MCT Ronald J. Foster Heritage Trail


MCT Ronald J. Foster Heritage Trail Facts

States: Illinois
Counties: Madison
Length: 11 miles
Trail end points: Main St. at the Nickel Plate Trail (Glen Carbon) and Verson at Lubeck St. (Marine)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015797
Trail activities: Bike, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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MCT Ronald J. Foster Heritage Trail Description

The Glen Carbon Heritage Bike Trail is part of a trail network spanning more than 100 miles managed by Madison County Transit (MCT), which also runs busses equipped with bike racks for passenger convenience. The feel of the trail is a mix of suburban and rural, and the many people on the trail demonstrate that diversity. Spandex-clad athletes whiz past people from the neighborhood out for a leisurely stroll. Children often use the trail to get to Citizen's Park or Miner Park. It serves as the heart of an integrated transportation system that can be a model for communities in Illinois and beyond.

The flat, chip-and-seal surface is good for jogging, so many runners signed up for the Chicago Marathon use the trail as a training ground. And if people-watching gets tiresome, there's always bird-watching; the best times to spot the more reclusive creatures are in the earliest hours of sunrise and at dusk.

Start the trail in Citizen's Park in Old Town Glen Carbon, where you can also pick up the MCT Nickel Plate Trail. Several blocks east is Miner Park, which has restrooms, and there are always trail maps and displays at the trailheads. Be sure to bring your camera for a photo of the 340-foot Silver Creek Railroad Trestle in town. The majority of the trail stretches out through farmland on either side, farmhouses dotting the landscape, especially as it approaches the Kuhn Station Road trailhead to the northeast.

Technically, the Glen Carbon Heritage Bike Trail runs between the MCT Nickel Plate Trail in Glen Carbon and just west of Old Staunton Road, at which point the trail is also known as the MCT Heritage Trail. From here the trail continues to the town of Marine.

Just east of Glen Carbon the Heritage Trail intersects the MCT Goshen Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the Glen Carbon trailhead at Meridian Road and W. Main St., take State Route 157 to W. Main Street. Look for the trailhead on the right in 1 mile.

To access the Kuhn Station Road trailhead, take Staunton Road to Goshen Road; turn south on Kuhn Station Rd. and look for the trailhead just ahead.

Parking is also available in Marine at the eastern terminus of the trail and about midway off Old Troy at Mont Road.

MCT Ronald J. Foster Heritage Trail Reviews

Super nice trail. Well kept and super nicely shaded. Just a heads up: park at the Glen Carbon trailhead. It makes the ride back so much easier bc it's vaguely uphill. Also of note: some seriously weird noises along trail nearing Marine. Chickens?

First 4 to 5 miles coming out of Mairne was all open farm fields. The rest of the ride was mostly all shade. Nice paved trails with recently rebuilt bridges. All in all a nice ride!

The trails are great and are a good way to get through the area. One spot has a sign that says no skateboarding and I'd been skateboarding there for a long time so I called a lot of people and finally got info that skateboards are totally allowed on all glen Carbon heritage trails. I don't know who put the sign up but it might want to be taken down if all parts of the trails allow skateboards


I started this trail in Marine, Illinois and headed towards Glen Carbon for about 5 miles before turning around. The ride was just beautiful and quiet. I loved the wooded area and the sounds of the water running under me. The bridge was an unexpected pleasure. I will be riding this trail a lot I feel.

Reconstruction of this trail is now complete. It is newly resurfaced and has new bridges, making for a very fine ride. A grand reopening ceremony was held the weekend before Memorial Day.

Construction is just about done and the new surface (asphalt) is great. There are still a couple of road crossings toward the Eastern end of the trail that need to be finished but, once done, the trail will be fantastic. I think it's one of the better trails now in the MCT trail system, a system that is absolutely fantastic to begin with.

Very well maintained! Just beautiful!

I rode from Marine all the way to the Lewis N Clark park near Alton and back a couple of weekends ago. 86 miles round trip and the whole ride was wonderful. The Madison County Transit Authority gets big kudos from me for supporting such a wonderful network of trails. I had to do a bit of street riding (across town in Grant City - 20th street) and then again to connect coming back from Lewis N Clark on bike trail that is side of rode but very clearly marked and plenty wide. I stopped in a little restaurant in Grant City for lunch (Piasi Pantry - right on 20th street) wonderful place - locally owned and run - very welcoming to a biker. The scenery changed from rural to small town to lakes and back - wonderful wonderful. The trails can be a bit of a maze though so I highly recommend you grab one of the many maps they provide and keep it handy.

I just rode on it today for the first time because it was 60 degrees outside. I rode from Glen Crossing Road to where the trail is currently closed (on Main Street by Citizens Park) because of the construction on IL 157. This trail was different from the other trails in Glen Carbon because of the pavement. I enjoyed the scenery a lot. I am about to ride on it again in about 5 minutes! I loved that trail!

The trail now goes to Marine another 4-miles. About 1 mile from Marine where it went under highway 4 it's closed because they are replacing the railroad bridge with a trail one. I went around it anyway.

"There where really 4 r.r. that ran through there. The L&M, the I.C.and C&NW both use the L&M. and the N.P. The news thing at the trail in Glen Carbon says the New York Central ran through there. Who ever wrote that goofed. N.Y.C.& St.L Stood for New York, Chicago & St.Louis. Part of the N.P. symbol. The same I.C. line between Waggoner and Farmersville around 4 and one half miles is a trail. They say all the way to litchfield someday. But they been saying that for yrs.
John "

"I found the Glen Carbon to be an undiscovered gem. It's a nice trail with a variety of terrain, plus it has some historical postings and pictures of the way the old rail line used to appear. It's a great place for a walk, particularly on a fall day."

"I really enjoy this trail. It is the perfect distance for me and it also connects to another trail in Glen Carbon if you want to go further. The best part of the trail is that it is mostly shaded and there aren't many cross roads.

I ride a comfort bike and this trail is perfect for that. I have also seen some wild animals, including a bobcat, which was pretty exciting. There are rumors that this trail will eventually run near Highland and I really hope that does happen.

For the recreational bike rider, I would give this trail a perfect 10."

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