Sterling, IL Hiking Trails and Maps

460 Reviews

Looking for the best Hiking trails around Sterling?

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

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Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
39 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Baumann Park Recreation Path

1.25 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Bear River Recreation Trail

5.6 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Copper Creek Trail

0.75 mi
State: IA
Crushed Stone

Duck Creek Recreational Trail

13.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Government Bridge (Arsenal Bridge)

0.3 mi
State: IA, IL
Asphalt, Metal

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

Jane Addams Trail

18.9 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Kishwaukee River Recreation Path

2.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Lowell Parkway Trail

3.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Mel Anderson Memorial Path

2.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Mississippi River Trail (Riverdale to Davenport)

14.3 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

Badger State Trail

40 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Bauer Memorial Path

1.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Beacon Harbor Parkway Trail

1.1 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Charles Street Community Path

2.6 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Clinton Discovery Trail

9.8 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Four Sisters Bike Path

4.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Great River Trail

63.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt
Accordion

Hennepin Canal State Trail

93 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Grass, Gravel

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

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

Kishwaukee-Kiwanis Trail

4.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Perryville Path

14.9 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Saelens Park Trail

1 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

South Main Street Path

2.25 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Harrison Avenue/Mulford Road Bike Path

3.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Concrete

Joe Stengel Trail

7.9 mi
State: IL
Ballast, Grass, Gravel

Pecatonica Prairie Trail

14.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Swanson Park Recreation Path

2.4 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Oregon Park East Bike Path

0.25 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Eldridge/Long Grove Trail

3.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

I-74 Bridge Bike and Pedestrian Path

1 mi
State: IA, IL
Concrete

Lester Matzen Bike Path

1 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Lynn Boulevard/Westwood Trail

3.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Midway Village Museum Loop

1.4 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail

5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
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 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
The Government Bridge is both an engineering marvel and a significant part of US history. The predecessor to the present-day bridge was the first bridge built across the Mississippi River. Three...
IA, IL 0.3 mi Asphalt, Metal
Note: This developing route is not yet fully contiguous – it is just over 50% complete. Please refer to the Trail Map for more information on the existing sections of trail, as well as the online...
DC, IA, ID, IL, IN, MD, MT, NE, OH, PA, WA, WV, WY 3743.9 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
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 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 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 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
The Mississippi River Trail in Scott County resembles the setting of a Mark Twain novel as it travels 13.5 miles along its namesake within sight of barges, riverboats, and marine-related businesses...
IA 14.3 mi Asphalt, Concrete
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
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
This off-road trail parallels the Beacon Harbor Parkway in East Moline as it gradually winds north towards the Mississippi River. The trail begins on 7th Street and cuts through a lush wetland where...
IL 1.1 mi Asphalt
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 9.8 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
Overview 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...
IL 63.3 mi Asphalt
Accordion
Overview The Hennepin Canal State Trail stretches for 93 miles in northwest Illinois along an old canal towpath. The trail is administered as a State Park by the Illinois Department of Natural...
IL 93 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 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 Perryville Path runs nearly 15 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 14.9 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
This is a newly constructed path that runs between S. Main Street and the Rock River in Rockford. It was built as part of the re-building of S. Main Street and runs from South Park south to the...
IL 2.25 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 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 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
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
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
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
This multi-use path is actually a small segment of the Grand Illinois Trail network, a 535-mile loop trail that runs along the northern border of Illinois from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi and...
IL 2.9 mi Asphalt
A separate path for biking and walking on the I-74 bridge over the Mississippi. There's an easy connection to the Great River Trail on the Illinois side and a poorly marked short road connection to...
IA, IL 1 mi Concrete
The Lester Matzen Bike Path is named in memory of an Eldridge man who is fondly remembered for collecting and restoring bicycles. The trail stretches along Le Claire Road between 1st Street and 18th...
IA 1 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 Midway Village Museum Loop is a 1.4-mile pathway around Guilford County Forest Preserve (6595 Guilford Rd, Rockford) and passes the Midway Village Museum (6799 Guilford Rd, Rockford). The trail...
IL 1.4 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 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

Recent Trail Reviews

Great River Trail

Disappointment

November, 2023 by deetiffanylb

We just returned from our week-end-a day early. Yes chilly weather was a factor but even more to the point, the trail was a Huge disappointment. We had decided to drive to south end and eye the conditions that rec'd mostly negative comments. We never even unloaded our bikes! The trail is basically not maintained, often runs right along OR on the highway for the majority of its 62 miles. The straight, unimaginative paths are not only boring but neglected to the pt of being dangerous - often far from the Mississippi River. Where did trail get it's name from?! Illinois once again leaves the user in the dust - or should I say weeds. We were left w/ a very negative impression, leading to our distrust of both the IL trail system as well as Rails to Trails reviews. It was obvious this trail was quickly laid out to meet some timeline set by a non-biking administrators. We counted two (!) people using trail in over the 60+ miles we covered from car. THAT should say it all!

We feel strongly that reviewers on Trail Link need to be more direct with readers. Polite and tolerant reviews are as much a disservice to the bikers as the abominable trail itself!

Badger State Trail

Beautiful trail

November, 2023 by christyfry14

I’ve ridden this trail several times. It’s well kept. Most of it is shady and fairly flat.

Jane Addams Trail

Love this trail

November, 2023 by christyfry14

I’ve ridden this trail several times. It’s beautiful, pretty well kept, and flat. In the summer, most of it is shady. This fall the colors have been beautiful!

Accordion

Bear River Recreation Trail

Bear River trail 9/25/2023

September, 2023 by jamespglass

Up until this year my bike riding has been limited to mostly around town. A Google search came up with Bear River so I checked it out. Nice wide smith trail with plenty of shade, benches for resting and 2 different shelters with picnic tables. Been on this trail four times, not many people riding bikes. Most people walking. Trail goes to Preston. Hopefully they make it longer someday

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Janet

September, 2023 by janet koch

Don't bother. Trail is still closed and the canal has been drained. The wildlife is gone and the trail not maintained. This is why I gave it a one star rating. There isn't a zero rating which it deserves.

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

its okay

September, 2023 by joannamaciej

I basically drove from romeoville to morris halfway from morris i started to feel like this trail was not safe when you get out from the woods park west and the bridge is gone in morris so just avoid the trail going to seneca

Great River Trail

nice

September, 2023 by gary.turner2

Road from Rock Island to Port Bryan and it was really nice and paved. Read reviews as this is a long trail with mixed surfaces. But we got 40 miles in our route an enjoyed. There’s a holiday inn in Rock Island 2 blocks form a trail head. Really good food wit Distance hin walking do

Rock Island Trail (IL)

Great long trail

August, 2023 by kimlogan

We started downtown Peoria and parked at the big lot at the park on Eaton Street. This parking lot has plenty of spaces and seemed to be safe. We do not live around here so all of this was new to us.

The trail was a tiny bit hard to follow in the beginning when we had to cross public streets and there was a good amount of traffic. If you want to avoid the public streets and traffic (especially if you are riding with children) then park closer to the zoo and go riding from that area. The trail does cross over many farm roads but these roads did not have a single moving vehicle on them when we were riding. There are stop signs and it is very safe to cross over these narrow two lane country roads.

We rode all the way to Princeville and then back.....I have to admit we RAN OUT OF BATTERIES on our ebikes. It was really hard to make it back the final 5 miles but we made it!

The trail is a mix of newer asphalt, ground limestone and crushed stone. There are a few spots that are pretty bumpy from tree roots pushing up the asphalt. You do have to pay attention to these areas because they are pretty bad. There were also a few spots where there was crushed stone that had some deep indentations from previous rain storms would be my guess. Your tires could kinda get stuck so just pay attention.

The trail is about 95% flat and very shady. There were spots that definitely had more people that were walking and riding and those areas where near the homes that back up to the trail in some areas. This trail seems to be very clean and safe for people of all ages.

Harrison Avenue/Mulford Road Bike Path

Shrubs overgrown sidewalk, broken glass, not maintained

August, 2023 by red3bd

Shrubs overgrown sidewalk, broken glass, not maintained

Great River Trail

Sunset Park to Moline

August, 2023 by dwight.steen

Sunset Park is lovely, great for picnic. The trail is pretty rough. It is mostly asphalt and has a lot of cracks that have not been maintained. A couple of short bridges with wood roadbed have been repaired with sheets of 3/4 inch plywood. Signage is pretty good. We would have gone on past Moline except for the condition of the surface.

Four Sisters Bike Path

Great little trail

August, 2023 by denniso_tl

My wife and I had a very enjoyable ride on the Four Sisters Trail in Rochelle. The trail makes a horseshoe loop around the northern part of the city, starting in one park and ending in another. The beginning and end are also joined by street biking to complete the loop.

The trail must have been improved since the last review as the surface was in excellent condition with what appeared to be fairly new asphalt. The trail goes under some of the more major streets in town so there is no danger in crossing those. The only intersections are in quiet residential areas that were easy to navigate.

I can see us going back to this trail as it's a relatively short and flat ride on a newer surface. I highly recommend.

Rock Island Trail (IL)

Beautiful trail

August, 2023 by teresakwilliams

Trail is well marked and maintained . Even though I rode this trail right after a thunder storm, it was still usable. I was impressed with the natural drainage . The tree coverage was beautiful. I hope to return in the fall !

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Accordion

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