From ancient waterways to old rail lines, National Recreation Trails are all about moving outdoor experiences.
Dick Westfall of Illinois State Parks provides details on the 25 National Recreation Trails in Illinois. From ancient waterways to old rail lines, National Recreation Trails are all about moving outdoor experiences. These routes offer visitors a range of outdoor settings— cypress swamps, prairies, woodlands, lakeshores and more.
What do the Lower Cache River Trail, where you can quietly canoe through a primeval swamp, the Great River Trail, where you can bike through pleasant river towns along the mighty Mississippi, and the Moraine Hills State Park trail system, where you can see deer and other wildlife just a short drive from busy Chicago have in common? They all are National Recreation Trails.
Download the related pdf of Dick Westfall’s article “What’s a National Recreation Trail?” to learn more about 13 of Illinois’ great trails.
Whether biking, jogging, in-line skating, running or walking is your favorite outdoor activity, the 53 miles of the River's Edge Trail in Great Falls is the perfect venue. The 19 miles of paved urban trail links many local parks and attractions along both sides of the scenic Missouri River.
The 400 mile long Des Moines River Water Trail that runs from Estherville to the Mississippi River, is an extremely scenic stream. There are two trail sections - the North Section (Cottonwood to Birdland Park Access) and the South Section (Harriet St. to Yellow Banks).
This five-mile water trail within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ West Thompson Lake project is an excellent 3-hour outing for paddlers who are comfortable with moving water and enjoy seeing varied landscapes of forests and fields along with extensive wildlife habitat.
Trail partnerships and community support have made this a successful and popular trail.
Always known by her trail name after through-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 1978, Butch served both on the board and staff of the American Hiking Society. For many years she was a familiar participant in initiatives and committees supporting policies and funding for trails.
Located along the Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge State Scenic Byway, this 1-mile loop trail provides spectacular vistas of the Refuge's wildflowers, Lower Des Lacs Lake, and nearby wetlands.