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The General Dacey Trail, which first opened in 2006, is a beautiful and richly varied trail located between the city of Shelbyville to the west and large Lake Shelbyville to the east. Its surface is oil and chip throughout.
The two northernmost loops go through dense forest with plenty of short, steep hills, and tight curves. All this moderates a bit in the mid-section between the two trailheads. And the trail south is much more open and flat, with grand panoramic vistas of the lake and dam. Along the trail south there are also very nice parks and lake facilities. After the trail crosses the dam and passes the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center, it makes a meandering descent to the Kaskaskia River below, then climbs back to end at the historic courthouse in Shelbyville.
The largest parking lot is at the east end of Ninth Street in the Dam West Recreational Area. From State Route 128, turn east onto 6th Street, turn north onto Morgan Street, turn back east onto 9th Street, and proceed to the trailhead at the northwest corner of the large parking area. From SR 16, turn north onto Morgan Street and proceed to parking in the same way.
A smaller lot is available by the trailhead on the north side of Forest Park, just behind the Scout Cabin; and there are four more lots along the roadway south to the dam and the parkway beyond.
Beautiful scenery! however this trail is no longer asphalt it has been converted to a gravel trail,Lack of signage also makes it hard and confusing to find, If you have the luck of finding it you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the lake and heavily wooded areas.
Overall, trail was great! There are a few spots where some of the gravel was deeper and more difficult to navigate but our hybrid bikes handled this okay. The area around the trail was very well maintained and is in a very beautiful area along lake Shelbyville. We grabbed breakfast in town before our ride but would recommend parking at the visitors center (near the dam) to begin your ride. The trail is not marked in town.
Everything about this trail is GREAT! And there are adjacent areas worth exploring, too--Forest Park, the Dam West Recreational Area, the Lake Shelbyville Visitors Center and park, and the old city of Shelbyville itself. We've met great people along this trail, some of them just riding big loops along the roadways and through the expansive parking lots at the Dam West Rec Area. This is a great place to pull up and spend some time.. enjoying the trail and all the places it take you.
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