Sterling, IL Cross Country Skiing Trails and Maps

370 Reviews

Looking for the best Cross Country Skiing trails around Sterling?

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

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Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
16 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

Copper Creek Trail

0.75 mi
State: IA
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

Great River Trail

62.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

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

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

Pecatonica Prairie Trail

14.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Rock Island Trail (IL)

38.2 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Rock River Recreation Path

10 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 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 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 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 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
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
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
The Pecatonica Prairie Trail, formerly known as the Pecatonica Prairie Path, is a 14.3-mile rail-trail extending from the western edge of Rockford to N. Farwell Bridge Road west of Pecatonica. The...
IL 14.3 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
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 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

Now, More Than Ever, Trails Matter!

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Trails by activity

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...

Rock Island Trail (IL)

IL - 38.2 miles

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...

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...

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...

Accordion

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...

Great American Rail-Trail

DC,IA,ID,IL,IN,MD,MT,NE,OH,PA,WA,WV,WY - 3743.9 miles

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 - 14.3 miles

The Pecatonica Prairie Trail, formerly known as the Pecatonica Prairie Path, is a 14.3-mile rail-trail extending from the western edge of Rockford to N. Farwell Bridge Road west of Pecatonica. The...

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...

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....

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...

Accordion

Great American Rail-Trail

DC,IA,ID,IL,IN,MD,MT,NE,OH,PA,WA,WV,WY - 3743.9 miles

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....

Rock Island Trail (IL)

IL - 38.2 miles

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 - 14.3 miles

The Pecatonica Prairie Trail, formerly known as the Pecatonica Prairie Path, is a 14.3-mile rail-trail extending from the western edge of Rockford to N. Farwell Bridge Road west of Pecatonica. The...

Joe Stengel Trail

IL - 7.9 miles

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...

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...

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

IL - 79.5 miles

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

IL - 79.5 miles

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...

Accordion

Joe Stengel Trail

IL - 7.9 miles

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

Rock Island Trail (IL)

IL - 38.2 miles

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...

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...

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...

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 - 14.3 miles

The Pecatonica Prairie Trail, formerly known as the Pecatonica Prairie Path, is a 14.3-mile rail-trail extending from the western edge of Rockford to N. Farwell Bridge Road west of Pecatonica. The...

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...

Great American Rail-Trail

DC,IA,ID,IL,IN,MD,MT,NE,OH,PA,WA,WV,WY - 3743.9 miles

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....

Recent Trail Reviews

Kishwaukee River Recreation Path

Great walk! Wonderful scenery.

August, 2020 by rjroke

Great walk! Wonderful scenery.

Badger State Trail

tunnel currently closed

August, 2020 by jenbaldock

we started in Belleville at library park and went south, hoping to go to tunnel and turn around. tunnel and path were closed off after 3.4 miles - there was a detour around on roads but I had kids with me and wanted to stay on the path so we just returned to Belleville. Beautiful path.

Saelens Park Trail

fun for the family, especially little kids

August, 2020 by ed.slocum

It is a short, flat asphalt trail, so if the kids get tired it doesn’t take long to get back to the car. Also you can stop and have them swing in the playground. New this year is the frisbee golf. Share the trail with them.

Accordion

Perryville Path

Poorly maintained path...not for road bikes....too much traffic

July, 2020 by jthrog

This path is in decent shape North of Harlem Road, but is in horrible shape South of it. The path is cracked throughout and has grass growing in it which lends to a very bumpy ride, especially on bikes that don't handle bumps very well. There are several busy intersections that need to be crossed. This path would be great for walking, and mountain biking or climbing training, but just isn't terribly fun due to the state of the path.

Hennepin Canal Parkway

best section

July, 2020 by holly1645

19 July 2020, 80 degrees, light wind , 54 miles r/t, partly cloudy, started east to west. Last update on Hennepin. Road bikers youre on(no clinchers or sewups), trail was completely clear of debris and in good shape, full sun. Scenery is great not as good as the east but nice, saw lots of humans. This part is obviously used 99% more than the other 2 sections and is maintained. Hennepin trail is a very un-utililized trail that is so scenic, I am sad for its overall poor condition. Oh, due to covid Hickory Grove Campground cannot accept tenters,no public facilties are open. Rvers are self contained. I do recommend the trail but wish it was kept up more.

Great American Rail-Trail

Great ride today

July, 2020 by vlc9802

We rode this trail from Toulon to Princeville today. It was great! The path was very good. It is mostly shaded. Excellent. We stopped in Wyoming on our way back for lunch. Ate at 111 Coffee Shop. Don’t be fooled, this is NOT just a coffee shop. The lunch was delicious. And it is decorated all with bikes! Perfect for us bikers. And check out the bathroom. Cute!!! Can’t wait to do more of the route from Princeville going south.

Jane Addams Trail

Northern section beautiful but in need of attention

July, 2020 by wilsonae

This time I started at the stateline trailhead and went south to Cedarville Road. It was a beautiful shady ride, I saw owls and birds and chipmunks and a few geese. Not much traffic, but about a quarter mile north of ORangeville, there was a huge tree broken over the whole trail, with just enough room to squeeze through. Then the following few miles between Brush Creek Road and Lane Road were really choppy: lots of shallow holes in the path and not a ride I would want to do on a road bike. It was scenic and private, and I loved that, but am glad for the shock absorbers on my hybrid. This would be a splendid trail if they paved it, but that seems unlikely. Still, a gorgeous ride, just one where you have to pay acute attention to the path in order to avoid some pitfalls....

Hennepin Canal Parkway

confused

July, 2020 by holly1645

July 17,2020, 70 miles r/t, 85 degrees, 70 % humidity, partly cloudly and light west breeze, path100% flat. Feeder trail north off the henneipen to Rock Falls. SORRY, road bikers ,you're still off this trail, the debris is just too much and rough. i would love to get you out there but you would curse me if I recommended it for you.
CONFUSED: One mans trash, we have ridden alot if paths, but the scenery and greenness and desolation and QQUUUIIIEETTT of this ride is impossible to match, what a day!!! No water,no cars ,no people,no noise, no bugs,no towns,no trash,no stores,no nothing, 2 poopers,REALLY CLEAN. To the Illinois department that maintains the path, on this day CUDDOS, on the way out at least 12downed trees(massive storm), added 2 hours to north route. On the way back,mowers and tree cutters cleared the path YYYEEEEHHHAAA!! THANKS. OK,you know mr poo poo has to chime in. Talked to farmer on the path,he said they have let the path go. This path is still a gold mine, but the debris on the path is so much its hard to see anything, you better keep you eye on the road or you are going to break a foot or loose some spokes. Ok, the mowing guy went by and 300 yards behind him were branches down(cant get all of it),but the debris is years old. Path surface on this section is very good, half was tar and chip(really good), 19 miles to Rock Falls was all hard dirt. I am confused about this path because its going to be a challenge for most to complete any of the 3 legs of the path. NO SERVICES, no motels,no bed and breakfast, no water,no stores, which MAKES the path. But unless you do 35 miles one way ,you're on your own. So, the thing needs to be cleaned up so most people can do the 35 and leave all that crap in town and not on the path(get it??)OK!! We are riding modified mountain bikes and try to average 15 to 16 mph, and wrists are pretty sore from the bobbling debis, on anything else you are at 8 mph. Everyone has their oppinion and this is mine.

Jane Addams Trail

Hallway of Trees

July, 2020 by bcdolson

We started in Orangeville and rode halfway to Freeport. Beautiful ride. We didn’t notice the hot weather because of the canopy of shade. The only negative is that there is no drinking water on the trail. Bring plenty of water.

Hennepin Canal Parkway

A different kind of trail

July, 2020 by bigdealer

I have wanted to do this trail for 7 years, but logistics did not line up until this weekend. I rode the 60 miles from Bureau Junction to Colona. Started at Lock 3 at Route 26/29 because that parking lot is not as isolated as the Lock 2 parking lot. Heading West, there had been a washout at 1.2 miles, but they had filled it the day before. Apparently, this happens semi-regularly due to the Big Bureau Creek flooding.

Overall, the Eastern one-third (20 miles) of this trail is rougher but more scenic. The Western two-thirds to Colona has a more stable surface but is more exposed to the sun and has less variation in scenery. There were way more people fishing than biking, which was a nice change.

Heading out from Bureau, the first 4.5 miles are particularly rough. There's any kind of surface you can imagine -- oil & chip, gravel, sand, limestone chat, etc. You have to pay close attention in this section and count on slow going. I have a hybrid bike and was totally comfortable. Road bikes would be rough if you are doing the whole 60 miles. I really appreciate how difficult it is to keep the Eastern section maintained, due to the geography. Once you get to Lock 6, the surface becomes more stable and that is when I really started to enjoy the trail and the canal.

Different kinds of locks, gates and dams keep the engineering interesting. The locks were where most of the people were fishing.

While the Western two-thirds had a more stable surface, you still have to pay attention. Most of it was oil & chip 4 feet wide (slightly rough), but occasionally you will get a section with mostly grass and as little as a 6-inch wide strip of limestone. Very rideable, but you have to focus. There were not many parts of the trail in which it was wide enough or smooth enough to pull a trailer with kids in it (unless you don't like your kids!).

I recommend packing all the food and water you need. You can't count on water being available even at the visitor's center. The trail does not go directly through any towns, so you would be making side trips to find an open store/restaurant.

As for signage, it is limited, but I found that Google Maps (with the Bicycling layer turned on) was spot on for accuracy. Only a few very small hills to note, mostly in the Eastern section.

Lots of water scenery, plants, and animals. It's definitely a great trail to ride if you want to get away from the crowds.

All in all, I would do this trail again, but likely in the Spring or Fall, when the heat index is lower than 98F!


Badger State Trail

Great Trail

June, 2020 by evawysocki1993

This was a easy to ride trail .

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Nice trail, has potential

June, 2020 by smithc061309

We rode from Utica to Channahon, split into two days (Utica to Seneca and back on June 11, & Seneca to Channahon and back on June 13). Total distance = 96 miles.

Day 1, Utica to Seneca: We rode out from our rental house right on the trail in Utica and headed east. 2 miles east of Utica, there is a bridge out over a fairly deep ravine. Enough trail users have been through to create a small footpath to the bottom and a makeshift bridge was installed. Be prepared to navigate mud and water while pushing your bike. The trail surface was in decent condition, but very weedy and a one-lane track in most parts. We also stopped at least 4 times to shove / pull trees limbs off the trail, had to carry over a few large ones. It also looks like the trail had been recently repaired from a washout west of Buffalo Rock SP. We ran into a "trail closed" sign on the west edge of Ottawa, and followed the bike traffic signs on city streets to pick up the trail on the east side of town. **NOTE: on the way back, we tried the "closed" trail.... it is finished and passable, but some loose gravel in places.** At our turn-back point in Seneca, we met two helpful IDNR employees. Due to COVID-19, they were just allowed back to do maintenance approx. 10 days prior to our ride. While we found the trail to be in very rough condition, we learned it would likely have been cleared if we rode a day or two later; case-and-point... on our return trip the trees had been cut and trail recently mowed.

Day 2, Seneca to Channahon: We found much better trail conditions on this portion. Very easy ride, peaceful, all the way to Morris. At Morris, there is a path detour (aqueduct bridge washed out several years ago has not been replaced); take the foot bridge into Gebhard Woods SP. The path via city streets going west to east is not well marked, in my opinion. Take Ottawa/Shabbona St north to Fremont St; east to Nettle St; south to Illinois St; east to Calhoun and pick the trail back up there. There is a lock keepers house at the lock and aqueduct at Aux Sable with a shady picnic area for resting. Be sure to check out the mile markers; they all include little tidbits of history about the canal & sites. There is an access road to the south of the Dresden Mule Barn that leads to the modern lock and dam on the Illinois River, and you can watch barges being raised and lowered. The trail from Morris to Channahon was my favorite of the trip, riding right along the river, the scenery is beautiful.

Overall this is a decent trail, with lots of potential and room for improvement. It is well shaded and a nice, even ride with lots of history. I rated it a 3, mainly because of the bridges that have not been replaced; upon talking to some locals, they have both been washed out for 5 + years. This is a good trail, just come prepared for some challenges.

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