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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||
With 60 degree weather the day after Thanksgiving I took a quick ride down the trail to the south end. I was pleasantly surprised with the progress being made on the trail extension. The 2-3 mile extension is carved into the side of the hill high above the railroad tracks. It traverses a new 60 ft bridge before descending down and running parallel to the service road. It looks to be complete to S. River Rd or Aiken sometime early in 2018.
I have long enjoyed the beautiful Fox River, and been interested in the history of the small towns along the I&M Canal and the Illinois River. Visiting this new trail in Ottawa had me reminiscing a lot about this area and all my explorations of old. M'thinks I'll be coming back to this trail again soon.
This is a nice trail for a relaxing bike ride or walk. The stretch of industrial on the south side is the reason for 4 stars instead of 5. I saw numerous deer along the trail. I lost count at about 15. Given that it was a chilly day and late in the day there weren’t many trail users out. The asphalt is pretty smooth the entire way, but there was a section just before the road riding stretch that was washed over with gravel and had standing water.
A gorgeously scenic trail leading from Wilmette to Kenosha that for the most part follows the Metra Union Pacific North line, which is handy to know if you plan to take the whole trail but only have enough gas left in the tank to take it in but one direction.
You'll want a decent, light weight bike with sturdy tires that guarantee you some traction, as you will encounter some loose, grainy gravel better suited to a hybrid than a road bike, especially in some parts of Cook and Lake County, though a bit less than half of the trail is smoothly paved. There's very little incline, though you will encounter a slight amount of uphill biking around the Waukegan area, heading southbound, though nothing steep.
The Kenosha portion of the trail is well kept and smooth riding.
One criticism I have is the lack of helpful signage. While the state and counties want to remind you at every cross street what the rules are (no equestrian or motor vehicles), there's little helpful signage to warn you of upcoming detours or divergent routes (that's government for you). For example, the road ends near the Great Lakes Naval Base, and picks up close by, but there's little to tell you where and how. There are a few times this happens and the best advice I can give is to consult your GPS regularly.
The changing leaves of autumn made this trail especially lovely. Approximately 50 miles, all told and worth seeing every bit.
In October 2017 three of us rode the Thorn Creek Trail west to east. We marveled at its excellent surface (smooth, no potholes or root bumps) and mostly level route. Signage was excellent, with large area maps periodically, As other reviewers noted, most sections are in trees. Worth noting are several large meadows you ride through or along - very pretty. The Trail connects to Old Plank on the west and other trails to the east, so you can easily ride a day end to end on several trails. The icing on the cake (as it were) was a stop @ Calumet Bakery on Torrance Avenue. Bottom line: congrats to the folks who planned and implemented the trail. We'll be back!
Rode north on this trail as far as Crystal Lake yesterday. It was a nice ride and I had not been past Elgin before. Things open up a bit and there are some very nice stretches. They did a nice job navigating the new bypass at Algonquin. The path under the old railroad bridge north of South Elgin is now completely gone. We ended up carrying our bikes over the old bridge which was kind of a pain. Would take the detour next time.
Rode to Woodstock via Crystal Lake yesterday. This trail now runs from Woodstock to Crystal Lake with the break at the railroad tracks. There is a path (marked with a sign on the east end that says not a path) just south of the tracks that we easily road our bikes through. I have a road bike and my son has a touring bike. It connects the loop on the west side with Walkup Rd. The trail may not be all that scenic but is new and well maintained and got us to Woodstock safely.
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!
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