Green Diamond Rail-Trail

Illinois

Green Diamond Rail-Trail Facts

States: Illinois
Counties: Montgomery
Length: 4.3 miles
Trail end points: S. Cleveland St. (Farmersville) and Main St. between Commercial St. and Buchanan St. (Waggoner)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015075
Trail activities: Bike, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Green Diamond Rail-Trail Description

Dedicated on August 5, 2000, the Green Diamond Rail-Trail was the first bicycling/pedestrian trail in Montgomery County. Partially funded by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the trail is the first leg of a possible 16 miles of trails that will link Farmersville to Litchfield and beyond. The trail gets its name from the sleek diesel streamliner that ran this Illinois Central Railroad corridor with a daily passenger service between Chicago and St. Louis, from 1936 to 1947.

The trail is entirely flat, and its soft oil-and-chip surface makes it especially comfortable for walking. At the north end, the trail begins in a thick woodland swamp. At the half mile mark, there's a scenic bridge crossing of Macoupin Creek. Continuing southward, the tree cover gradually diminishes and there are wide open vistas of adjacent farmlands.

Parking and Trail Access

There is parking and trail access at the south end of S. Cleveland Street in Farmersville and at the Historic Depot Park on Main Street in Waggoner. To reach the Farmersville trailhead and parking from I-55, take Exit 72 and turn right into town. Proceed three blocks and turn left on S. Cleveland Street. Go 0.5 mile to the parking lot on the right.

Green Diamond Rail-Trail Reviews

We decided to take a quick trip to Waggoner just to ride this trail.

It's not a bad trail, but be careful if you're on a road bike. Mountain bikes will do fine. Lots of gravel (and holes), brush along the way and it's not very well maintained but still very useable. There was lots of weeds/grass on the path.

Could use some TLC, but it's a nice flat path. Most of the trail was shaded. Short but nice. Easy ride for someone who don't have much time and wants to put in under 10 miles. (From one end to the other and back.)

Having just got back into biking this was our first purpose built bike trail ride in the USA. We drove to the trailhead in Waggoner and rode roundtrip over the trail to Farmersville. The trail itself is about 4.3 miles if the mileage stakes are accurate. If you toss in some riding around Farmersville when you get there, you can make it a 10 mile roundtrip ride. The trail is a combination of oil over rock and oil chip so it has some worn spots and some rough spots where the oil is over rock. We had 28cc tires, hers smooth and mine small lugs and both did fine. Worst part of the trail was at the Waggoner side where grass debris from being mowed has packed on the trail.

About 25% of the trail is through a tree tunnel the rest is open fields. There is one bridge nearer to Farmersville and the portion of the trail where it is can get wet after rain. We have had quite a bit of rain lately so there were some muddy, wet areas nearer to Farmersville. If you are accompanied by kids the city park in Farmersville is kind of locally noted for its old but excellent playground and the gazebo provides a place to picnic. There are a couple of bar/restaurants if you want something else.

We saw lots of wildlife on the trail including turkey. There was some debris on the trail so you have to keep a heads up for fallen tree branches and the like on the trail. If you are biking in the evening the tree tunnel portion will likely get dark quick and the occasional low branch could cause problems.

The one at the north trailhead. We were just there to see the trail, just after a hard rain in what has been a very wet Spring. Still found the trail dry as can be. The culverts do a fine job of carrying the creek water under the trail. But the swamp was really wet. Lots of ponds, puddles and waterways -- all in a dark wood. It looked really cool and refreshing. Something we've seen on no other Central Illinois trail.

Enjoyed talking to the locals and complimenting them on keeping up the trail for users from afar like us. Took them up on their consensus recommendation to eat lunch at the Caddyshack on Main St. in Farmersville. Great walk, great conversation, great food. Who could ask for anything more?!

Accordion

If you are looking for a peaceful walk/hike, this is a great place. The trail is a little rough in spots (definitely not suitable for inline skates) and the branches on both sides need to be trimmed in some areas (as of Aug./Sept. 2010), but you'll see a lot of butterflies/dragonflies in the summer and there is very little traffic on it. The trail runs parallel to the interstate (about 1/2 mile away), so you can marginally hear the traffic noise from there, but other than that it's very quiet and peaceful. If you are planning to walk in the summer and not go the whole way, you're better off starting at the north end, which is nice and shaded for quite a ways. In Farmersville, follow the signs to the trailhead parking (even if it almost looks like a driveway after a while). The southern third of the trail is more open and has a lot less shade. If you are walking with dogs, don't let them stray off the trail much because there is a lot of poison ivy on both sides of the trail. If you stay on the trail (about 5 feet wide), you're not going to have any problems with it though. Please be aware that there really is nothing in Waggoner (not even a working soda machine), so make sure you bring your own water.

Was on it this weekend 7-9-10. Short trail a little rough. South end is good views of farm land. North end has semi wetland areas. Observed plenty of wildlife, lots of birds. Trail is maintained some of the trees need cut back though. You can park at either end . North end has a nice little community park close to the trail to take a break. Both communitys are small, so need the patronage.

"I've been on the trail a few times. The times i've been nobody else was on it. Still seen people on motor bikes on it one time. Just north of where it goes under 55 at north Litchfield, a farmer has made it farm land. They were saying back around 1989 about making it a bike trail. Then in 1995, the I.C.R.R. I heard was suppose to rebuild tracks back to Litchfield to join on the N&S line to get to St. Louis. Then around 2000 I heard again about making it a bike trail. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. Back around 1983 or sometime then, after the tracks where pulled up, a semi on 108 where there was a R.R. bridge going over the highway hit the under pass cause the trailer was to tall. I like bike trails and bike riding, but I'd rather see the tracks get put back in from Farmersville to Litchfield if the R.R. promise to use the tracks and not to tear them up again.
John"

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