Heading SW into Tunnel Hill. Photo courtesy of Bob Pauls.The Shawnee Group is pleased to present the following virtual tour of the Tunnel Hill Trail in Southern Illinois to supplement the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' website that offers the State's interpretation of the trail.

The 44.9 mile trail can be broken into a minimum of eight segments listed below. There are additional trail heads where day trips can be started and stopped. The northern most end of the trail is in Harrisburg. The southern trailhead is at Karnak, Illinois.

Physically fit bikers can travel the entire length in a day  Most day riders travel the segment between Tunnel Hill and Vienna. While it is perhaps the most scenic section with the most bridges, limiting yourself to this popular segment would result in a diminished experience. Each segment has something unique to offer the visitor.

Trail Segments Map Guides and Descriptions  (under development)

            PDF Trail Map  

We have available nearly 100 photos documenting the 43 miles of the bicycle trail and its history, habitats, railroad infrastructure, indigenous species, rivers and streams, flora and fauna. These will be available in August, 2001.

What makes the trail so special? Well...

" Its a great example of federal Rails-to-Trails development.

 " Its traverses through the Cache River State Natural Area

 " Along its route can be found a great diversity of habitats supporting 56 endangered and threatened species, including Lynx Rufus (BobCat) and Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Bald Eagle). The Lower Cache River is also home of eleven (11) of the state's Champion Trees.


Selected Highlights of the Tunnel Hill Trail

Harrisburg Trailhead

Entering the tunnel
from the North

Cache River

Exiting the Tunnel

Turtle on the trail

Trailside flowers

Trailside swamp

Karnak Trailhead


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