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The Madison County Transit (MCT) Goshen Trail is a namesake of the old Goshen Road that was built in 1808 to supply salt to the first permanent settlers of Madison County. The modern bike trail crosses the old road in one place, as does the Glen Carbon Heritage Bike Trail. The original Goshen Settlement was at Bluff Road in Glen Carbon, where the MCT Nickel Plate Trail descends from the bluffs to the American Bottom.
The MCT Goshen Trail forms the north-south backbone of the Madison County trail system and it meets or intersects five other trails in the network: the MCT Schoolhouse Trail, MCT Ronald J. Foster Heritage Trail, MCT Nickel Plate Trail, MCT Nature Trail and MCT Watershed Trail. It is also part of all seven of the popular trail system loops that range from 10 to over 30 miles. Troy, Maryville, Glen Carbon, Edwardsville—they all lie along its path. A southern extension brings the trail to O'Fallon Township in neighboring St. Clair County.
Traveling through the former Illinois Belt Line rail corridor, the rail-trail offers a good mix of sights to enjoy along the way. Farmland and cityscapes, bridges and tunnels, parks and neighborhoods, tree cover and open spaces.
Parking is available from several points along the trail. Starting from the northern end, travelers can park at the Wanda Park & Ride (4850 Russell Drive, Roxana); mid-trail at Old Troy Road and Route 162 in Troy; and, at the southern end of the trail, at the MCT Goshen Trailhead (308 Kyle Road, O’Fallon).
My first time on this trail. The leaves are changing and the view is spectacular!
Easy ride. Not too scenic…
I love riding this trail and the whole MCT system. Goshen is beautiful, interesting, and a perfect way to spend the day. Make sure you grab a map at the trailhead or keep one on your phone because none of their trails are marked well. Pay attention to forks in the road so you know which one to take to get back (or just do one of the seven loops). Trails are flat and fun. I’ve ridden during the week and on the weekend, and while the weekend was more crowded, there are so many trails so spread out that I never had a problem. Really fantastic ride!
We rode this for the first time today & loved it! The parking in OFallon was easily accessible and the paved path was well maintained for the full 19 miles! Enjoyed stopping at Global Brew Tap House on the return..it was right off the trail in Edwardsville. Only improvement would be to add restroom facilities. We saw 2 porta-potties (not well kept) but that was it!
Have been on all MCT trials. Have found that they are safe and well maintained. Have seen police monitor the trails around Glen Carbon. Never seen a police presence around SIUE. Have always had a safe and good experience with the MCT maintenance crews. The director of MCT has responded quickly to any problems I have reported. This is one government program that the citizen gets their money's worth. Some users of the trails are rude and don't abide by the rules but no greater percentage than misbehaved people in the general population.
I did a nice 56 miles on this and other trails today in the MCT NETWORK. What a great resource for trail lovers. Nice asphalt surface, nice all around. They do need to invest in some benches on all the trails. There's no where to rest.
I live right next to the Goshen trail & I see people on it practically every night, except in the middle of winter, of course. I can see them because of the nifty little headlights on their bikes. Madison County Transit may say they have rules, but those rules are not enforced.
I've seen many people/animals on that trail since they put it in, but never once have I seen any sign of law enforcement (this is outside city limits to be specific).
I have never encountered any motorcyclists on any of the trails in Madison County, except for twice having policemen slowly cruise by on one during a weekend on these very trails: Goshen, Watershed, Nickle Plate...all in the immediate Edwardsville area. So they are patrolled. What you were likely told was that motorcycles were not allowed on the trails--but cops were exempt from that rule. Last year someone was killed in the wee hours of the night trying to ride an ATV on one of the rural trails after being at a drinking party. The trails are posted closed after dark. I just haven't had this experience with motorized vehicles at any time I've been riding. I wouldn't let one event sour the greater opportunity.
On the trails in this area, it's easy to get used to riding mile after mile without much to look at. Great trail surface, nice and flat, good tree cover, miles of farmland. But that's about it. Few extraordinary sights. NO interpretive signs. And almost nothing to remind one of the history behind the old railroad lines over which the trails were built. Except here on the Goshen. The old mile marker, the concrete shelters, the water tower. Serendipitous discoveries along the way. Maybe someday the trail sponsors will add some interpretive signs to tell us more of each trail's past.
I'm worried about safety issues on the Madison County Trails. Just recently I encountered 4 speeding motorcycles while riding on the Goshen Trail near the Watershed Trail (this happened on more than one occasion). Since this is not in city limits, I talked to the Madison County Sheriff's Dept. & they said MCT doesn't allow them on the bike trails.
So my concern is - are there any controls in place on the trails to make sure they're safe? If law enforcement isn't allowed on the trails, then I'm not so sure I want to be on them anymore. I know MCT has rules, but it appears no one enforces them.
I know in the voluntary disclaimer I agreed to before posting here that using the trails "can be a hazardous activity that has risks, including injury or death", but the lack of any type of "protection" when I'm on the trails really has me spooked!!
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