parkway

104.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Grass, Gravel

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

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

Kankakee River Trail

10.6 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Lake of the Woods Path

3.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Lexington's Route 66 Trail

2.2 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Mahomet Village Bike Trail

4 mi
State: IL
Concrete

Ottawa Riverwalk

0.9 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Rock Island Trail (IL)

38.2 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Rock Run Greenway Trail

12.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Towanda Route 66 Parkway

7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Village of Rantoul Trail

7.9 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Wauponsee Glacial Trail

22.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
Time spent on the Chenoa Route 66 Prairie Trail is time shared with history. As rail-trails are ones built over the railbeds of earlier train lines, this “road-trail” is one built directly over...
IL 1 mi Asphalt
The sprawling Constitution Trail covers nearly 42 miles throughout the Bloomington-Normal area. The trail was officially named and dedicated in 1987 in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the...
IL 43 mi Asphalt, Concrete
The DuPage River Trail spans over 30 miles across two counties: DuPage and Will. It's currently open in several disconnected segments mainly in parks and forest preserves beginning in Warrenville and...
IL 33.1 mi Asphalt
The El Paso Walking Trail runs along part of an old railroad right-of-way through the town of El Paso, beginning at the city park on the south side of town and ending at a creek north of town among...
IL 2.8 mi Crushed Stone
The Great American Rail-Trail highlights some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, well-known geography and storied history across a 3,700-miles-plus route between Washington and Washington....
DC, IA, ID, IL, IN, MD, MT, NE, OH, PA, WA, WV, WY 3743.9 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
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, Grass, Gravel
The Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail follows the eponymous waterway alongside the Illinois River. It traverses the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor, designated in 1984 and the first...
IL 79.5 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Grass, Gravel
The Kankakee River Trail is fairly wooded and runs primarily through Kankakee River State Park. Walkers, bicyclists, and cross-country skiers can enjoy more than ten miles of trail along the north...
IL 10.6 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
This trail through the Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve shows off Central Illinois' great natural beauty. Starting from the west, the trail meanders through a wonderfully restored prairie. It passes...
IL 3.3 mi Asphalt
One cannot travel this trail today without remembering the iconic highway on which it is built. The city of Lexington saw two alignments of Route 66. The earliest, which served from 1921-1944, went...
IL 2.2 mi Asphalt
The Mahomet Village Bike Trail is a safe, paved route that connects all the major parts of the village. On the north, there are the various and popular facilities of the Lake of the Woods Forest...
IL 4 mi Concrete
The Ottawa Riverwalk runs directly beside the beautiful Fox River, just north of its confluence with the larger Illinois River. It's a tranquil walkway with river views along its entire length. To...
IL 0.9 mi Asphalt
Running from East Peoria to Morton, The River Trail of Illinois was resurfaced in summer 2011. From East Peoria, the hiking and biking trail travels southeast along the old Illinois Terminal Railway...
IL 9 mi Asphalt
Caution:Beginning November 15, culvert replacement on the Rock Island Trail at Chanute Road will begin.  This will involve removing the temporary bridge.  This closure will last between 4 and 6...
IL 38.2 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The popular Rock Run Greenway Trail is a balanced mix of natural areas and cityscapes that alternate over the length of the trail. The natural areas are frequented by recreational users. The...
IL 12.3 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
The Towanda Route 66 Parkway is the longest and most developed of the Route 66 trails in northeast McLean County. Its centerpiece is the well-appointed, community-sponsored linear parkway within the...
IL 7 mi Asphalt
This is a story of four trails in one. The newest and northwestern section of the trail runs by the old downtown area of the village and its local Amtrak station. Then across the northern section...
IL 7.9 mi Asphalt
In just a few short miles, the Wauponsee Glacial Trail leaves the urban confines of Joliet to bask in open farmland and reclaimed tallgrass prairie where the bison roam again. Named for a glacial lake...
IL 22.3 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone

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Trails by activity

Recent Trail Reviews

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Morris to Marseilles

July, 2021 by lohrey.jim

After riding Joliet to Morris the week before I was anxious to do the section from Morris to Marseilles with the expectation to go to LaSalle. This was a mistake.

The trail coming out of Gebhard State Park is okay for a few miles, then it deteriorates quickly. Long sections are single track with grass and weeds tall enough to catch you mid-shin. Once you get to Seneca the trail turns into a farmer's access/driveway, with large sharp gravel on hard dirt, so easy for punctures and rough to ride on. This carries on for a good mile or so, then turns into mostly grass until you reach Milton Rd. From there the trail dog-legs across the [dry] canal and is even worse. The only parts that are good are where the rail lines cross the trail. Here they have completely redone the grading and the crossing, but only for a few yards on either side. It's easier to just ride the street (Broadway) on the south side of the path. If it were allowed it'd be much better suited as an ATV trail.

Continuing west into Marseilles doesn't improve. Looking at the trail going west of Main street doesn't look any better. From that point I abandoned my ride and took country roads with additional miles all the way back to Morris just to avoid the harshness of the trail.

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Joliet (Hollywood Rd) to Morris

July, 2021 by lohrey.jim

Two weeks ago rode the section from Hollywood Rd (Joliet) to Morris. Overall not bad, but there are a few sections where narrow tire bikes might have some issues. The bridge over the river in Channahon was out, so you have to cut through Channahon State Park and cross using the road at Bridge St.

The next issue is on the west side of Morris where the trail (both sides of the canal) are supposed to cross Nettle Creek. On the south trail the bridge is out, and trail is closed. The north trail is basically non-existent and also no bridge. You have to backtrack a few blocks towards town then ride north to Jefferson St. From there go west as it changes to Fremont St. Turn left at Ottawa Street to head south and enter Gebhard Woods State Park. As the parking area starts there are stairs to the right. You can climb these to catch the trail heading west, or continue through the parking lot past the latrines to where the path goes up an incline to also catch the trail.

Overall it wasn't too bad. Some areas the path really thinned out, almost to a single-file path.

Something I noticed. There are almost no places along the trail to refill water. There are fountains at Channahon State Park and Gebhard Woods State Park, but both were out of order and covered.

Wauponsee Glacial Trail

Hot and humid

July, 2021 by tmascherin

We rode from the southern trailhead AI the Kankakee River 9 miles north and back yesterday. It was over 90 degrees, and much of the stretch that we rode was unshaded, so we quickly got overheated. The trail condition ranged from good (in Kankakee County) to excellent (once we crossed into Will County). We will try it again for a longer distance in the fall or spring when it isn’t quite so hot.

Accordion

Hennepin Canal Parkway

Beautiful, Just Don’t Expect Perfection

June, 2021 by kevincborgia

A couple buddies and I rode the Hennepin Canal trail Memorial Day weekend from approximately Wyanet to the Quads, then took the Great River Trail up to Fulton, country roads to Sterling/Rock Falls, and back down on the north branch of the Hennepin. Great two-day ride, about 130mi. We had one gravel bike, one MTB, and one roadie. Gravel was definitely best, but we all did great. About half the Hennepin is paved, the rest fine gravel or soft dirt. Maybe a couple spots with chunky gravel or potholes, but nothing too difficult. Even the sections that are supposedly in the worst disrepair (north branch between Rt 92 & I-88) are easily rideable. I’m sure it coulda been difficult on skinny tires if there had been recent rains, but the trail was totally dry and the guy on skinnies was fine. Honestly, don’t get scared by some of the reviews on this site. No, it’s not perfectly maintained pavement, but if you want to set personal speed records on your carbon roadie, go somewhere else. This path is a bit more rugged, more remote and wild, but its still Northern Illinois, it ain’t THAT hard. An experienced biker with a moderate sense of adventure can handle this on just about any bike. Just make sure you have water, some snacks and a charged cellphone. Overall, I’d say this is a great loop for anyone looking for a long but fairly easy ride. Easy trip out from the Chicago area, Quads or Central Illinois.

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Trail access from LaSalle to Ottawa

June, 2021 by trek7

While on trail from LaSalle, coming within 2 miles of Naplate, the trail was closed. I was unable to continue East. Not sure how much of trail is closed and for how long of time. Plan accordingly from this stretch of trail closure.

Kankakee River Trail

nice ride

May, 2021 by ielpmike

Lots of rolling hills and turns along the Kankakee through parks. Lots going on in the area. I rode from the trailhead to the end and back in about 2 hours.

Rock Island Trail (IL)

great shade

May, 2021 by wmenne6

We rode from the Wyoming access to Alta & back, 40ish miles. Pretty much had the trail to ourselves. One needs to watch for huge burrows (ground hog? burrowing squirrels?) and those cute chipmunks dashing across the trail. Well maintained hard dirt trail with crushed gravel, some muddy areas. Since this was a Sunday, there were no coffee shops open in the little towns.

Wauponsee Glacial Trail

Rough spring ride

April, 2021 by idailey

I rode the north end of this trail three years ago. It was very enjoyable and I would give that ride 5 stars. Ever since, I've looked forward to riding the south section.

I made the trip on Easter Sunday. I started at the trailhead at the NE corner of Midewin off Hoff Road. From there, I rode south, a 25 mile out-and-back to Custer Park. Pros: beautiful weather, interesting little towns, wide open vistas, light traffic, friendly folks, Kankakee River bridge. Con: the trail remembers everything that traversed it when it was wet and soft. There were petrified bike tire ruts, snowmobile/washboard tracks, deer hoofprints, bootprints, etc. In addition, as others as mentioned, there are a few soft spots, but worst of all, a verrry rocky section along Midewin. The ride was a boneshaker and I spent way too much time looking at the trail instead of the scenery. The south section could be a 5-star section, too, but based on the rough surface, I give it 3 stars.

Will County FPD says they're making improvements: https://www.reconnectwithnature.org/News-Events/News/Limestone-Screening-Work-Begins-on-Two-Mile-Sectio . Hopefully future riders have smoother experiences!

Rock Island Trail (IL)

Trail name and route not quite accurate

April, 2021 by marlinweekley

To clarify: The Rock Island Trail is an Illinois state park and goes from Alta to Toulon. It does not include the trail owned by the Peoria Park District known as the Keller Branch although one starts where the other stops - at Alta. The Rock Island Trail is approx 26 miles long therefore not 38. This may be a difference without a distinction for most users but for those looking to set an FKT on the Rock Island Trail the world should understand exactly what the Rock Island Trail is and is not.

Lake of the Woods Path

Beautiful trail!

April, 2021 by bwilkinson1780

But be warned at the entrance of the trail on Prairie view Road it has quite a bit of heaved asphalt and you don’t see it until it’s too late, other than that issue at the beginning most of it is smooth going, there are plenty of hills, twists and turns and beautiful scenery.

Great American Rail-Trail

best trail ever

March, 2021 by tpassarelli_tl

wonderful trip across America

Towanda Route 66 Parkway

Chenoa, Lexington, Towanda...why has Pontiac not done this to it's retired section of 66? From the old Kmart to the old State Police HQ then cross over at E. 1600 North Road and connect to the path at the Rec Plex that runs alongside the prison.

March, 2021 by butler_heinz

Chenoa, Lexington, Towanda...why has Pontiac not done this to it's retired section of 66? From the old Kmart to the old State Police HQ then cross over at E. 1600 North Road and connect to the path at the Rec Plex that runs alongside the prison.

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