Sterling, IL Running Trails and Maps

360 Reviews

Looking for the best Running trails around Sterling?

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

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Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
36 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

Beacon Harbor Parkway Trail

1.1 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

9.8 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

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

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, 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
Accordion

Kishwaukee-Kiwanis Trail

4.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Lester Matzen Bike Path

1 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Lowell Parkway Trail

3.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Lynn Boulevard/Westwood Trail

3.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Mel Anderson Memorial Path

2.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Mississippi River Trail (Riverdale to Davenport)

13.5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt, Concrete

Oregon Park East Bike Path

0.25 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail

5 mi
State: IA
Asphalt

Pecatonica Prairie Trail

14.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Perryville Path

6.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

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

South Main Street Path

2.25 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
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 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 9.8 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 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
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
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, 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
Accordion
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 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 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 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 13.5 mi Asphalt, Concrete
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 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
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
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
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
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
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

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

Recent Trail Reviews

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.

Jane Addams Trail

Beer and cycling together for me. This trail is close to some excellent local breweries.Get out there and enjoy a ride and some beer.

June, 2020 by johnnyk8

Beer and cycling together for me. This trail is close to some excellent local breweries.Get out there and enjoy a ride and some beer.

Accordion

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Nice wooded trail

June, 2020 by erdfam4

We rode from Morris to Seneca and back 6/7/2020. It’s 9 miles of a nice trail, very wooden and shaded. We found it was easiest to park at the Gebhard Woods park off Ottawa St. There is construction near the Stratton Park. The trail get narrow on some areas but we hardly saw any other bikers. We saw 4 baby snapping turtles on our ride.

Hennepin Canal Parkway

Trail out starting at Bureua Junction parking lot

June, 2020 by campbell1970

Going west from the parking lot in Bureau Junction, Rt. 26, the trail is closed. It is in extremely poor condition, bridge out, grass growing through the VERY old asphalt, and a dangerous hole in middle of trail. Bridge is out about 1.2 miles from parking lot. Who ever is suppose to maintain this portion of the trail is NOT. Can not speak to the remainder of the trail.

Clinton Discovery Trail

Great Urban Trail

June, 2020 by estimatehub

This is a very fun trail ride through Clinton. We only rode the north half from downtown, so i can't comment on the south stretch to Camanche. Big parking lot and nice restrooms on 4th Ave, adjacent to the trail. From this location the trail is up on the levy and travels on it for a good stretch. Trail mileage markers are 3' high blue and white lighthouses, which is a nice touch. The trail is pretty well marked other than one spot at Grant St and 25th Ave where it indicates to go right on Grant. This is a dead-end and you need to go one more block to McKinley before making the turn. There's a pretty long and steep uphill (northbound) before reaching Eagle Point Park, but it's worth the trouble. The park is awesome! Make sure to ride the one-way through all of it. Great look-outs of the river and also, more restrooms. The park does not plunge down to the river, so don't fear a steep uphill to get back out. About 11 miles round trip from downtown and all paved. We had a great time!

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Always beautiful, but needs a little TLC this spring

June, 2020 by sarahccaltvedt

I'm writing this because we weren't able to find any information on current trail conditions. The I&M is one of our favorite trails in Northern Illinois. Today my husband and I rode between Channahon and Morris for the first time this season (now that they've finally re-opened the restrooms). We were pleased to see that it was not badly affected by recent flooding, but it definitely needs some maintenance. Between Au Sable and Morris there were three large holes which others had fortunately marked by putting large sticks in them. At Au Sable a tree limb is partially blocking the path at the west end of the park. Another rider said it had been there a week already. That section also hasn't been mowed yet, so the trail seems even narrower than usual. At Morris, we hoped to continue west. We knew there was a break in the trail and that you're supposed to be able to ride around the break on the street, but there was no signage or any other indication of how to do that, so we had to turn around when we came to a barrier. Also at Morris, be aware that the road bridge leading from town into Governor Stratton State Park on the east end is being replaced. You can either carry your bike down steps to the park or walk it around the barricades very carefully (at least on a Sunday when they're not working). East of Au Sable, the trail edges have been mowed, which is a good thing, because you need to watch for large wash-out holes on the canal edge. I know it's been a rough spring in terms of both weather and the pandemic, but I hope that the IDNR will be able to get the trail back in good shape again soon. It's a real treasure.

Mississippi River Trail (Riverdale to Davenport)

Scenic, fun ride

May, 2020 by marknmk

We enjoyed this trail-only complaint is that there is no parking at the north trail head, and poor markings to find the actual route at this end also. It took us about 20 mins of being lost and stopping to recheck the trail route before we found our way. The beginning of the route takes you through an industrial area, leading to A nice path right along the long beautiful paved path that takes you into some pretty neighborhoods in Bettendorf and Davenport adjacent to downtown. Credit Park had recently flooded and was in pretty rough shape so you may want to skip this portion. Otherwise, thoroughly enjoyed this ride. Some small hills and curves make it just challenging enough and keep your attention. Will do this one again!

Great River Trail

Savanna to Thompson

May, 2020 by svalaika

Great smooth flat ride - our tandem was cruising! I agree with other posts, there’s a small section at the start that is buggy- lots of gnats. Bring sunglasses! It was cool and overcast but if it were a sunny day, bring sunscreen too!

Jane Addams Trail

Highly Reccomended

April, 2020 by kebunsha

Now that I have several to compare with, this trail is one of the finest. I generally only walk with my dog on it. The Orangeville BP Boco is a great place to stop for a snack, it has a sub/pizza counter and your can go back to the picnic shelter along the trail. Between O ville an Brush Creek Road, there is a butterfly nature preserve that was donated. I think its about 30 acres or more. The path is very well maintained. I generally do about 7 miles round trip per walk. Parking in O ville w/ porta potti, Buena Vista, Red Oak w/porta potti, Cedarville.

Kishwaukee River Recreation Path

Beautiful Riverfront

April, 2020 by raquel0827

Great path to walk with kids...not to long. Kids will love path entering Belvidere park lots to see, historical sites and bridges. Fun for the family.

Great American Rail-Trail

Best Trail Ever

January, 2020 by cbyounger

This is the best trail I have ever ridden!

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