My only complaint about the trail was the street crossing approaching the trail head in New Burnside where I almost crashed due to a deep rut at the transition from the asphalt to the crushed stone. At this time of year, you can also see a few pollinator gardens that the staff planted along the main path. Vienns has a nice trailhead in a park with a rail museum too. Her home is in a gorgeous country setting, decorated beautifully with antiques, the rooms are clean, beds comfortable and the bathroom is stocked with supplies in case you forget anything. We started in the southern wetlands and enjoyed the relative easy climb to the tunnel and down again further north. Tunnel Hill Trail (GC2B02) was created by Trailguy on 12/13/2001. Trail north of Harrisburg is single track so 15 miles round trip was slow going and full sun. The trail crosses IL 13, spans a bridge over the Middle Fork of Saline River in Muddy, and continues alongside US 45. It would a beautiful trail in the fall and we plan to go back. The 9.3-mile section between Tunnel Hill and Vienna crosses trails already known to outdoor recreationists: the River-to-River Trails, which extends from the Mississippi to the Ohio River; the unmarked American Discovery Trails, which in southern Illinois follows back roads and some of the River-to-River Trail; the U.S. 76 Bicycle Route, a part of the TransAmerica Bike Route; and the Trail of Tears, the primary route the Cherokee Indian tribe took in the winter of 1838-39 during their forced move from the Great Smokies to Oklahoma. At Tunnel Hill, there is a small parking area with restrooms and a water fountain. Although an experienced cyclist should be able to travel the complete trail in about a day, hk r s v Another surprise and a must stop is Sandburn Junction. Packed a small cooler with me for lunch and water. All I can say it is a beautiful trail worth the time to check out. I wish I would have given myself more time and got to actually Bike the whole thing but I will be back for sure to enjoy the whole experience. This trail, perfect for biking or hiking, covers 45 picturesque miles. Several trestles cross the stream along this route with very picturesque views. A dark railroad tunnel and two dozen trestles crossing streams and rocky ravines welcome visitors to the scenic Tunnel Hill State Trail as it travels 55 miles through forests and farmland in sparsely populated southern Illinois. At one time, the rumble of freight cars reverberated through the narrow tunnel. P. Murrell Gresham, Oregon.". The scenery was beautiful with a very remote setting. Hope to come back some day,,,,
ALSO,,, just a note of observance,, if you plan to ride the entire length and are concerned about the sun. The tunnel is very disorienting, even though it is straight. Go 8.3 miles and turn right onto IL 37, following signs to the Wetlands Center. Went through Harrisburg, enjoyed the paved path and rode onto Eldorado, the trail wasn't as well kept but was not bad, as you near town the trail ends and you ride on road for awhile then back to paved trail, at the end it is gravel, I wasn't sure where the end of the trail was but a guy that I had passed showed me where it was. Even had lunch at "Our Place Deli". We biked from Vienna to several miles past the tunnel on one day; then from Vienna â¦ The General store in Stonefort was a nice place to stop for a sandwich and cold drinks. Hosting is supported by UCL, Bytemark Hosting, and other partners. Passengers in Pullman cars clocked the miles with these and other landmarks as they traveled one of southern Illinois' most scenic routes. Road bikes will have no problems. My only suggestion would be to mark rest areas, towns, creeks and roads, it's nice to know where I am. Tunnel Hill State Trail stretches for 45 miles from Harrisburg to Karnak, with 2.5 miles being managed by the city of Harrisburg. Still, the incline was not bad at all. It is located a couple of blocks East of State 45 on State 146. I was running out of daylight and stamina,,,
The trail was good and packed and I had no problem with loose gravel at all. It took 10 hours in bumper to bumper traffic to get home! Enjoyed the whole 47 miles last summer. I have seen several deer along the way too. I started at the Tunnel Hill TH and rode south all the way to the Wetlands Center. I haven't been able to find anyone offering shuttle services between the major points so if you want to ride the entire trail, plan on doing it again on the way back. Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more! Still, I recommend the detour to the center. Iâve ridden a lot of rails-to-trails and the only one I enjoyed more than Tunnel Hill was the Mickelson Trail in South Dakota but that is tough competition. Anyway, the tunnel was fun so we went through a few times.My only regret is that we did not stop and explore around the Cache River Wetland center. Entering the Shawnee National Forest, you’ll find a stunning landscape, with a high tree canopy that shades a trickling brook on the right. The Barkhausen Wetlands Center was closed so we were unable to park and start from there. This mountain bike primary trail can be used both directions. View up to date information on how Illinois is handling the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the The surface is a course sand that packs very well. There are some soft edges in places so you may want to avoid hugging one side or the other. The site office for Tunnel Hill State Trail is located on State Highway 146 on the east side of Vienna. Bing Maps has a collection of great trails with directions to trail heads as well as photos. And to think that it was all compacted into a 45 mile strip. Great ride! Tunnel Hill Tunnel Hill is an unincorporated community in northwestern Johnson County, Illinois.It is best known for its namesake railroad tunnel that gives the name to the Tunnel Hill State Trail, a rails-to-trails project developed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. IF you do you will lose your way and find yourself on the ground. The Sanburn stop at mm
216 is an honor system stop that had a variety of refreshments available. They were fantastic and took us to the end of the trail to start our ride. 95 degrees on the way to the trail, 75 degrees on the trail. UPDATE: Vienna visitor Center's interpretive displays are closed to the public, but the restrooms are open. I highly recommend this company for folks visiting from out of town. The scenery is just incredible. Plan on going back this year with the wife and do just a downhill part. GREAT ride. Just sayin'. My daughter hit the wall..She was going straight then all of a sudden lost her bearing and took a 20 degree turn. I live in Evansville IN and have been over to this trail 4 times. I have only ridden from Vienna to Tunnel Hill and back but I did drive down to the Wetlands Nature Center at the southern end as well as go to Karnak and check it out. We decided to ride 34 miles from Harrisburg to Vienna. I have cycled the Vienna to Harrisburg round trip once and shorter distances several times. Over the years, the railroad went through a series of ownership changes, and the tracks last belonged to Norfolk Southern Railroad, which turned the corridor over to the state in 1991. The route of the trail spans from Eldorado to Highway 37, between Cypress and New Grand Chain. Stayed at the Main Brothers camp ground in Karnak, IL which is about 2 miles from the official trail head. At one time, the rumble of freight cars reverberated through the narrow tunnel. Much of the trail surface was rough from motorized vehicle tracks, wash-outs had been repaired with white rock instead of finely crushed limestone, and the bridge decks rode like rumble strips. The Tunnel Hill State Trail is one of 1600 rail-trails supported by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that is working to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors. This trail, perfect for biking or hiking, covers 45 picturesque miles. I only wish there had been signage showing mileage from town to town. I GPSed the Zombie Trail Extension. FRIENDSHIP SCHOOL ROAD RIDE (20 MILES) BOYD ROAD / DONGOLA QUARRY RIDE (15 MILES) Back to Top. We rode the through the tunnel without lights (check for oncoming riders first). Slight but it took its toll on me. This means that riders will no longer have to detour into the traffic on Belknap Road. The TUNNEL is awesome. Most of us had road bikes with 25-32 mm tires. The next few miles were hard-packed stone, very smooth and easy to ride. Thank goodness for the small town stops with water so I could reload and refresh my water bladder. A flash light would not be a bad idea. The Tunnel Hill State Trail is one of 1600 rail-trails supported by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that is working to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors. click for Fullsize. The darkness is disorienting even though you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are good facilities at Karnak,not Belknap. We did not see any on this trip, but we've talked with others who have spotted them. Along the twenty miles of the trail we did, there were numerous high trestles over small streams and the stunning tunnel. The scenery is great, the trail is mostly tree covered. We biked 50 miles of the Tunnel Hill trail over two days. Take the usual repair stuff though, help can be a long ways away. The "real" climb, however, starts about 4 miles south of the tunnel and is reasonably persistent: you can get up a good head of speed going back south downhill. A good turkey sandwich was obtained at the little store in Karnak and a Popsicle was obtained at the store in Stonefort across from the depot. There are additional trailheads where day trips can be started and stopped. The trail surface was fine for my hybrid bike. At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors. No description for Tunnel Hill trail has been added yet! There are great lengths of trail in the deep shade and they were noticeably cooler after coming out of the sunlit portions. While this is a kind gesture, it holds its own dangers. The trail continues on a trails spur for 2.5 miles from Karnak to Cache River State Natural Area - Henry Barkhausen Wetlands Center on the old Chicago and Eastern Illinois railroad bed. The ride was a bit rough. Discover trails like Tunnel Hill State Trail Illinois, find information like trail length, elevation, difficulty, activities, and nearby businesses. Riding through the tunnel was eerie. My girlfriend and I rode the whole trail, both directions, in one day. Your donation will help us to continue connecting more people to trails around the country. At Belknap, there is a small on trail facility with restrooms and water.My favorite section of the trail is between Vienna and Tunnel Hill. After 6 miles, you arrive in the town of New Burnside. By the time I reached the tunnel (23.5 m.) my legs were feeling the 2% incline. I thought there would be more riders, but on the 18th (a Sunday) we rode from Harrisburg to the tunnel and halfway back and met less than 15 bikers/runners. A number of years ago I spent several months in the area. Lunch at the Vienna diner was delicious and the overall ride was delightful. your own Pins on Pinterest Turn right on US 45/N Commercial Street and head south for just 0.1 mile. From Karnak, a 2.5 mile spur on the old Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad runs to the new Henry Barkhausen Wetlands Center. Once I reached concrete, it was like ice, so much faster than the stone. My wife and I rode this trail twice (out & back) over a three day period. Our return trip, which seemed downhill all the way, was wonderful except for the 2â copperhead in the middle of the trail. Tunnel Hill State Trail stretches for 45 miles from Harrisburg to Karnak. Another 4.4 miles takes you along a flat section along US 45 to Stonefort, whose trailhead includes a well-restored railroad depot. Most definitely worth the 2 hour drive from St Louis. Discover trails like Tunnel Hill Trail Virginia, find information like trail length, elevation, difficulty, activities, and nearby businesses. 5220027052 (part of way Tunnel Hill State Trail (539462489)) ... OpenStreetMap is a map of the world, created by people like you and free to use under an open license. Karnak is situated at the southern end of Tunnel Hill Trail (about 2.5 miles north of the Barkhausen Wetlands Center.) The remaining 543-foot tunnel is pitch-black inside, so be sure to carry a flashlight or bike light so you don’t scrape the wall or run into another visitor. Smell great. View Location View Map. Big mistake in the tunnel. Tunnel Hill State Trail stretches for over 50 miles from Harrisburg to Karnak. This ride was my first 25 miler. But it really didn't matter cause the trail is so nice. A section of the tunnel collapsed in 1929. It is easy to see why people love and care for this trail the way they do. All you can see once you are in is the light at the end of the tunnel, literally! Thanks to Randy Meyer for pointing out the huntleyâunionâmarengo trail which I found and traced from aerial photos. Tunnel Hill Tunnel Hill is an unincorporated community in northwestern Johnson County, Illinois.It is best known for its namesake railroad tunnel that gives the name to the Tunnel Hill State Trail, a rails-to-trails project developed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. I spent some time at the pointy end of Illinois recently, and this presented an opportunity to explore the Tunnel Hill State Trail.. Tunnel Hill State Trail is a day-use trail, offering drinking water, privy toilets and parking at the access areas. There is virtually no debris on the trail. We very much enjoyed the trail and thought it was well worth the 3-hour one-way drive. The section from Stonefort south to the wetlands center is probably the prettiest but the portion from Stonefort to Harrisburg is also scenic. Continue on State Route 13 east for 24.2 miles. Over my two days on the trail I saw about a dozen deer, two turkeys, a rabbit and a zillion squirrels. You can then turn around and zoom back to Vienna. We were there during a heatwave with temps in the mid-90's. For a wonderful way to see the beauty of Southern Illinois, embark on a trip along the Tunnel Hill State Trail. If the trail is wet it really hard packs well and you can really move back to Vienna. I changed her tires to 28mm sizing, to ensure her enjoyment. The trail begins at the back of the lot. The water fountains in New Burnside and Stonefort are out of order!! Tunnel Hill State Trail Trail-Heads. Trail Maps Resources Contact Book Now Tunnel Hill Trail, Vienna, IL. The next 6.7-mile stretch remains within sight of US 45 most of the way to Carrier Mills. The trail has a lot to offer and is well-maintained. All in all, a great trail! Course: 100 miles â Course begins at the City Park in Vienna, make a celebratory loop around the parking lot, and heads south on the Tunnel Hill State Trail, to the Wetlands Center at 13.25miles, where it turns back north to run 25 miles to the northern turnaround, â¦ Also note that riding through the tunnel can be very disorienting. Full trail is 110 miles plus the two I road to the trail head. Tunnel was shorter than I expected---light not needed. I stayed at the Limited Inn in Vienna. To reach the Eldorado High School trailhead: From I-64, take Exit 110 and head south on US 45 toward Norris City. The first sections of trail opened in 1998. Took the family of five (3 kids ages 6-12) and had a great experience! Learn More Start Mapping In 3 miles, you’ll probably notice the grade steepen just outside Bloomfield. About a third of the way in I lost all sense of where the walls were. We love the Shawnee area and we love this trail! The 3/4 mile detour wasn't bad, but some of the traffic wasn't bicyle friendly. Very clean establishment! More info http://locojoe.com. I drove to a bike shop in Carbondale and purchased a new tire. The section from Vienna to the tunnel seemed to have the most use and was also in the best shape. Bike Tunnel Hill is a cause by Hiking with Shawn that is dedicated to the promotion of the Tunnel Hill State Trail in beautiful and scenic southern Illinois. We rode the entire trail over a two day period, camping by a lake in the Shawnee National Forest. The best part of the trail is the 9.3 miles between Vienna and Tunnel Hill. It looks intriguing, but I had leftovers waiting in the motel fridge and missed that opportunity. A number of years ago I spent several months in the area. We continued toward New Burnside where the trail terrain completed changed. I GPSed the MetroBikeLink Extension. Trail map of the Tunnel Hill State Trail from Barkhausen-Cache River Wetlands Center at IL 37 (Cypress) to Eldorado High School athletic fields at N. Main St. (Eldorado). From the trailhead on the north side of town, it’s another 8.2 miles to the endpoint in Eldorado. It is also the only settlement of any size on the southern half. There are plenty of bluffs, ravines, and water to keep a photographer busy. Immediately heading north, we crossed a historic small span, steel sided bridge (one of many) which set the historic RR tone for the entire ride. Riding in the tunnel was freaky!! The only exception to this I found going into the Nature Center at Karnak. Wooden trestles, with their system of slanted supports and horizontal cross pieces, spanned numerous bluffs and creeks. Thanks to Jason Collier for several tracks. find trail maps, reviews, photos & driving directions on traillink.com I was a little concerned about how I would do on my road bike and 25mm tires, but the trail was in excellent condition. I'll be hitting this trail again soon. We sighted a cougar on the trail!!! For those considering this, the crushed stone surface doesn't roll as easily as pavement, so it takes a bit more effort. The trail has 45 miles of rail-trail open, through beautiful hardwood forest, and is awaiting your visit.". A lot of the south end is shaded woods, with the usual downstate IL mix of steep-sided, creek-bottom ravines-- including a few that are surprisingly deep-- and poison ivy. Felt pretty stupid, but quite an unusual experience. I hate that I did not take time to checkout the "ghost town" mentioned in the guidebook. In Karnak, where a trailside campground opened in 2016, the Tunnel Hill State Trail bears left and picks up the railroad corridor. I rode here yesterday (6/28/16) for my second Rails-to-Trails ride and my FIRST ever Tunnel ride. I don't recommend narrow racing tires because of the loose rock in spots, but mostly the trail is hard packed crushed rock and is very enjoyable to ride on. I will give myself at least 3 days on the trail to fully enjoy it next time, especially the southern end. Keith Kibler", "I rode the lower 2/3 of the trail in May 2005 and found it to be quintessential Southern Illinois. Nothing much to see after that point. Several nice little cafes and a grocery store are within 2 blocks. Discover (and save!) The high point is the tunnel-- literally and figuratively. I submitted pictures, refer to the tunnel images with & without light...