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Find the top rated atv trails in Illinois, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
|Trail Image||Trail Name||States||Length||Surface||Rating|
The Riverside Recreational Path begins as a gravel lane at the base of Riverside Park on the banks of the Rock River in Roscoe. From there, it continues along Rowena Street, paralleling State Route...
|IL||0.63 mi||Dirt, Grass, Gravel||
We parked in the parking lot of the park at Lake Taylorville to avoid the closed bridge and rode to Pana and back. I admit it was mid-day on a Thursday, but we only saw one other rider the whole time.
The cracks in the blacktop made for a not very smooth ride. Add to that all the small branches and twigs to get caught in your spokes AND all the hickory nuts (?) in places and it wasn’t our best ride, but it was a ride and I can mark this trail as ridden.
I finally completed the trail in LaSalle last weekend, I had been completing the entire route in segments throughout the summer. Overall, I enjoyed the experience, I liked the historical placards and informative mile markers. Yes, I stopped and read every one of them! I thought it was really well done, and very interesting history of the canal and its construction and usage. Cool grande finale ending up in LaSalle where the packet boat and mule towpath was in full display with the tour.
I started in Lemont where the trail begins, through Lockport (the old canal headquarters) and got through Joliet. A must see is the old Joliet Iron Works, an interesting historical walking tour. The next segment I completed was from Joliet (Rockdale) to Channahon, with beautiful views of the Illinois River. Saw an abundance of varied wildlife as the canal here is wide with plenty of water still left in it. McKinley Woods Park is a nice diversion to take a break. Channahon to Morris was the next segment, again with nice views of barges on the river and the Dresden dam area. From Morris to Marseilles the trail begins to get more woodsy, and at some points the trail goes from crushed limestone to single track dirt. This is where the canal is hard to see, as it has dried up over the years, thus there is less wildlife to see. From Marseilles to Ottawa the trail is still woodsy, but becomes more industrial as you are riding next to train tracks and grain silos along the river for much of it. Ottawa to Utica becomes more scenic as you start to see the St Peters sandstone cliffs at certain points. Finally from Utica to LaSalle you can see much more of this, and the trail ends with a lock with all of its functioning parts, as would have existed back in the day.
I normally ride on much more challenging, tougher and more hilly terrain with my trail bike, so this was a change of pace for me. The trail is in decent shape, but you can tell that it has not been maintained for awhile. There are bridges out in several spots (easy to get around), and fallen trees that you need to lift your bike over. All in all, I would recommend it to the casual rider, seeking an interesting history of the canal from back in the nineteenth century. Happy riding!
I have only ridden from Vienna to Tunnel Hill and back but I did drive down to the Wetlands Nature Center at the southern end as well as go to Karnak and check it out. Even had lunch at "Our Place Deli". I wish I would have given myself more time and got to actually Bike the whole thing but I will be back for sure to enjoy the whole experience. It is easy to see why people love and care for this trail the way they do. I will give myself at least 3 days on the trail to fully enjoy it next time, especially the southern end. It is a shame there isn't any campgrounds listed close by on the northern half.
The trail is mostly well paved. There's a section where somebody highlighted the pavement problems in yellow paint. Not sure if they mean to fix it or just warn. It is pretty flat and does cross several roads, but nothing too difficult (mid-day at least). Bridge at Palatine is nice. I did not notice buzzing from the power towers but at the ComEd station there was some. Did not seem like it was 4 miles long, but maybe that just means it was a pleasant ride. Probably not for the speedsters, but for senior citizens, very nice. Not obvious where it starts from the parking - go east toward Wolf Road, runs along is to start.
We went to visit my son in Wilmington and rode the Kankakee River Trail for the first time. We started at parking lot A where we rode through a beautiful forest of oaks, maples and hickories. Then we rode through the state park and over scenic bridges and stopped at scenic overlooks of the river. The trail is hilly in places but my husband and I are 67 years old and we had no difficulty pedaling up the hills. We rode to the end of the trail and back to the starting point which is about 20 miles. Even though the weather was perfect, the trail was not crowded. We will definitely be going back!
I've now ridden the northern 20 or so miles twice, starting at Russell Road both times. The first couple miles are pretty rough due to the horses. That's not a knock on people riding horses on the trail, just the reality of hoofs digging into the crushed limestone surface. It seems to smooth out quite nicely after that and is very pleasant. Not many road crossings, which is great. Yesterday's ride was much cooler than my previous, but there are plenty of places to stop in the shade if needed. I'm not a fan of the crushed limestone surface simply because it leaves my bike caked in dust, but this is a nice trail for a day's use.
-Relatively flat, a few minor crossings, and thankfully a bridge over Palatine Rd.
-Nice untouched easement with the electric lines overhead, some grassland restoration
-Usually not crowded
-Connection to Lake Arlington at the northwest terminus
-You will constantly hear the power lines overhead
-You sort of ride five feet off of some people's backyards
-Southern terminus ends abruptly in a bad spot
I really wish the southern end connected to something like the Des Plaines River Trail or continued along the easement to High Ridge Knolls (a E-W easement trail) so you had some type of loop. Depending on your way home you may have to face a really messy crossing at Rand. I usually head South across Euclid and cut through the large industrial park where there is a protected pedestrian crossing across Rand.
-After Dundee, no unsafe crossings (to my knowledge)
-Varied scenery ranging from swamp, light and dense forest, restored prairies, and old farmland
-Pretty empty on most days (south of Milwaukee can see more traffic)
-Can sporadically see larger animals (deer, raccoons, skunks, turtles, snakes). Guaranteed to see some warblers, woodpeckers, hawks, and finches when in season
-Some areas are pretty desolate. The solitude can be nice, but I can imagine it attracts criminals.
-The gravel/packed dirt is OK for the most part. Around Lincolnshire you start seeing more asphalt.
-South of Milwaukee trail is muddy and swamp-like, very narrow paths
-Underpasses can close as can parking lots (I once drove from Milwaukee Ave. to Beck Lake without finding an open lot)
-Can be a bit confusing especially south of Milwaukee
To sum up, start north at Milwaukee. There's a big lot but you have to cross unprotected and bike beyond a hotel before the trail picks up again. After this there is only one other crossing at Dundee. Some people start across Dundee so they don't have to cross at all.
I was also surprised by the abundance of old ruins sometimes right along the trail. There's an old POW Camp, tons of old farm remains, and scattered agricultural machinery,
Road 60 miles (30 out and back) from trailhead at Rock River in Colona. We brought our road bikes (23mm tires), expecting paved trails. It was slow going, but certainly doable. The trail is definitely in need of repair and maintenance. It is flat, peaceful and quite beautiful. The canal history and artifacts (locks, etc) are a very interesting perk.
Fortunately we packed extra water. We had trouble finding water stops along the way. There was a fountain at the lock (14 miles from the trailhead) but it was not working in late September even though it was almost 90 degrees.
My husband and I wanted to take a different trail this weekend. Overall, the trail was in great shape just a couple of soft spots. It was a very hot day so we had the trail basically to ourselves. We had trouble finding the trail head in Joliet but really enjoyed a picnic lunch at the Kankakee river park.
This is the best trail I've seen.. for connecting all the major services of a small town. Kids and adults alike can get from home to school, to the library, to the park, and to shop – all over this safe, wide, and off-road concrete trailway.
The Lake of the Woods is a great facility, as is it's own bike path which my wife and I rode a few years ago. Now one can make a grand loop over both trails together. A great way to go over the river (twice!) and through the woods, any season of the year. And those river crossings? One over an old covered bridge and one over an old steel bridge. Nature lovers and dreamers of days gone by, take heart. And enjoy a day in the Village of Mahomet.
It was the first day of Autumn and 93° when my riding buddy and I returned to the trailhead in Winnebago in the late morning after travelling west to a private lane just short of Farwell Bridge Road and back - 19.13 miles indicated on my bike's computer.
This bike trail may not be the most scenic, and may not be a 'real' Rail-Trail, as it seems to parallel the old rail line rather than use it, but it's still better than riding the streets in town for this guy. Lots of sunshine under the sparse canopy of power lines meant lots of water consumed on this hot day.
It is paved only in short sections - in the towns/villages of Winnebago and Pecatonica, as well as in the vicinity of Highway 20, where it appears that a very large paved parking lot has been recently constructed on the north side of the road. Other than that, I would classify this as a 'fair-to-rough' hard-pack surface trail.
Some have commented negatively about the loose/sandy section. That section will certainly get a rider's attention, but this 68 year old on an eight year old, 'bottom-of-the-line' Trek Mountain Bike, rode through it without mishap, as did his younger riding partner on a Hybrid Giant bike.
This trail is definitely not for the rider that wishes to just cruise along and visit, while gawking. One must pay attention and watch for the mini-sinkholes, as well as the variations in trail surface. I am a nature lover however, and 'roughing it' has always held a very special place in my heart. This trail is what it is. If one wants a paved path, choose another. If one wishes for a little private time in nature and reap the joy and benefits that comes along with riding a bike, then this 'less than groomed' trail might be just what the doctor ordered.
I also need to point out that the signage along this trail is excellent - every public road crossing is clearly marked with road/street names and stop signs.
A quick stop at the small gazebo along the river near the fairgrounds in Pec will provide one with an interesting history of the river and the Pecatonica Grist Mill of days past.
In summary... I will be returning to this trail to see what is at Farwell Bridge Road and beyond, as well as to complete the ride to Rockford and see what's up on that end.
As stated previously, "This trail is what it is". Take it or leave it.
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