Bicycle trails are available all over Southern Illinois and more are being developed each year. There are four major trails listed at the end of this page.

Etiquette for Bicyclists

For an understand of mountain bike impacts on trails, we recommend reading: 

Chavez, Deborah J. 1996. Mountain biking: issues and actions for USDA Forest Service Managers. Res. Paper PSW-RP-226-Web. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; 33 p.

  1. Bikers need to understand that high speed trail biking can create safety problems for equestrians.  see Bikes and Horses: A Case for Sharing by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.
  2. Approach and pass other trail users with care -- you are obligated to yield to all other trail users. When approaching from behind, announce yourself (and the number of other cyclists in your group) well in advance so that you do not startle other trail users. Reduce speed in order to pass safely. See A Guide To Singletrack Techniques, Low-Impact Riding, And Low-Conflict Riding by Roger McGehee, rogm@microweb.com
  3. Pass horses as far to the left as possible to avoid unintentional contact. Red ribbons in a horse's tail are an indication that it may kick if approached too closely from behind. 
  4. Stay on approved bicycle trails.
  5. Obey posted speed/gait limits and use common sense in crowded areas.
  6. Approach blind curves with caution -- assume someone is coming in the opposite direction.
  7. Use the appropriate hand signals for turning, stopping, etc. 
  8. Should your approach cause a horse to spook or become frightened, be considerate and stop. Wait for the rider to tell you that it is OK to pass.
  9. Be a positive reflection of the local cycling community. Participate in trail restoration projects and learn about the proper design, construction and maintenance of bike trails.

The Sierra Club encourages all bikers to understand and follow its national policy on off-road bicycling: http://www.sierraclub.org/policy/conservation/mtnbike.asp

Bike Trails

  •  Mississippi River Bike Trail (MRT)
    1,200 miles from Minnesota to New Orleans through Illinois.
  •  River-to-River Trail
    146 miles from the Ohio River to the Mississippi River at Grand Tower.
  •  TransAmerica Bicycle Route
    4,250 miles from Astoria, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia through Illinois
    "Exhausted cyclists have likened this part of the trail to one long, self-propelled roller-coaster ride. All of the roads in this section are medium to wide, but have no shoulders and moderate levels of traffic."
  •  Tunnel Hill Bike Trail         Virtual Tour
    45 miles of converted rail line from Harrisburg to Karnak and the Cache River Wetland Center. The trail's tunnel at Tunnel Hill is 540 feet long.    Map

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Last edited: 08/03/05

 This page last updated: 09/08/10 . Website maintained by Bob Pauls.
Copyright Shawnee Group, Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club