Illinois Horseback Riding Trails and Maps

1292 Reviews

Looking for the best Horseback Riding trails around Illinois?

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

City Trails and Maps in Illinois

Accordion
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Activities
Length
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Type
17 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Busse Woods Trail

11.2 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Danada and Herrick Lake Regional Trail

5.8 mi
State: IL
Crushed Stone

Des Plaines River Trail

56.2 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel

Fox River Trail (IL)

44.6 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Great Western Trail (DuPage County)

12 mi
State: IL
Crushed Stone
Accordion

Great Western Trail (IL)

17 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Hebron Trail

6.7 mi
State: IL
Crushed Stone, Gravel

Hennepin Canal Parkway

104.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Illinois Prairie Path

58.4 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Joe Stengel Trail

7.9 mi
State: IL
Ballast, Grass, Gravel

Lincoln Prairie Grass Trail

12.9 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Millennium Trail

30.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone

North Branch Trail

19.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Prairie Trail (IL)

26.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel

Rend Lake Bike Trail

20.6 mi
State: IL
Concrete, Crushed Stone

Waterfall Glen

9.5 mi
State: IL
Crushed Stone, Grass

Wauponsee Glacial Trail

22.3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Busse Woods Trail system is located within Ned Brown Forest Preserve, a 3,700-acre property in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago. There are 11.2 miles of paved trails for cyclists, equestrians...
IL 11.2 mi Asphalt
This regional trail connects two of DuPage County's forest preserves—Herrick Lake and Danada—on a crushed stone pathway nearly 6 miles long. Together, the preserves cover more than 1,600 acres of...
IL 5.8 mi Crushed Stone
The Des Plaines River Trail runs alongside the Des Plaines River for just over 56 miles, protecting watershed habitat and forestland through much of Lake and Cook Counties. The trail is a natural...
IL 56.2 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel
The the Fox River Trail (FRT) was built on stretches of three former railroads: Chicago, Aurora & Elgin;  Aurora, Elgin, & Fox River Electric; and Chicago & North Western. Today, it hosts a multitude...
IL 44.6 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
The eastern segment of the Great Western Trail in Illinois follows 12 miles of an abandoned railway corridor through DuPage County, between Villa Park and West Chicago. There are plans to extend the...
IL 12 mi Crushed Stone
The western segment of the Great Western Trail in Illinois follows 17 miles of a former railway corridor through DeKalb and Kane counties, between LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve and the town of Sycamore....
IL 17 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Hebron Trail rolls across the northern Illinois prairie through the former corridor of the Kenosha and Rockford Railroad, known as the Kenosha Division Line at the time of its demise in 1939....
IL 6.7 mi Crushed Stone, Gravel
Accordion
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, Crushed Stone
The Illinois Prairie Path (IPP) was one of the nation’s first rail-trail conversions. It consists of five connected trail segments with three main branches that converge at Volunteer Park (West...
IL 58.4 mi Asphalt, Concrete, 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 Lincoln Prairie Grass Trail runs 12 miles, much of the way along an old railroad right-of-way between County Highway 2 east of Charleston and the ball fields at 10th Street in Mattoon; an...
IL 12.9 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The Millennium Trail currently spans just over 30 miles in two disconnected segments, but there are plans to extend it to 35 miles and connect it to the Des Plaines River Trail. The trail goes through...
IL 30.7 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
The North Branch Trail follows the North Branch of the Chicago River nearly 20 miles through Cook County. The trail was originally a dirt path often used for horseback riding; though it’s now paved,...
IL 19.7 mi Asphalt
The Prairie Trail runs the length of McHenry County and is managed by the McHenry County Conservation District. The rail-trail spans just over 26 miles from the Wisconsin border and the farms and...
IL 26.5 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel
The Rend Lake Bike Trail, in the heart of southern Illinois, goes around nearly half of the second-largest man-made lake in the state. Along the way, trail-goers will enjoy picturesque views of the...
IL 20.6 mi Concrete, Crushed Stone
The trail system in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve makes a loop around the entire park. The preserve is geologically significant, featuring glacier-carved rock ridges, ravines and wetland potholes,...
IL 9.5 mi Crushed Stone, Grass
In just a few short miles, the Wauponsee Glacial Trail leaves the urban confines of Joliet to bask in open farmland and reclaimed tallgrass prairie where the bison roam again. Named for a glacial lake...
IL 22.3 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone

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Recent Trail Reviews

Lincoln Prairie Trail

OK

October, 2017 by mwskibike

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.

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

good relaxing ride, completed in segments

October, 2017 by eric.dobson2

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!

Tunnel Hill State Trail

Very nice ride!

October, 2017 by markmoore006

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.

Accordion

Prospect Heights Bike Path

Nice trail, seems lightly used

October, 2017 by burns0591

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.

Kankakee River Trail

s bruns

October, 2017 by sabruns301

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!

Des Plaines River Trail

Very multi-use

October, 2017 by campbob

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.

Prospect Heights Bike Path

Decent Suburban Trail that Needs Extension

October, 2017 by mlynski

Pros:
-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

Neutral:
-Very straight

Cons:
-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.

Des Plaines River Trail

Pretty good, just start north of Milwaukee

October, 2017 by mlynski

Pros:
-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

Neutral
-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.

Cons
-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,

Hennepin Canal Parkway

A Nice Ride

September, 2017 by mcaples67

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.

Wauponsee Glacial Trail

Mary

September, 2017 by M0932

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.

Mahomet Village Bike Trail

A Great Village Connector Trail!

September, 2017 by wilhelmggw

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.

Pecatonica Prairie Trail

Not your Sunday afternoon dally...

September, 2017 by flmasterman

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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