Ride the beautiful bike trails of Illinois, from Chicago’s Lakefront to the Mississippi River.
The Chicago Lakefront shoreline bike path runs for 18 miles along Lake Michigan past beaches and through parks, with Chicago’s spectacular skyline as your backdrop. It’s a beautiful ride, and you can stop off at some of Chicago’s finest attractions along the way, including Lincoln Park Zoo, the Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry.
The 606 is an urban trail along an abandoned rail line. It runs for 2.7 miles between Ashland and Ridgeway with access points every quarter-mile. An elevated park with public artwork, the 606 is Chicago’s answer to New York’s High Line.
Big Marsh Bike Park opened in October 2016. A former industrial waste dump transformed into a bike park, Big Marsh has 278 acres of family-friendly bike trails and mountain biking tracks just 20 minutes from the Chicago Loop on the southeast side of Chicago.
If you prefer your routes dotted with giant hotdogs and other strange attractions, this is the trail for you. Explore all the nostalgia of the iconic Mother Road with the Illinois Route 66 Trail. This 369-mile bike trail mirrors the signed Route 66, with quiet rural roads, city streets and 50+ miles of off-road trail. Begin pedaling at Chicago’s Art Institute, then travel south-westward toward the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge in Collinsville, soaking up all the classic Americana along the way.
The Vadalabene Bike Trail runs along an old railway from Alton to Pere Marquette State Park, and follows the Illinois River to its meeting with the Mississippi River. The stretch along the Great River Road is particularly dramatic with forests, limestone bluffs and the majestic Mississippi. You may even see bald eagles. Make time to explore Alton and the historic town of Elsah.
Created in the 1990’s to connect the vast network of northern Illinois bicycle trails, this grand route is the longest – and most diverse – continuous trail in the state. Winding more than 500 miles between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River, cycle around everything from historic canals and unglaciated hills to iconic Chicago neighborhoods.
Bike alongside one of America’s mightiest rivers. From the headwaters of Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico, this 10-state bicycle trail offers an ideal tour along the western border of Illinois, filled with rich history and stunning views. Check out the home of President Ulysses S. Grant, visit the site of the pre-Columbian settlement of Cahokia at Cahokia Mounds and take in the natural sights along the river.
America’s only coast-to-coast biking trail, the American Discovery Trail offers 6,800 miles of trail covering 15 states. One of only two states to be crossed twice by the trail, cyclists are free to choose between two distinct experiences. The northern route offers a trip through Chicagoland, with mostly flat trails and wide open spaces to soak in the Midwest, while the southern route boasts a breathtaking trip through the Shawnee National Forest.
Also known as the TransAmerica Bike Route, Route 76 is one of two original cross-country U.S. bicycle routes. This Midwest to East Coast trail runs from Missouri to Virginia, intersecting Illinois favorite the Tunnel Hill State Trail in the Shawnee National forest.