Sterling, IL Cross Country Skiing Trails and Maps

393 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
15 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 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 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!

During COVID-19, trails are being counted on as places where people can find solace and respite and we need your support to keep trails open and provide these critical FREE resources! Please continue to practice physical distancing and check the status of your trail before heading out!

Trails by activity

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...

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...

Accordion

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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-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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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. 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Recent Trail Reviews

Rock River Recreation Path

Decent trail, beautiful views, some bumps and navigational confusion

May, 2021 by wilsonae

Really nice trail, but not well marked. Because it jogs from trail to street and over bridges it took some doing to navigate correctly. But it is a decent paved trail, great views of the Rock River, and not many other cyclists. Glad I took my hybrid, though, because there were lots of cracks and bumps and I"m not sure a road bike would be very happy on this trail.

Please note: when you cross the bridge on Riverside Dr. heading north, the trail connection restarts IMMEDIATELY at the end of the bridge on the other side of the road. There is nothing to indicate the path entrance and you have to go up to the light on the south side of the road to cross the street and go down the sidewalk on the north side to regain the trail. There is also one really steep switchback to get you down to the river level again.

The best part of the ride was the last northern section from the sports complex up to the forest preserve. Great blacktop, beautiful scenery! A road bike would be fine on this section.

Oregon Park East Bike Path

too short

April, 2021 by lampsonryan

Don’t waste a special trip for this one. Would take you 3 min to complete.

Four Sisters Bike Path

decent path

April, 2021 by lampsonryan

Needs some attention. Looks like Rochelle may expand the bike trail in the future which would be a plus!

Accordion

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.

Rock Island Trail (IL)

Great Fat Biking Trail

January, 2021 by chris.vannorman

My wife and I road from Toulon to a little past Princeville and back to Toulon (30 miles) in the snow on our fat bikes. There was about three inches of snow. The tree lined trail was beautiful. Highly recommended for winter riding. We were the only set of bike tracks and saw three people in 6 hours.

Pecatonica Prairie Trail

Pecatonica Prairie trail 11-07-2020

November, 2020 by terri.hagmann

My husband and I did the whole trail r/t Farewell Bridge Road to Meridian Road and back today. Good spots, and not as good spots. We rode it about two years ago, and it was very sandy in some spots. Those spots have course gravel in them now. We ride hybrid bikes with cross-terrain tires. It was ok, but fat tires work better on the grassy and course gravel areas. It needs some work, but was still an enjoyable scenic ride on a beautiful day.

Hennepin Canal Parkway

Oct. 27, 2020 30 year anniversary and we wanted just to get out. It was cold but endurable... We were impressed by our 2 hour round trip ride from the route 29 entrance. In better weather being the kids... Do some fishing.... Watch for animals.

November, 2020 by dra.wiersema

Oct. 27, 2020 30 year anniversary and we wanted just to get out. It was cold but endurable... We were impressed by our 2 hour round trip ride from the route 29 entrance. In better weather being the kids... Do some fishing.... Watch for animals.

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Flat, Easy Ride

October, 2020 by lisaknits2

We started at Gebhard Woods State Park. Lovely day for a fall ride. There was a big sign telling us how far to ride to Seneca or Channahan, etc. we chose to ride to Channahan: however barely a half mile down the road there was a fence and there was no way around it. So we went toward Seneca...the trail was crushed gravel and grass and narrow but easy to ride. Might be a challenge to pass for newer riders, but it was a fairly flat ride and wooded. We enjoyed the ride. We rode from the state park on the roads to downtown Morris (which was lovely) after our trail ride. Took about 5 minutes to ride there.

Beacon Harbor Parkway Trail

Short little trail , a couple of small ponds , lighted path along road. Trail was in good shape , a couple of little bumps here and there, but was a nice little trail coming off the Great River Trail.

October, 2020 by jedwards7961

Short little trail , a couple of small ponds , lighted path along road. Trail was in good shape , a couple of little bumps here and there, but was a nice little trail coming off the Great River Trail.

Badger State Trail

Badger Trail much improved from the last several years.

October, 2020 by bikeandrun

I have had some rough riding over the years with rarely cut grass. This year the DNR has shifted gears and improved this trail a lot. The best I've rode in several years. Jane Adams hooks up to the Badger at the State line. Ruts and holes have really been worked on. And weeds cut as best as they can keep up with it. I have ridden this trail many times this year.
Excellent job, DNR. Keep it up. I have also seen more people walking, jogging and riding this and the Sugar Trails this year since I started in 1986 riding.

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

This is a nice trail but blocked by fences just west of Morris at the aquaduct. You can get around the fence but it is very difficult with a bike. This was the low point of a nice ride.

September, 2020 by nardclaar

This is a nice trail but blocked by fences just west of Morris at the aquaduct. You can get around the fence but it is very difficult with a bike. This was the low point of a nice ride.

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Beautiful and empty; some stretches closed

September, 2020 by ajnicholson

Had a nice time yesterday (9/28/20) on the stretch from Morris west toward Seneca. Note however that the part just west of downtown Morris that goes over Nettle Creek is closed in both directions; you can't proceed west if you start in downtown Morris and need to detour on city streets for awhile.

If you're starting from Morris and want to go west, a better bet is to park at Gebhard State Woods (but note that you cannot head east from there, just west).

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