River Trail of Illinois (Carl Bud Schmitt Trail)

Illinois

19 Reviews

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River Trail of Illinois (Carl Bud Schmitt Trail) Facts

States: Illinois
Counties: Tazewell
Length: 9 miles
Trail end points: Bob Michael Bridge (East Peoria) and Detroit Ave. nr. W. Jackson St./US 150 (Morton)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015793
Activities:

River Trail of Illinois (Carl Bud Schmitt Trail) Description

Running from East Peoria to Morton, The River Trail of Illinois was resurfaced in summer 2011. From East Peoria, the hiking and biking trail travels southeast along the old Illinois Terminal Railway line. Trail users can experience a bit of tall-grass prairie, bluff and forest habitats that comprise the Illinois River valley. This portion of the trail was recently named for Carl "Bud" Schmitt, a long-time advocate for East Peoria's parks and trails.

The northern portion of the trail, under East Peoria's jurisdiction, lies between Main Street and Hawthorn Avenue. The Morton portion of the trail is 2 miles long and begins near the intersection of W. Jackson Street and Detroit Avenue. A 0.5-mile extension spur leads to Westwood Park.

Parking and Trail Access

In Peoria, you can access the River Trail of Illinois from the Fondulac Park District headquarters at 201 Veterans Drive. In Morton, you can access the trail from Westwood Park (Veterans Road north of Jackson Street/US 150) or from West Jefferson Street southeast of its intersection with Detroit Avenue.

River Trail of Illinois (Carl Bud Schmitt Trail) Reviews

nice trail

August 2019

Left from East Peoria getting through town was slow as crosswalks were not very speedy but it was a good ride some incline and well kept.

Lots of road crossings, but otherwise nice

June 2018

I rode this trail from Morton to East Peoria on Thursday June 7. 2018. As the previous poster notes, there's a section of the trail that's closed and there was no marked detour when I was there. Finding the alternative route wasn't difficult. It's along a mostly parallel road. I measured it at about a mile, not three, and traffic was pretty reasonable in terms of volume and speed.

Other than the closure, the only issue I had was the large number of road crossings but that's the nature of this kind of trail as it passes through a somewhat developed area. Pavement was good as was signage. The trail is popular as I came across a lot of people both on foot and bikes. Lots of people walking dogs, too. I presume they live along the trail. Overall, a nice experience and an easy way to get into Peoria from the suburbs.

Disappointed

May 2018

We took the trail on bikes from Morton to East Peoria along with a couple young children (7 & 8 years old). Between Morton & Pleasant Hill Rd. we passed several Park District maintenance people cutting grass and none of them nor any sign warned us of a closure in the trail about 1 mile past Pleasant Hill Rd. The trail was barricaded and closed at a point that was near impossible to turn around and go all the way back up the hill to Pleasant Hill Rd. with the small kids. So we had to find our way off the trail and over to Bloomington Rd. and travel the rest of the way (3 or 4 more miles) riding bikes with small children on the weaving road with cars speeding by. For the life of me I cannot figure what kind of demented mind would close a trail a good mile or two from any easy entry or exit point without posting any signs to warn people well in advance who were heading in that direction, forcing people to finish their journey on a main thoroughfare with traffic. But then, this is East Peoria, and I have seen idiocy like this before. Next time we will take the trail in Peoria instead.

Great trail, nice variety

July 2016

Started this one at what is called the end, in Morton, Illinois. Nice place to park and get on. Fair amount of this part is flat and next to corn fields, then as you get out of town you get into some rolling hills. Nice areas that one would not normally see. You ride allow some of the Illinois river run offs near East Peoria. Following the trail once you get to East Peoria is at times confusing as you are turning and crossing roads and there are signs but at time hard to follow. I ended at a Steak N Shake on the river front and ate and then headed back. Great ride.

Accordion

Start in EP!

July 2016

This is a very well-maintained trail (saw two separate work crews during my ride today) through some nice scenery. There is a relentless 2-3 mile hill about 1.5 miles from EP. I recommend parking near Bass Pro and heading towards Morton. There is a nice little riverfront park to park at. Unfortunately, the bathroom facilities were locked up (3:30 PM). The EP end is somewhat confusing, with many twists, turns, and road crossings. The markings are sparse, but now that I have ridden it once, it will be much easier. Trying to connect to the Rock Island trail in Peoria is a bit of an adventure, as you cross a huge bridge with a ton of truck traffic. Definitely not for the faint of heart! Overall nice trail once you figure it out.

Start at Bass Pro!

July 2016

This was awesome. Definitely start at Bass Pro and do the uphill when you first start. The ride back was amazing. Little confusing; turn left near Huck's to get on main trail just passed the chicken joint.

April 2016

Very smooth pavement, nice for inline skating. Slopes aren't too steep to negotiate.

One of our favorite local trails

September 2015

Great little trail! You can park down on the right hand side of Bass Pro Shop where the trail officially starts. This will let you get the uphill travel out of the way first so you can enjoy the ride downhill on the way back. Decent incline about 3-4 miles in. Really well taken care of.

Love!

September 2015

This is a great paved trail with a little bit of everything. I like to start at Bass Pro Shop in East Peoria and head up to Morton. There is a long, steady incline through a lovely shaded area. Then, on the way back, I get the reward of sailing down through the forest on the decline!

Recumbent friendly

June 2015

This trail is a freshly paved 14-20 mile round trip from Morton parking, across from KMart. Lots of sun the first 3 miles with 4-5 street crossings. Friendly for pet owners, runners, rollerblades, and family riding. A good incline and challenge riding uphill for .25 mile, but the plus is the canopy in that area. I recently switched to recumbent and found the ride fun.

Question about River Trail

December 2014

Im a professional runner looking to do a long tempo run on this trail. If I start in Morton, when does the path start to get hilly ( I want to avoid the major hill)? Also, do you need to stop for lights/cars or is the trail secluded? Thanks!

Great run, but kinda confusing

September 2014

I ran this course in August 2014. First off, the addresses for the parking sites given by TraiLink are inaccurate. Second, I started my run by the parking lot of Woodland Park in Morton, IL. If you look on the map, the route to East Peoria takes a right at the T. I took a left and made it through the end of the course into a Morton neighborhood. Shame on me for forgetting the map, but that highlights the main problem with this course: it is barely marked with mile markers or any other signs identifying the course. I got as far as the Water District Office in EP, but I couldn't find the markers that connected the rest of the course; I later found them on the drive home.

Other than the lack of markings, this is a good, fast road course. There is a mile long stretch after the 4.5 mile marker (going from Morton to EP) tha goes downhill, but on the return from EP to Morton it is a long uphill climb.

Pluses: Good fast road course with a mile long downhill/uphill. Minuses: Some course markers, but you have to look for them at both ends and the street crossing after the W.D. Office. Hardly any mile markers, especially after the 4.5 mark in Morton. Also IRT the neighbors you may encounter: I ran this early in the morning and adopted a stance of "I don't bother you, you don't bother me" and I was fine.

BTW: make sure you have empty bowels and bladders before you step off: there are no close-at-hand/visible portajohns on the course. Maybe at the parks in Morton or EP, but you'd have to go off the trail to look.

Great run, but kinda confusing

September 2014

I ran this course in August 2014. First off, the addresses for the parking sites given by TraiLink are inaccurate. Second, I started my run by the parking lot of Woodland Park in Morton, IL. If you look on the map, the route to East Peoria takes a right at the T. I took a left and made it through the end of the course into a Morton neighborhood. Shame on me for forgetting the map, but that highlights the main problem with this course: it is barely marked with mile markers or any other signs identifying the course. I got as far as the Water District Office in EP, but I couldn't find the markers that connected the rest of the course; I later found them on the drive home.

Other than the lack of markings, this is a good, fast road course. There is a mile long stretch after the 4.5 mile marker (going from Morton to EP) tha goes downhill, but on the return from EP to Morton it is a long uphill climb.

Pluses: Good fast road course with a mile long downhill/uphill. Minuses: Some course markers, but you have to look for them at both ends and the street crossing after the W.D. Office. Hardly any mile markers, especially after the 4.5 mark in Morton. Also IRT the neighbors you may encounter: I ran this early in the morning and adopted a stance of "I don't bother you, you don't bother me" and I was fine.

BTW: make sure you have empty bowels and bladders before you step off: there are no close-at-hand/visible portajohns on the course. Maybe at the parks in Morton or EP, but you'd have to go off the trail to look.

Has Potential

June 2014

Begins at either Westwood Park in Morton or at the morton public library, continues to the shopping complex west of Target in East Peoria. Isolated portions of the trail wander through remote areas of East Peoria, but locals are harmless. Watch out for deer, turtles, and snakes in the late day in woods. Stray cats, rabbits, squirrels, and over 15 types of birds all live on the trail and surrounding woods. Wear eye protection in the woods to avoid an eyeful of bugs.

Would like to see the trail connect to Washington trail system (not on trail link, for some reason).

Trail is asphalt, good riding. Most users are not trail savvy, so expect to see lots of folks riding side-by-side, not announcing when passing, lots of walkers, etc. Stay on trails; lots of poison ivy mixed with other native flora.

Love this Trail BUT...

August 2013

The very first time I rode this trail, I left from Morton. I loved the smooth paved path and once you headed down the BIG LONG HILL past the houses and streets, it was truly beautiful, with creeks, bridges and wildlife galore...Isolated from the main traffic of the trail, I had my pepper spray for security..always a great idea! Thankfully I had taken a bottle of water and snacks as it was a warm summer day with a nice breeze at my back... I was cruising with a carefree abandon..I ended up at CVS in East Peoria, where I turned around to face the breeze and head back to Morton... The traffic was crazy and I had no desire to " try and find " the place where the path picked back up to lead you to the Riverfront. ** This is where some may want to phone a friend with a truck and have them pick you up... This trail is mostly up hill and against the wind it was a bit brutal at times with a 7 speed bike.. I swear I seen the buzzards circling me ;) waiting for me to kill over in sheer exhaustion..haha : ) Seriously, I suggest you start in Morton the first time on the trail and have a back up vehicle in East Peoria if you aren't in great shape. Always carry your cell phone and try to ride with a buddy. I have encountered one individual that required a call to the Police Dept.. some people sadly are just "not right" and the authorities need to be aware of their unusual (ok, this guy was a lunatic !!) behavior/activities.

I Think I Can, I Think I Can

October 2012

Who knows why this is called "River Trail"--it doesn't even get close to the Illinois (or any other) River. "Big-Hill-Down-Towards-The-River" might be a better name. There is a long and gradual railroad grade down towards the Illinois River (going west), but the trail ends without giving even a glimpse of the river. That's not to say the trail isn't a good one, though; it's a great rail-trail! We enjoyed it every mile of the way.

*****

July 2011

I live close to this trail and walk/bike on it often. It was completely resurfaced this summer and is better than when it was new. New benches to rest on, new garbage bins on poles and new signs. Part of this trail goes through a very shaded, wooded area - nice on hot summer days! This trail currently runs from the west edge of Morton to downtown East Peoria and will soon have the western edge finished to link up across the river with Peoria.

Trail connection

October 2010

Bridge is now complete over farm creek and is now paved to the foot of the bob micheal bridge. Kellar Branch trail work going on also. The rails and ties have been pulled up

Great trail

January 2010

Soon will connect with the Bob Micheal bridge to connect to the Pimiteoui Trail along the Peoria riverfront. There is also a long going dispute over the Kellar Branch Trail which will connect the Pimiteoui Trail to the Pioneer Parkway extension. hopefully popping up here soon. But other wise a great trail. most of it is paved but after you go through the tunnel its gravel. you have to get of the trail and on to the road because the bridge is out but will soon be in service. The trail pops up again near Arbys. That will take you to the East Peoria riverfront park. Phase II of the trail is down the road a bit but is only 1.8 miles and features a 1200 fot boardwalk keep riding:)

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