Long Prairie Trail


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Long Prairie Trail Facts

States: Illinois
Counties: Boone
Length: 13.9 miles
Trail end points: Boone McHenry County Line Rd., 0.5 mile north of IL 173 (E. of Capron) and McMichael Rd., 0.25 mile east of The Reserve Dr. (Caledonia)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015769

Long Prairie Trail Description

The Long Prairie Trail journeys across the width of agricultural Boone County for nearly 14 miles on the railroad corridor previously used by the Kenosha and Rockford Railroad, later known as the Kenosha Division, or KD Line. Formed in the 1860s, the railroad served many small communities in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin as it connected Rockford, Illinois, and Kenosha, Wisconsin. Offering passenger service and hauling milk and ice from dairies and lakes in the region, the railroad ceased most operations in 1939 due to the growing use of cars and trucks.

The old KD Line still serves the rural communities of Capron, Poplar Grove, and Caledonia in its new life as the asphalt and crushed limestone Long Prairie Trail, part of the 500-mile Grand Illinois Trail. Three other trails also follow the old rail line: the connecting Stone Bridge Trail in the west and the Stone Mill Trail and Hebron Trail in the east.

At the trailhead about 2 miles east of Capron, the first of many interpretive signs greets visitors. This one explains the history of the Potawatomi tribe in the area. Other signs inform users about the local flora, fauna, and geology.

Bring water! 14 miles and there is only 1 drinking fountain near the west end of the trail. Heading toward Capron, you’ll likely be thankful on hot summer days for the shady leaf canopy that arches over the trail for miles. You’ll see farm crops and cattle ranches through breaks in the trailside growth, though some native prairie survives. Reportedly, rail cars on the KD Line sparked periodic blazes in the adjacent grasslands. Woody species couldn’t tolerate the frequent burns, enabling the preservation of some native grasses.

The small town of Capron dates to the same year as the railroad: 1861. Leaving town, you’ll parallel IL 173 for 2.5 miles. Gazing across the countryside, you’re reminded that this is one of the most rural areas of Boone County.

You’ll arrive in Poplar Grove 5 miles past Capron. The small business district offers restaurants and cafés to slake your thirst or curb your appetite. About 2.5 miles west of town, you might be surprised at the sight of mowed fairways and manicured greens. You’re passing the golf course for the Candlewick Lake Association, a private community for more than 4,000 residents.

The last village on the Long Prairie Trail is Caledonia, less than a mile from the golf course. While the main KD Line headed west from here through Rock Cut State Park, the trail follows a spur line toward Beloit, Wisconsin. Nearly 4 miles past Caledonia, the trail ends at McMichael Road, where it meets the Stone Bridge Trail, a crushed-stone pathway that continues on into Winnebago County to a shopping district in Roscoe IL.

For history buffs and railroad enthusiasts, this trail has intriguing remnants of the former rail's infrastructure. Southeast of Caledonia, as the trail curves and heads west towards Popular Grove, you can find the point where the rail lines converged from all directions. Known as a wye, rail tracks were arranged in a triangular-shape to allow trains to switch between lines, travel in either direction, and navigate around each other without having to back-up. A line came up from Belvidere in the south, the KD headed east to Poplar Grove and west to Argyle and Rockford, and the Spur went into Caledonia and on to Beloit. From the wye, trains could continue traveling in any direction, or they could even turn around and go back the way they had come. Satellite images of the area reveal the faint triangle-shaped area of the wye at the west end of the Candlewick golf course. (At Paulson's Agricultural Museum in the town of Argyle, there is an HO scale model railroad of the KD line from Harvard IL to Rockford IL as it would have appeared in the 1920s.) While most of the wye is so overgrown that it's hard to spot, it is still possible to see parts of the railbed from the trail. 

Parking and Trail Access

Each village has trail parking and access. To reach the County Line Road trailhead near Capron from Interstate 90, take US 20 (Grant Highway) north for approximately 10 miles to Marengo. Turn right onto State Street (County Road 23) and go north for 10 miles. Turn left onto S. Division Street (US 14) and drive for just over a mile. Turn left on Brink Street (County Road 173), go 5 miles and turn right on County Line Road. The trailhead is 0.5 mile ahead on the left.

To reach the Randolph Street trailhead (3.75 miles before the trail's end at Wyman School Road) in Caledonia, take I-90 to Riverside Boulevard and go east for 1.25 miles. Turn left onto Argyle Road and go north for 2.8 miles. Turn left onto Belvidere Road. After 0.75 mile, turn right onto W. Lane Road (County Road 173) and continue for 2.4 miles. Turn right onto Caledonia Road and go 0.4 mile. Turn left on Randolph Street and look for the trailhead in two blocks.

Long Prairie Trail Reviews

Nice area, but only part of trail is rideable

After reading other recent reviews, we first rode the Stone Bridge Trail from Roland Olson Forest Preserve to Rockton and then headed back east to the Long Prairie Trail. Once we were on the Long Prairie, the surface changed to asphalt and was reasonably ok - some big bumps and cracks were marked - until we got to Caledonia. After that the surface got worse, and we turned around when we'd gone a mile or so farther. It was a nice ride with plenty of shade, and we managed to get in about 25 miles total. Still, it's a real shame that we can't ride from the east end of the trail anymore.

In bad shape

I've been riding this trail for years. It's degenerated to the point where I no longer enjoy it. The paved sections are loaded with jarring bumps, grooves, and holes. Rough on the bike and on the body. A few years ago they tore up a section several miles long and put in crushed limestone. This was nice and smooth and a good break from asphalt that was not fun to ride. But the crushed limestone section has not been maintained is now full of chipmunk holes and washed-out areas. I just tried it one last time this AM hoping that there had been some improvements but spent the entire ride staring at the trail in front of my bike trying to avoid all the holes. Couldn't relax and enjoy the ride and the scenery. I've given up on this trail. It's a shame because it wasn't as crowded as some of the trails near me.

nice ride but some rough

Nice relaxing ride but there were a lot of areas that were washed out. The trail isn’t super exciting kind of flat but the bridges were nice.

Fun but in bad condition

We started at the trailhead east of Capron. Immediately the trail disintegrated to loose material on top of what was once paved. This improves after about a half mile. Going westbound the trail is not paved for about 3 1/4 miles past Capron. From there until Caledonia the pavement varies from excellent with stripes down the middle to horrible with cracks and bumps and ruts. Hard on the bike and hard on the bike rider.
It was very peaceful and the small towns offer some services. We will not return until the surface is upgraded.


Bad, just bad!

We used to ride this trail a lot, we had moved but came back this year to ride the trail, awful! Seems like no one maintains the trail anymore, quite a shame used to be a great ride! Hard on the bikes and hard on the rider!

Beautiful trail but some rough stretches.

06/20/ 22 Rode the trail today from Poplar Grove to the west end on to the Stone Bridge Trail to Rockton Rd and returned.
I was born and raised in the Belvidere area but have never been on this trail but I remember watching trains on it when I was a kid.
Kind of a spur of the moment thing I loaded my bike and drove up to Poplar Grove to pick up the trail. I traveled west from Poplar Grove and the trail was vary pleasant despite it being a 90 degree day with low humidity. Trees cover most of the trail so it's vary shady. I was a little surprised how rough the asfalt trail is between Poplar Grove and Caledonia even for a fat tire bike. I would be vary careful with a road bike. West of Caledonia the trail is in better shape. The Stone Bridge Trail is crushed stone and alot smoother then the asfalt of the Long Prairie Trail.
Not a lot to see along the trail where you can see thru the trees and brush on both sides, but you get a few glimpses of farm fields and a few houses.
Not a lot of people on the trail so it's easy to find long empty stretches.
I don't really understand why they felt the need to place signs at every farm crossing. Your not likely to meet anything crossing outside of planting and harvest season and some of those crossing are so overgrown no one has used them in a long time. Just think the sign money could have been used else where.
Where the trail crosses HWY 173 there is a button to activate warning lights for traffic on 173. (I didn't notice that until after I had crossed on my return trip.) There are no warning lights at the HWY 76 crossing. Think they could be used there also.
There are no water points anywhere along the trail except at the west end. Why? You would think at least the towns would have water points.
There are restaurants just off the trail in Poplar Grove and the HWY 76 crossing but don't know of anything in Caledonia.
All in all my first rail trail ride was a pleasant experience. I'm looking forward to doing the trail from Poplar Grove to the east end.
About a 24 mile round trip from Poplar Grove to the west end of the Stone Bridge Trail and back.
With my ebike I returned to Poplar Grove with 5% battery.
I'm not sure if ebikes are a loud on the Long Prairie Trail or not. Guess I need to find out.

A black-topped trail in bad condition

Two of us road from Caledonia west and back. I usually love shade but, with shade, we couldn't see upcoming bad spots on the trail. From Caledonia, we went east intending to go to Poplar Grove and back. Bump after bump. After halfway or so there, we turned around to leave. It was hard on our bikes and no fun. I hope it gets over-hauled someday.

Many Surfaces to ride on - a nice ride nevertheless

There are bumps and cracks and worn asphalt and crushed gravel and even dirt! It kinda gives this flat straight trail some character . I rode my Mtn bike - it was just fine Only way to ride a road bike here would be a crossover or a Roubaix style bike with tires to accomodate the terrain. Plenty of places along the trail to refill water bottles or get food . Mexican restaurant in caledonia ( Arturos?) is very good . And its worth continuing on the stone bridge trail to see the bridge - if your into historical architecture.

Very rough on the bike. There are more bumps than smooth asphalt. Not a smooth ride. Would be nice if they fixed it. I wouldn't ride this again.

Very rough on the bike. There are more bumps than smooth asphalt. Not a smooth ride. Would be nice if they fixed it. I wouldn't ride this again.

nice n flat

Came from Chicago. The trail head near Harvard was locked up upon arrival had to park on a street in the town over (capron) too get on. Overall pretty cool, nice n flat and nice Midwest middle of nowhere scenery. Trail has some bumps and cracks from time and is partially crushed compacted gravel but very leisurely.

Nice ride

I rode the entire length ( except for The Stone bridge Trail Portion at the end). I agree with other riders that the asphalt is bumpy and repairs are needed in some sections. However, the trail is flat, tree covered and pretty much an easy ride. The trail head in Capron ( at least I think that’s Capron) has parking, facilities, and a picnic table which was nice. I would recommend everyone to ride this trailleast once

Needs repairs

Rode the section from the Roland Olson Forest Preserve to just short of Poplar Grove. The first section between the preserve and Caledonia wasn't too bad but still some bumpy spots. After Caledonia it got progressively worse and prior to Poplar Grove I gave up and turned around. If you are looking to go around 15mph or faster you might need a full suspension bike because it is in terrible shape. Asphalt needs to be repaved.

2 stars for surface, 4 stars for views and Poplar Grove coffee shop

In May 2021 a friend and I rode out and back on the Long Prairie Trail. Its paved surfaces have serious potholes and cuts, which are hard to see in the shade. Also there are 5 short sections of rough gravel about 2 miles from the east trailhead. Much of the trail is NOT paved but is crushed limestone, which was OK.
Mostly flat, some long straight sections, some shade. Pleasant views of gently rolling corn fields.
We recommend the coffee shop by the trail in Poplar Grove. Best selection for food is in Roscoe, several miles past the west end on the Stone Bridge Trail (seamless transition from this trail).


From Capron to Popular Grove was sand! I'm guessing they’re re-doing it. Did the rest which was just ok. About 50% of paved path was maneuvering around pot holes and bumps. It's too bad, because it goes through some picturesque areas.

No longer paved

In many sections the pavement has degraded and been ground up into gravel. Making the trail a bit dangerous in spots and less enjoyable. The new iron bridges between Capron and Poplar Grove are nice.

some parts crushed stone

Nice flat trail, the majority of which is paved and shaded. There is a couple of miles of crushed stone but it was fairly smooth. There are some rough paved patches but overall it was a quiet and peaceful ride through farm country. We rode the entire 14 miles and back stopping in Capron at The Dairy Barn for fantastic pulled pork sandwiches and in Poplar Grove for some fresh squeezed lemonade at the Popular Grind.

A gem!

Flat, paved and tree covered, what could be better. A few places pavement was in need of repair but very passable. From Capron about a half mile the tree covering was not as heavy but it was cloudy at the time so not a problem. We started on the Stonebridge trailhead which was crushed gravel and transitioned smoothly to the Long Prairie trail. Just a wonderful ride. Restaurants in Capron did not open till ten or eleven but there was a Casey’s gas station.

Nice trail, not crowded at all

Did the entire trail plus stone bridge trail and back with the family(spouse, teenage and pre teen boy). Both trails were nice and not crowded at all. Great trail for family with young kids (hardly any super fast cyclists). Trail get bumpy a bit outside poplar grove. Good mixture of shade and sun.strongly suggest continue on to stone bridge trail.
Had burrito from the Mexican restaurant at the gazebo by the trail in poplar grove.( no dine in during pandemic) supernice staff even brought out food out to gazebo! Will definitely come back.

Yep..hidden gem!

I rode the entire Long Prairie Trail today, round trip, from its east trailhead just east of Capron, over to the west trailhead at Roland Olsen FP. The ride is roughly 30 miles round trip. At both ends of the path there's a parking lot with a bathroom, picnic tables and maps.
The path itself is totally enjoyable. Except for a small section of path near the end of the east trailhead, the trail is in great shape. It transitions from blacktop to limestone, both of which are in good condition. Along the way there are plenty of benches, bathrooms and small towns where some amenities can be found. Most of the trail has a tree-covered canopy which was nice on a day like I had with total sunshine. There are some smaller stretches where you do get full sun exposure. The trail has an ample amount of signs warning riders about farm entrances, changes to the trail composition, informative signs and directions. I only saw 5-10 bikers on my route and maybe a few walkers/joggers. For the most part I think you can count on some peace and quite out here! Once I arrived at Roland Olsen FP I realized that the trail continued east. This isn't part of the Long Prairie Trail but as the map indicated, it goes up into Roscoe then turns north and goes all the way to Rockton Rd not far from the WI border. I suspect this is a nice section of trail.
A few pieces of advice while riding this trail, especially if you'll be riding the entire stretch. Wear glasses. Lots of bugs out here and they'll kill your eyes if they aren't covered. If it's sunny you'll want to put sunscreen on. Even though the majority of the path has tree cover, the sun still gets through. Apply bug spray in 'bug season'. You probably only need to do this if you plan on stopping frequently. Bring a couple of waters. Aside from a gas station in Capron and a small restaurant in Polar Grove, food and drinks are tough to find. Enjoy!

A diamond in the pretty rough

I really like this trail and have ridden it now several times with both a road bike and a light hybrid. Pros: long, paved, scenic, uncrowded. Beautiful farmland and wildflowers, lots of trees for a shady ride on a hot day, wildlife and peaceful views. Stretches of the trail that are in great shape and a few key rest areas and comfort stations along the route. Excellent diner (Boone Co. Family Restaurant) right off the trail in Caledonia. Nicest long section is west of Caledonia. Cons: many parts of this trail are bad to downright treacherous, especially near bridges. You could easily catch your tire in a center crack while trying to avoid a pothole on your side of the trail. No mile or distance markers. Shady trail means debris is damp after a rain, and sketchy for road bikes. Some horrible bridge transitions. Trail is out east of Capron at the moment. Recommendations: Could be fabulous if better maintained. In current condition, better for a hybrid. OK for a road bike on a dry day. Either way, wear a helmet.

Paved, although needs a little tlc

We rode from end to end - 15 miles one way. Ice cream shop about 7 miles in, made for a nice rest stop! Parking and pit toliets available at both ends, and at several points throughout.

Got Very Wet

Only rode from Poplar Grove to Caledonia and back due to threatening storm. Trail okay in some places and pretty rough in others. But a worthwhile ride overall.

Great Trail but getting rougher by the year

I have been biking on this trail for a well over 10 years and it is starting to show a lot of wear with significant rough spots. There is one section that has become extremely dangerous where heading west from Capron you encounter the first bridge about a quarter to half mile that has significant raised payment on each end of the short bridge. To be safe and not damage your bike you have to come to almost a complete stop especially riding a road bike (BIG CAUTION). It is still a fantastic ride just needs some attention in several sections along the way.

Likes: All asphalt for 14.4 miles, about 2/3 rds of trail is shaded by trees, not a lot of traffic
Dislikes: many rough patches and dangerous raised payment on a bridge section

perfect ride

I live in Roscoe just off the trail. I ride a couple times a week, and I must say it is a good trail.


This is a really nice trail, easy to access and even has a bathroom and parking area at the beginning. The scenery was beautiful. And it goes through a couple of little towns where you can stop for lunch.


Lovely trail. We started at East entrance. There is good parking and outhouse. Just off County Line Rd. We are leisurely riders. A few bumps but pretty normal for bike trails. Will do again for sure. Quiet and shaded where we were.

Great Scenery Rough Ride

My husband and I have started riding the Long Prairie Trail again.We park in the lot near the Atwood Forest Preserve and go east. Pretty good for a few miles but further down, we couldn't believe how rough it had become. My husband blames the chipmunks for digging up the sides and tunneling under the path which pushes up the asphalt. It is so beautiful out there with a canopy of trees overhead, but boy is it rough east of Rt. 76. I wish there was more money to repair it. Maybe a fundraiser.

Beautiful Scenery, tree canopy, but bumpy

I rode this trail for the first time yesterday for the entire length from the eastern trailhead to the western point at McMichael Road where it crosses the county line and turns into the Stone Bridge Trail. At that point I turned around and rode back to my starting point. The tree canopy that is present most of the distance is wonderful as is the countryside the trail travels thru. The only negative I have is the continuous presence of bumps in the blacktop that I found to be very distracting. This is very unfortunate because everything else about the trail was great.

Going the long hall

My family uses this trail often. Nice trail with great scenic views. This trail is nicely groomed, and provides a great work out. We have been using this trail for many years. We start at different points and are never disappointed.


I re-rode this trail from Caledonia to Capron two days ago. It wasn't as bumpy as I remembered from my ride last September, which was nice! There are some great sections which are basically tunnels of trees. It's an enjoyable ride but there are some rough sections of trail.

Gorgeous farm land

Hard to add anything new to the other 15 reviews. I did think the trail markers were above average in explaining the geology. Very interesting the way forests and prairie compete for dominance. In places, the asphalt has been damaged substantially by frost heaves.

Refreshing Change

Started in Capron but couldn't find designated parking area.Aside from that nice change of pace thru open rural and small town.Path could use some attention but,good overall.Fortunate to be able to go during the day to appreciate the solitude and wide open spaces.

Fantastic Ride!

Rode this today for the first time and it won't be the last. A beautiful location and trail, very few road crossings so you ride for long stretches without ever dealing with cars. If you want a ride where you fell like you're away from the city or suburbs, this would be excellent. One note, it's a little bumpy between Capron and Poplar Grove but once you're past that it's smooth. Hope you enjoy it!

Asphalt all the way!

I rode this trail for the first time today, a beautiful early fall Saturday. Finding the eastern trail head just east of Capron, IL was easy and there were 10+ parking spaces and a restroom. I had a great ride to the western end and back and will do this trail again.

Some of the eastern end of the trail needs some repairs and resurfacing, but on balance the trail was even, flat and full of interesting views of Boone County farmland and small towns.

The Saturday morning traffic on the trail was moderate and polite. A mix of walkers, joggers, fellow bikers and some deer. Several rest stops are on the trail and appreciated.

A morning ride would be best if initiated on the eastern trail head as the rising sun will be behind you. On your return the sun will be higher in the sky and the western prevailing winds could give one a "push".

There is enough tree lined trail to challenge the upkeep as was pointed out in a previous review, however it looked like maintenance had been active this summer with many fresh tree cuts and piles of wood along the shoulder.

Several small towns along the ride gave one a chance to rest, refuel and/or sight see. A nice mix of straight open trail, tree lined rail bed and some small towns where one could imagine where trains had traveled before.

It was a nice chance to ride through the northern Illinois farm country on asphalt not dedicated to automobiles.

Nice trail, but needs some repair and upkeep

Yesterday I traveled to Capron, IL, to do a long run (20 miles) on the Long Prairie Trail. The trail head is located in Capron, but when I arrived, the parking area was gated and a sign that said that the area was temporarily closed due to temporary budget cuts was affixed to the gate. No snow had been removed from the parking area, so I wouldn't have been able to park there even if the gate had been open.

Instead, I drove down to Caledonia, where I knew there was a parking area that wasn't gated (there was still a sign there that said the area was temporarily closed due to budget cuts). I set out from Caledonia and ran east to Capron and back, a little over 20 miles total for the entire round trip.

The trail itself is in good shape overall, but there were patches that were in need of repair. Some of the path that runs along 173 has some potholes and there are some areas that have cracked and sunk down. Before I got to Capron, there were two large dead trees blocking the path, but I managed to scoot underneath them and keep going (if you were a cyclist, there was no way to get around them). In some areas, specifically the Caledonia parking lot and passing through Poplar Grove, there was a strong odor of rotting trash that made for a not-so-pleasant experience. The restroom at the Caledonia parking area was pretty dirty; it looked like it had not been cleaned in quite some time.

The trail experience itself was pretty good, however; very scenic and I felt pretty safe while running. It was relatively busy when I was there in the mid-afternoon, passing a few other runners and cyclists. There are many rest areas (especially along the part that parallels 173) and even signs for a snack shop near Caledonia. The road crossings were safe and easy, and there are historical markers to stop and read as you get closer to Capron and within Capron itself.

Overall, I will go back and run this trail again. I would love to run this when spring has finally sprung and everything is green instead of brown.

METRA Connection Harvard to Trailhead

I like to take the METRA commuter train from Chicago to Harvard. There is a short hellish stretch to get to the eastern trail head on State Road 173 where I have to walk for about a mile because of heavy traffic and no shoulder. As awful as it is, the Long Prairie Path and the Stone Bridge Trail are worth it. If you hook up with the Dorr Road path you can make it to Beloit where their are a wide choice of accommodations. The second day, you can take Beloit-Newark Road to County T to Brodhead, WI and pick up the Sugar River trail and stay in lovely New Glarus. That's close to 50 miles, but the Sugar River is 23 of it so it's flat and pretty fast. The third day, you can pick up the Badger State Trail to Madison, WI. That's about 27-32 miles depending on where in Madison you want to end up. I think more people would do this if you could get to the trail without being a few feet away from speeding trucks.

Scenic but not maintained well enough for a road bike

Today was the first time I've ridden this trail. I felt that the scenery was absolutely beautiful. Riding through both wooded areas, farmland and prairie. But the trail isn't well maintained, and very bumpy in some places. Most of the trail was alright, but the parts that were bad, were quite bad.

Nice trail, not too much traffic. The roads it crosses are not hard to cross. The trail is in need of some repair but it is not unbearable. There is some pot holes and a couple of bigger bumps but over all nice trail.

A well maintained trail

I ride this trail regularly and was last on it in June of 2012. This trail is actually much longer that it appears, with extensions going north towards South Beloit and west towards Capron. Trail surface begins as crushed limestone and switches to asphalt as you ride west. Trail is well cared for and very shady. Poplar Grove is a nice place to stop to get food and drink--there's also a grocery store in Poplar Grove.

Nice walk

Wilma and I went out yesteday (Christmas Eve) for a nice walk.

We parked At Roland Olson FP and walked east to Brown Conservation Park where the trail crosses Caledonia Road.

Pictures and video at http://ilbob.blogspot.com/2011/12/long-prairie-trail-12-24-11.html

The section we walked included about a half a mile of the Stone Bridge Trail. Base Camp said it was 5.4 miles round trip. Sounds about right.

Brown Conservation park is fairly new and is not shown on the Boone County Conservation District map of the trail or even as a facility on the web site, although it is mentioned in one of their newsletters online.

The trail is blacktop, about 10 feet wide. It is the same old RR bed as the Stone Bridge Trail, constructed similarly. Much of the trail has steep drops offs along side it, some times 40 or 50 feet, and a few places it is level to the adjacent land. There are even a few places where it has been dug out and there are 5 to 10 foot high berms along side it. Like the SBT, there is a mostly wooded buffer of 30-50 feet on either side of the trail. The trail section we were on was well maintained.

The scenery is a lot different than the SBT though. It is mostly farm lands, so I did not feel like I was walking thru people's back yards so much. There are several stone culverts that go under the trail. I don't know if they are for drainage or once provided access to the farm fields, or both. The steep sides along the trail would make it difficult to explore them, except at one spot where it might have been possible. Probably would have been a nice picture but it was on our way back and I did not have the time to spend. There are a number of places where farmers cross the trail to get to their fields. Some are marked with signs and stripes on the trail, a couple are not marked at all. Some have pavement adjacent to the trail for the farmers, others don't.

We ran across some joggers, walkers, and bikers. Maybe a total of 8 to 10 people and 2 dogs. We even ran across an older couple with the two dogs. The man was pushing the woman in a wheel chair. They had two dogs with them. One dog was an older golden retriever who I ran across sleeping at the trail head at McMichael Road. They said he was too old to walk but wanted to come out with them so he slept there and waited for them to come back. I am not normally a fan of loose and/or unleashed dogs but both dogs were friendly and well behaved. They pointed to a house near the trail head where they live.

Parking, toilets, and water at both Roland Olson FP and Brown Conservation Park although Brown Conservation Park where we turned around seemed to be semi-closed. The parking area was blocked off, but the well worked, and the toilets were open. I am going to email the district and ask about it, as I kind of had in mind parking there next week one day and walking another section toward the east and back.

Great trail for our first family bike ride

We recently got a hitch and bike rack for our van and this was our first outing as whole family all 5 of us - my wife and I and our 10, 7 and 4 year old boys. My wife pulled our youngest on his tag-a-long bike and I helped keep the pack in line and warned of oncoming riders. We only went 3 miles out and back starting in Poplar Grove and heading east toward Capron but it was an enjoyable ride. The boys were tired at the end this having been their first long ride.

The trail was fairly busy on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. When we got back to the car we stopped at The Trail Stop and got some yummy ice cream afterwards. I highly recommend stopping there for a treat if you don't mind stocking back up on those calories you just spent. It is right next to the trail where it crosses State St in Poplar Grove.

For some reason this trail officially ends half way between Caledonia and highway 251 but in fact you can ride all the way to 251 which as another reviewer pointed out makes for a total of about 20 miles one way. We didn't right that direction but I know it goes all the way..

All in all a great trail.

Stone Bridge and Long Prairie Trails

i decided to see how far i could get on this trail yesterday..i started out at the very begining of the Stone Bridge trail at Rockton Rd and 251 and rode til the very end of Long Prairie Trail.. it was just over 20 miles one way! pretty long ride..nice flat path but not much to see besides trees and fields! but 40 miles round trip was some great exercise!

Great ride!

Took the day off work on a couple weeks ago and decided to ride the Long Prairie trail. This trail was perfect. 28 miles round trip makes this a great day ride. The trail was flat, paved and scenic. There were some great stops along the trail too. Be sure to search off the trail where the derailment occured. There is a remnant of the old train car. Incredible at how the thick steel was "ribboned" . There are about 3 small towns that you pass through on this trail. One of which has a little store to get some cold drinks. If you don't know already, take a stop over at geocaching.com. There are numerous geocaches to find along the way too.


This is a nice trail. They have alot of rest areas. The trail is very flat and easy riding. This trail would be great for new riders.

"Good trail, not worth long trip"

"This is definitely a nice regional trail, which passes through scenic and flat farm country. In addition, there are a couple of attractive and congenial places to get a bite to eat and something to drink in Poplar Grove. Still, I wouldn't go too far out of my way to ride this trail."

Dream bike path

"This is what a dream bike path is...level and paved and runs through the countryside with lil' country towns in between. It's a great family path. A good place to start is Caledonia, Illinois, on Hwy 173. Directly behind the grain elevators is a great parking lot.

Go east into Popular Grove and farther or take the trail northwest out of Caledonia to a forest preserve less than five miles away. This part of the path becomes crushed limestone, which even I, a 55+ granny on a bike with no speeds, handled pretty well. The scenery is worth it.


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