There is a little store open at New Burnside just south of the tunnel. A beautiful, scenic, peaceful ride. Users often report seeing deer and turkeys along the length of the trail. It is also the only settlement of any size on the southern half. It was a gradual easy climb to the tunnel. I was on the trail 4/01 and it goes all the way to Vienna and will soon be open further south. Much of the ride is through a forest. I'll be hitting this trail again soon. A great 20-mile ride. I'm sure those who live within an hour or so enjoy using this this trail, but it really wasn't worth the 3 hours I drove to get there. Note that not all trail-heads provide water and/or restroom capabilities. Stayed at the Main Brothers camp ground in Karnak, IL which is about 2 miles from the official trail head. There is trail access, parking and a museum in Vienna (say VIE-anna), Illinois off route 146 west of Interstate 24. Rabbits, numerous box turtles, and one very long snake crossed the route. We really enjoyed the trail and scenery but the best part was the family at the Morris Acres B&B. I rode this trail end-to-end in 2005, and this was my first return visit for a ride on the northern half from Harrisburg through the tunnel and back, a total of 49.6 miles. ", "From farmlands to forest to rocky hills and finally to the Cache River swamp & wetlands. Box 671, Vienna, IL 62995, or phone (618) 658-2168. There is trail access, parking and a museum in Vienna (say VIE-anna), Illinois off route 146 west of Interstate 24. After 6 miles, you arrive in the town of New Burnside. 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. Works great Bridges and tunnel are awesome and so is the scenery. Turn right on US 45/N Commercial Street and head south for just 0.1 mile. At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors. Loved the apartment and our hosts. More importantly for the novice rider, the trail has a gentle downward slope into Vienna which makes for an easy ride of about nine and a half miles. Trail Maps Resources Contact Book Now Tunnel Hill Trail, Vienna, IL. My wife and I were returning from a biking trip on Wisconsin Rail Trails and decided to stop in Vienna to do the Tunnel Hill Trail. It looks like your browser does not have JavaScript enabled. The trail was constructed along an abandoned railroad right-of-way and travels through wide open farmland, through thickly forested areas and over lush wetlands. If there's a better cycling trail in IL, I haven't yet seen it. It can be ridden in the 20 mph range if you can spin that fast. Big Boys isn't in the Yellow Pages, so you'll have to ask for directions.Steve Lange". It rained but not enough to soften the trail. I had read about the trail in the RTC magazine. It took 10 hours in bumper to bumper traffic to get home! Passengers in Pullman cars clocked the miles with these and other landmarks as they traveled one of southern Illinois' most scenic routes. The roadway is packed very smooth and has no chuck holes. I was hoping to find a shop that would have a Tunnel Hill State Trail t-shirt, but no luck. And Eldorado was a joyful find! Thank goodness for the small town stops with water so I could reload and refresh my water bladder. See you there. 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). After that the stone was still smooth but just a little bit softer packed. I really enjoyed riding Tunnel Hill Trail. Finished the 50 m. in about 3:30. As an “overland” alternative to walking a half mile through the Paw Paw Tunnel, the Tunnel Hill Trail offers a walk through history and outstanding views of the Potomac River and tunnel gorge.. of rain in the last week and the trail going south from Vienna is currently (05/03/2011) roped off so I imagine there is considerable water damage. The shallow water of Collins Stream at the Tunnel Gully Recreation Area is ideal for paddling and swimming for young children. Also, while there is a pronounced climb to the tunnel, the last two miles of the way from Tunnel Hill into New Burnside, to us, seemed even more pronounced. Vienns has a nice trailhead in a park with a rail museum too. There are additional trailheads where day trips can be started and stopped. The darkness is disorienting even though you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Also, a good light is advised for the tunnel, my "Spock" was worthless. A flash light would not be a bad idea. There is a mix of sun and shade, an interesting rock cut to ride through, and the tunnel is short enough that a light is not strictly necessary. Father's day weekend we parked at the Wetlands Center, very nice center and extremely helpful staff. The trail from Karnak to the Henry Barkhausen Nature Center is always open but access to and from the parking lot to Route 37 is closed with a gate when the center is closed. Tunnel Hill State Trail is by far the best trail I've ridden in Illinois. Trail south of Vienna is flat and little traveled, I just met one couple in 12 miles. The washboard effect could be noticed from Karnak to the wetland center head to the center. Menu & Reservations Make Reservations . It was pretty good for bologna. Rolling agricultural fields, reclaimed strip mines, ravines, rocky streams and wooded bluffs dominate the northern half of the Tunnel Hill State Trail. The tunnel wasn't that impressive when compared to the many significant tunnels on trails around the country. It's the old post office and depot. Although you can clearly see the end of the tunnel, you can't judge your distance from the walls. 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. A section of the tunnel collapsed in 1929. And our hostess at the Country Schemes B&B in Vienna was most delightful. Update your records! There is a large variety of wildlife to view, especially deer and butterflies. The trail was very well maintained. The Vienna trailhead, a town park, is reasonably large for a rural IL town. 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. There are mile markers along the entire trail. Tunnel Hill State Trail 302 E Vine St Vienna IL 62995. It's located in West Virginia, United States.In order to claim this cache you need to count the number of steps on both ends of the Paw Paw Tunnel. The route of the trail spans from Eldorado to Highway 37, between Cypress and New Grand Chain. I would urge anyone without a light to walk their bike through the darkest part of the tunnel. While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts. It would a beautiful trail in the fall and we plan to go back. Beautiful scenery Check or FAQs for more common login questions. For more information about the trail, contact the site superintendent at Tunnel Hill State Trail, P.O. This is a nicely compacted trail without grass which you see on other trails with similar history. This tunnel was originally for the railroad. A trailside park in Vienna, 10.5 miles past Karnak, is a good stop, and cafés and groceries are available in town. My wife and I took the trail from Vienna IL. Aside from the many birds the only wildlife I saw that day were two small snakes and a turtle. Steel trestle on the Tunnel Hill State Trail (originally Cairo and Vincennes Railroad) over a branch of Little Cache Creek, southwest of Tunnel Hill Location Johnson County, Illinois Status Open to pedestrians and bicyclists only Railroad - Cairo & Vincennes Railroad (CAVI) Design Deck plate girder Dimensions Total length: 450.0 ft. On average it takes 1 minutes to complete this trail. You can take a shaded break and get a cold drink, snacks and ICE CREAM from the store on the honor system. I've ridden the entire trail with 28mm tires on a road bike with no problems.Amenities: There are numerous places to eat in Harrisburg and Vienna but that is about it. There were a couple spots that had recently been maintenanced and the rock there was a bit loose, but it was nice to see the trail given a good amount of attention. I live in Evansville IN and have been over to this trail 4 times. Look for bathrooms instead on the opposite (west) side of the park from the trail, on a slight rise above a picnic pavilion. Lots of wildlife along the way,, Deer, Turkey, Squirrels and a SNAKE !! I rode this trail on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 8 & 9th beginning the wetlands center in Cypress. DO NOT WEAR SUNGLASSES IN THE TUNNEL. We rode this trail late May and split it up into 2 days. This trail, perfect for biking or hiking, covers 45 picturesque miles. Also, I read in one of the reviews that restrooms and water are available in Belknap. Previously an unused railroad corridor, this "rail-trail" is now a great place to walk Fido in Cypress! The trail is composed of crushed limestone, which is in good shape for most of the trail. Trail was in great condition with packed fine rock. 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. Just a caution the tunnel can be a little confusing. Continue on State Route 13 east for 24.2 miles. Experienced riders could use smaller tires with a little sacrifice in comfort. Stopped in Stonefort on the way up and ate lunch at "Bucketheads", a must stop. 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. The Tunnel Hill State Trail is a former rail road system tuned rail trail consisting of over 40 miles in length. Go 21.4 miles, and turn right to remain on US 45. When you hit the tunnel don't be fooled, that's a fairly long tunnel and about 1/3 of the way in you're in the dark! Being a rails trail, it is pretty much flat. Nothing much to see after that point. This was our first time on the trail. The Harrisburg to New Burnside leg of this trail is pretty flat and not that scenic, but the rest of the trail is great. Highlights were the tunnel and the high trestle bridge just south of the tunnel. The trail is well maintained with packed crushed limestone. The trail is now complete and stretches 44.5 miles from Harrisburg to Karnak, with 2.5 m… Today, the railroad is gone. The next day I rode from Harrisburg back to Stonefort. I started in Harrisburg and was making good time until almost to Tunnel Hill when I got a flat. If one plans to go through the tunnel, they should take some kind of light source, whether it be a flashlight or headlight. In Vienna, stay at the Limited and go to dinner at the pub on the NW side of town called Big Boys for a steak, beer & great service. There were mile markers all along the way and dedicated rest stops built just for the trail! If you ask, the ranger will tell you about some of the local forests, including a couple of "Illinois champion trees" in nearby bogs. Don’t miss this ride!!!! Enjoyable scenery with the trestles and tunnel. Next time I'm going to start at the southern end and turn around at Stoneboro. When you have eliminated the JavaScript , whatever remains must be an empty page. I think we may take another trip and see what we missed. Despite getting drenched a few times, we thoroughly enjoyed biking the leg of Tunnel Hill from Vienna to New Burnside and back. When you get to the tunnel you can feel the cool air and it feels great on a hot day. Tunnel hill has great views, fun bridges and cool tunnels. Small town America. As an “overland” alternative to walking a half mile through the Paw Paw Tunnel, the Tunnel Hill Trail offers a walk through history and outstanding views of the Potomac River and tunnel gorge.. Good picnic area also.Trail climbs from here to the tunnel and descends all the way to Harrisburg. Two interesting things of note was the final resting place of an old International Harvester combine and an old barn with its original large stone foundation. The bridges and wooded area you ride through are an added bonus. With 47.8 miles (one-way) of crushed gravel surface, extended inclines and dark tunnels, this trail is a difficult one, but one not to pass up, as long as you’re up for the challenge. Illinois 146 is a heavily traveled (7700 vehicles a day) 26 feet wide 2 lane road and is the only access point to the trail in Vienna. There are plenty of bluffs, ravines, and water to keep a photographer busy. At the wetlands center you can get a tunnel hill patch for $4. I stayed at the Limited Inn in Vienna. Lots of wildlife to see. We have ridden many trails in many states and I must say this is one of the top 5. The scenery was full of trees, creeks, rock cliffs, and bridges to keep things interesting. The town folk were very friendly and went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable. I spent some time at the pointy end of Illinois recently, and this presented an opportunity to explore the Tunnel Hill State Trail.. We rode roundtrip from Tunnel Hill trailhead at mile marker 214.5 riding south 9.4 miles to Vienna. Not dangerous, but weird. 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. My 700x32's rode well @ their max of 80 PSI. The 23 picturesque trestles along the completed sections of Tunnel Hill State Trail feature decking and side rails, which entice trail users to stop. After viewing the eclipse I rode back in the heat. Thanks to Jason Collier for several tracks. Be sure to see Heron Pond, though you'll want to creap up on it so as to not scare them off. Thanks to Randy Meyer for pointing out the huntley–union–marengo trail which I found and traced from aerial photos. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip. But,,, once inside it goes to pitch black and you lose your bearings from side to side. 37.524943-88.838217 13 satellite. 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