Washington, IL Birding Trails and Maps

185 Reviews

Looking for the best Birding trails around Washington?

Find the top rated birding trails in Washington, 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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Activities
Length
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11 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Chenoa Route 66 Prairie Trail

1 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Constitution Trail

43 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Concrete

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

Lexington's Route 66 Trail

2.2 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Pekin Park Bike Trail

4.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Rock Island Trail (IL)

38.2 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Towanda Route 66 Parkway

7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt
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 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
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 Pekin Park Bike Trail traverses more than 4 miles between Allentown Road and the Illinois River at Pekin bridge. The trail does a loop in Coal Miners' Park and passes through Mineral Springs Park,...
IL 4.3 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 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

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Trails by activity

Recent Trail Reviews

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

La Salle to Joliet

September, 2020 by urbnsurfr

Overall, this was a great trip. It's a towpath so as you expect, almost no change in elevation. Most of the trail is hardpacked gravel, with some pavement. I wouldn't recommend any portion of the trail after much rain, the trail would be too muddy (particularly between Utica and Ottawa). We were really impressed with the staff who seemed to be keeping the trail working. On Utica to LaSalle, there was a downed limb blocking the trail, but it was gone by the time we returned an hour later. Everywhere else, the trail was mostly free of litter except in some of the towns.

The western third from LaSalle to Ottawa is very scenic, with a few of canal, river, caves, flora, fauna, and sandstone cliffs. Someone created a small bridge at the washout between Utica and Ottawa. The middle third from Ottawa to Morris is not as nice, although the stops in Marseilles, Seneca, and Morris are nice. The trail in Seneca stops right next to a well kept Casey's with a clean bathroom, friendly staff, cold gatorade, and a free air compressor. Most of this segment the canal is gone and the trail is down to a small single file track, but still heavily wooded at least. Morris itself is really scenic, but you have to detour around another washed out bridge, I think the route was Ottawa to Fremont/Jefferson to Nettle. Morris to Channahon was our favorite segment, particularly around McKinley Woods and Channahon State Park. The woods and river views were beautiful and the canal waterway was in the best shape here. The section from I-55 to Rockdale was again not-so-nice, reasonably well wooded, but few amenities and not the greatest scenery.

There are few places to stop close to the trail east of Morris. Near Channahon State Park where the trail crosses US Route 6, there's a subway and gas station nearby.

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Skip the Lemont section

September, 2020 by campbell1970

The part through the downtown of Lemont is very nice but going west is in bad shape and east bound is gravel, not well maintained. In parts, if you had an accident they might find you for a few days. Short trail in both directions - goes no where. Skip this trail and ride the Cenntenial Trail on the other side of the river. It is a 5 star trail - Lemont is a 1 star

River Trail of Illinois (Carl Bud Schmitt Trail)

Nice trail 1st time riding it

August, 2020 by dewags

Nice paved trail. 1st time riding this. Rode from East Peoria to Morton. It's uphill most of the way but no real taxing hills. Long inclines. It looks like trail maintenance is complete. The ride back from Morton was the reward! Downhill 75% of the way. Will be riding this trail again.

The only bad thing was the small bugs which kept hitting me. Make sure you have eye protection and keep your mouth closed so you don't suck a bug down your throat!

Accordion

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Channahon to Morris-fantastic, Ottawa to LaSalle-caution

August, 2020 by dabertin

We rode the Channahon to Morris section after the storms in early August. There were a couple of trees down but overall the path was clear and very scenic. Lots of birds, lots of shade and mostly flat. It is mostly limestone and can be slippery at times for touring bikes. There is a toilet at Channahon, it is a latrine (no flush toilet) and no place to wash your hands. We had planned to stop in Morris but didn't see the connection to the next part.

Contrast that to the Ottawa towards LaSalle portion that a few days later had major trees down every 1/2 mile or so, some of them really big and hard to get over or under. Surely this is temporary but may be an issue for a few weeks to come as there were a lot. We decided to ride on the street on the way back to Ottawa (we only went 6 miles because of a branch that lodged between my brake and wheel and flipped me off my bike) once we got to Buffalo Rock State Park. What little we saw of the trail wasn't as scenic as the Channahon to Morris section

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.

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.

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!


River Trail of Illinois (Carl Bud Schmitt Trail)

good trail

July, 2020 by ckrengiel

I in-line skated on this trail July 1,2020 and it was in great condition. Mostly uphill from East Peoria to Morton, and well worth it for the enjoyable downhill skate back toward Peoria.

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.

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.

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