Tunnel Hill Trail
The Tunnel Hill Trail is located in Southern Illinois. There is trail access, parking and a museum in Vienna (say VIE-anna), Illinois off route 146 west of Interstate 24. A number of years ago I spent several months in the area. I really enjoyed riding Tunnel Hill Trail. This tunnel was originally for the railroad. The tunnel is 543 feet long. It is all up hill from Vienna to the tunnel. The grade is modest since it was a railbed. Most of my riding on the trail was with a mountain bike. I did return and ride my road bike on the trail. The surface is crushed limestone. You should be okay with typical road bike tires.
The visitor center has restrooms and water. Be sure to take plenty of water with you. There is no water except in a few of the small towns. I made a lot of trips from Vienna to the tunnel. At times I saw many Whitetail deer, a bobcat, a skunk and an assortment of squirrels and birds.
View Larger Map You can ride on the trail north and east to Harrisburg, Illinois. Between Vienna and Tunnel Hill you will cross on bridges where the original trestles were at the tree tops. Some people think Illinois is flat with corn fields. This part of Southern Illinois will break that stereotype. U.S. Bike Route 76 crosses the trail north of Vienna. In this area you can certainly be on back roads.
Here is a link to download a map of the trail in "PDF" format. Map - Tunnel Hill TrailYou map also find the Illinois DOT bike map for Johnson County useful: Map - Johnson County
The access at Tunnel Hill, IL shown in the photo below has parking, water and toilets.
Links of Interest