By Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
In this version within the renowned sequence, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy offers the simplest of the nice Lakes rail-trails, domestic to the main rail-trails within the nation. With 113 rural, suburban, and concrete trails threading via approximately 2300 miles, Rail-Trails Midwest: nice Lakes covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Many rail-trails are paved and run during the preferred elements of city, comparable to the 61-mile Illinois Prairie direction, which hyperlinks Chicago-area suburbs. Others take you again in time for a glance at nearby heritage, like Ohio's 11-mile Holmes County path. The Midwest has hundreds of thousands of miles of rail hall which were became 360 rail-trails within the nice Lakes on my own. each journey has a close map that comes with begin and finish issues, trailhead, parking, restroom amenities, and different facilities. the various point rail-trails are appropriate for jogging, walking, bicycling, inline skating, wheelchairs, and horses.
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Extra resources for Rail-Trails Midwest Great Lakes. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin
Just north of Chatham, the trail skirts a paved golf cart path as it winds through the manicured greens and fairways of a beautiful golf course. Sharing its corridor with an active rail line, the Interurban Trail is a rail-with-trail that pleasantly balances both form and function. Only a quarter mile beyond the golf course is the true highlight of the Interurban Trail—Lake Springfield. The lake is visible from the Interurban, but don’t be fooled by the terrain. What looks like a small amount of water from ground level is actually a vast, 4,200-acre reservoir that supplies water to residents of Springfield and surrounding areas all year.
Interstate 55 looms ahead and crossing under it brings you to the outskirts of Collinsville. Just when it seems like a more urban environment will prevail, the trail plunges you into wonderful woodlands behind very tidy neighborhoods. It is very quiet through the hardwoods, disguising your proximity to a major interstate. The trees occasionally open to offer glimpses of the open fields that mark the landscape beyond the forest. The town of Maryville almost sneaks by, but you will want to catch the respite offered by Drost Park on the trail’s left.
For this first part of the journey, Horseshoe Lake remains hidden from view to the southeast. But be patient. At mile 4, the lake bursts into view when the trail emerges from a pocket of trees. The lake offers excellent birdwatching. In late summer, the lake’s southern portion is drained, drawing snowy egrets and great blue herons to feast on clams and snails. Just after the lake comes into view, watch for a trail connection on the left. This is the MCT Nature Trail. Take this route if you wish to take an off-shoot trip 11 miles to the town of Edwardsville.