Kickapoo Rail Trail


6 Reviews

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Kickapoo Rail Trail Facts

States: Illinois
Counties: Champaign, Vermilion
Length: 9.7 miles
Trail end points: E Main Street Spur (Urbana) to N Main St (St. Joseph) and S Seymour Street (Oakwood) to Vermilion County Fairgrounds (CR 1180 E)
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 9615745

Kickapoo Rail Trail Description

The first 6.7-mile section of the Kickapoo Rail Trail in eastern Illinois opened in August 2017. Paralleling U.S. 150, the Champaign County rail-trail runs from Urbana east to St. Joseph along the former corridor of the Big Four Railroad through a rural and open prairie landscape.

Future phases of the trail will continue its eastward trajectory into Vermilion County to Danville (near the Indiana border) for a total of 24.5 miles. Along the way, the trail will connect the small towns of Ogden, Fithian, and Oakwood, and include a trestle bridge over the Middle Fork River, as well as provide access to Kickapoo State Park.

A second, three-mile segment of the trail was constructed in Vermilion County, linking the small town of Oakwood to the Vermilion County Fairgrounds complex. This stretch of trail includes a beautifully restored steel railroad trestle, which spans almost a quarter-mile over the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River and features a gorgeous Brazilian walnut wood surface, making it an ideal spot for some scenic photos.

A third, 1.5-mile stretch of the Kickapoo Rail Trail opened in eastern Champaign County. Running through Ogden between County Roads 2650E and 2800E, this off-road section of trail is paved with asphalt through town that switches to crushed gravel as the trail heads out of town. 

Parking and Trail Access

Near the western endpoint of the trail in Urbana, there is parking available in the northwest corner of the Walmart parking lot, at the intersection of U.S. Route 150 (University Avenue) and IL Route 130 (High Cross Road). A short section of sidewalk connects the trail with the parking lot.

Near the eastern endpoint of the trail in St. Joseph, there is parking available in Kolb Park, off S. Elm St. at W. Sherman St. Trail access is a half block north from the park, along Market St.

Parking for the Vermilion County segment of the trail is available to the west of the trestle bridge over the Vermilion River, at the end of Pollock Lane off of US-150. Trail users are instructed to utilize this lot and not park at the fairgrounds site, which is reserved for event use.


Kickapoo Rail Trail Reviews

Enjoyed a beautiful ride through fields East of Urbana, IL to St. Joseph. Paved approaches to road crossings and nice surfaces for the trail. Multiple bike stations for minor repaira and free at the East end at the Casey's.

Enjoyed a beautiful ride through fields East of Urbana, IL to St. Joseph. Paved approaches to road crossings and nice surfaces for the trail. Multiple bike stations for minor repaira and free at the East end at the Casey's.

Nice and easy ride

Trail is in great condition. Paved at all the grade crossings.
The Walmart parking lot at the west end is a great place to start and finish.
The little downtown in St. Joseph has a cafe with specialty coffee's, sandwiches and ice cream.
You can ride into Urbana from the Walmart to the west on Main Street. It is clearly marked with a dedicated bike lane, and where the lane doesn't exist there are signs that say "Bikes can take the entire lane".
Overall, a very safe and well designed trail.

I know they're in construction, but

I understand this trail is only currently 1/4th complete, so disregard after 2018 construction.

I took this trail from campus at UIUC and back on my day off. I thought it would be relaxing to get away from all of the traffic, so it was a little disconcerting to be right next to the highway with no trees to secure me from the road. This lack of trees meant no shade, and it was 90 degrees. I have quite a bad sunburn.

In addition, at this juncture there are only like three benches and no water spouts to refill my water bottle.

Because the trail isn't done, it ended quite abruptly in the town, which was a little awkward for me. I admit feeling a little out of place with my bike and my sack lunch with no place to sit. There did end up being a nice park, complete with benches and shade, northeast of town.

Here at last!

I read about this trail in the Winter 2016 Rails to Trails Magazine. So it was a real thrill to see it added to our great TrailLink list of Illinois trails, and to spend a morning checking out this first completed section. The construction and signage on the trail are excellent. At the mid-point of our ride out and back from Urbana, the wife and I had a good time exploring the downtown shops and neighborhoods of St. Joseph. We found it a friendly and still vibrant little Midwestern town, even though it's so close to the much larger cities of Champaign-Urbana.


A very good start to a great future trail

This trail opened last week and we happened to be passing through the area, so we rode it one way. Trail is in excellent condition -- the groups pulling the funding together did an wonderful job. Couple of explanatory signs, good bridges, safe crossings. This first section of the trail is >90% exposed, so wind and sun will be a factor. It was great to see the community out in force today playing in their new linear park. Parking at the Western end (Urbana) is allowed at Walmart, which is a block or so from the official end. Thanks to them for granting use of their parking lot for the public.

nice rail trail

Parking is available at the Far western part of the trail at the Walmart parking lot. Rode the trail prior to its official opening, about a week before very smooth compact surface like riding On Pavement. can't wait till they complete the the total Trail!

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