MCT Watershed Trail


Get a FREE guidebook when you join Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Take your pick of one of our 13 trail guides when you give $30 or more to build trails!

MCT Watershed Trail Facts

States: Illinois
Counties: Madison
Length: 5.1 miles
Trail end points: Wanda Rd./CR 19 (Roxanna) and High St. (Edwardsville)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017676
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

MCT Watershed Trail Description

The Madison Count Transit (MCT) Watershed Trail is all about trains, bridges and waterways. It follows an abandoned rail corridor built in 1868, the first to serve the city of Edwardsville, itself the third oldest city in Illinois. Later the line became part of the Illinois Traction System of electric trains; later still, the Illinois Terminal Railroad.

Along the way, the trail goes under the bridge of one active rail line and itself bridges over a second, as it also does a major highway. Near the western trailend, it passes through a floodwall just before a long bridge over Indian Creek. Closer to Edwardsville, there's a longer and higher historic trestle bridge with scenic overview of Cahokia Creek. Next comes the junction with the MCT Goshen Trail. Then it's on to a scenic overlook of the Watershed Nature Center and finally downtown Edwardsville.

That's a lot to see in just five short miles. But the trail lends itself to leisurely enjoyment. It's flat and mostly tree covered, with just a handful of quiet roads and streets to cross.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the western trailend in Roxana from IL-255, take Exit 5 and turn right (east) onto Madison Avenue. At the stop sign, turn left onto Wanda Road and immediately back right onto Russell Drive. Parking and trail access are just ahead on the right.

Parking in Edwardsville is at the Watershed Nature Center, 1591 Tower Avenue.

MCT Watershed Trail Reviews

Flat and scenic, this was a good trail for our family of non-avid bikers, pulling a 4 and 2 year old in a trailer. We saw chipmunks, snake, and a couple roosters!

Personally I think this is one of the prettiest trails in the whole MCT network. I always make it a part of my "loop" when I ride the MCT trails. Rode it 10/17/2014 fall colors were beautiful.

Especially the eastern half of the trail. That's where the long bridges are--with their beautiful views of the creeks below. And the overlook at the Nature Center is really stunning. We want to go back soon and spend some time on the walking trails there. When we passed the grade school, all the kids were outside on recess; we had the greatest moment ringing the bike bell and waving to each other. Only later did we discover that's the N.O. Nelson Elementary School. That's the same N.O. Nelson that built nearby Leclaire and the factory buildings still to be seen on the Nickel Plate Trail. The Edwardsville connections. They're really interesting!


I have rode this trail twice as of this date. It will always be my start trail to connect with other trails that Madison County Transit Trails have The trailhead that begins on Wanda Rd in South Roxana is easily accessible with a small 'rideshare' parking lot. The trail is mostly shaded. In my opinion when it is 100 degrees; The ride is still comfortable.

"This is a wonderful trail. For most of the trip you are riding through the woods, with an occasional view of farmland. With a quick eye expect to see squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, possums, ground hogs, and see or hear a variety of birds.

There are some nice resting spots along the way, a lookout over the Watershed preserve, picnic tables, and a small park where you can often catch a kid's baseball game. Several bridges take you over creeks, rails, and the highway.

This five mile trail connects to others so your ride can be extended if desired. The ride is shaded and very quiet for most of the path. "

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

MCT Bluff Trail

Illinois - 2 miles

The MCT Bluff Trail is the shortest trail in the Madison County network, but it highlights a feature of regional topography which can be evidenced on...

Delyte W. Morris Trail

Illinois - 2.4 miles

The Delyte W. Morris Trail lies entirely on the campus of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville (SIUE). It is named for the university's...

MCT Goshen Trail

Illinois - 8.5 miles

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...


MCT Confluence Trail

Illinois - 18.7 miles

Caution: Trail closures are occurring in two areas along the southern half of this trail: 1) near the construction site of the new I-270 bridge over...

MCT Nature Trail

Illinois - 14.4 miles

The Madison County Transit (MCT) Nature Trail goes through richly varied surroundings of city, farm and wood. In the west, it begins at beautiful...

Columbia Bottom Trail - Missouri River Greenway

Missouri - 4.8 miles

For nearly 5 miles, the Columbia Bottom Trail meanders through the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, which features forests, wetlands, and open...

MCT Nickel Plate Trail

Illinois - 28.5 miles

The Madison County Transit (MCT) Nickel Plate Trail is the longest of the county’s trails and perhaps the most diverse in its offerings. On the west,...

MCT Quercus Grove Trail

Illinois - 18.4 miles

The MCT Quercus Grove Trail begins in Edwardsville at its junction with the MCT Nickel Plate Trail. It begins on city sidewalks and alleys near...

Eagle Points Trail

Illinois - 7.2 miles

Caution: While construction continues on the new I-270 bridge over the Mississippi River, be alert for trail restrictions or closings north of the...

MCT Ronald J. Foster Heritage Trail

Illinois - 12.2 miles

You can make connections all over the countryside from the Madison County Transit (MCT) Ronald J. Foster Heritage Trail. The paved path travels 12.2...

West Alton Trail

Missouri - 1.1 miles

The West Alton Trail occupies the right-of-way of an old railroad bed. The crushed-stone trail runs for 2 miles between US 67 in West Alton and the...

Old Chain of Rocks Bridge

Illinois - 1 miles

The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge was part of the renowned Route 66 and crosses a scenic stretch of the Mississippi River. It links two states—Illinois...

Download the TrailLink mobile app and take TrailLink with you!
Build trails nationwide + pick your FREE 2019 RTC member t-shirt!
Get a FREE guidebook when you join Rails-to-Trails Conservancy!

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Log in with Google


Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google