The trail is mostly wide singletrack, with a decent proportion of tighter, narrower singletrack and a just a little doubletrack mixed in. It consists of 4 sections (very) roughly a mile each -- 1 older network-style section (Section 1) and 3 loops (Sections 2-4). The trail is 95% in the woods with just a couple of spots where it peeks out into grassy areas. Almost all of the area where the trail was built is on or near the floodplain of Mauvaiseterre Creek and one of its tributaries. The trail is therefore very flat except for a few areas on the older section and a series of short, steep climbs onto and drops down from an embankment on one of the loops. A few wooden obstacles and log piles are interspersed throughout the trail system; all of these have clear alternate routes around them.
Summary: All of the trails are very nice. They are nicely maintained, and very enjoyable whenever they are dry. If it does rain (depends on how much) will determine how "slick" the trails will be. I myself, have ridden all 5 trails after a nice, gently rain, and they were reasonable. There has been times where it has rained heavy enough, to have some standing water in a few spots. All in all, the trails are nice because you are able to get a bit or two of everything, which is what I like the most (variaty).
Summary: Trail 1, is the oldest section which has been there longer than ive been alive. it is called the WILDLIFE SANCTUARY. It is about 1.25 miles in length.It was the original bird watchers trail. Trail 2,now named CONDOR, is 1.1 miles in length.It is fairly new,which consists of flat single track with a few log piles,a wooden elevated 30 foot long ride,and a balance beam. Trail 3,now named EAGLE, is currently 1.5 miles in length with more to be developed this spring.It consists of flat single track with log piles,wooden stunts,a small log teeter tooter,a rolling hilly section called the ROLLER COASTER and a couple little bridges crossing a little creek. Trail 4, now named RAVEN, is 2.25 miles in length. It is flat single track with lots of twisting turns,log piles,a 3ft teeter tooter,a long tree balance beam with built ramps on both ends,and a wooden up and over ramp crossing over a tree. Trail 5, now named RAPTOR, is .65 miles in length whitch is mostly flat single track with a good off camber up hill section.
Summary: Great use of the available space and terrain by the trail designers/builders. Well worth the trip out for anyone in the Jacksonville area.
Trail 1 is the southernmost of the trails. It uses some wide trails that have been in existence since at least 20 years ago when I was a kid. It also features a section along the shore of Lake Mauvaiseterre backwaters and a number of intertwining short sections of singletrack, some new and some pretty old. Some is fast and straight, some is twistier. There are just a couple of short hills on Trail 1. There is an apparently homemade "Foot Traffic Only" sign at the Woods Ln. entrance to Trail 1 but no such notice at the Vandalia Rd. entrance, so I'm not clear whether or not bikes are allowed; perhaps one of the trailbuilders or a regular user of the trails can clarify. It does appear to receive some bike traffic.
Trail 2 is on a triangular piece of land on the west side of Woods Lane bordered by Mauvaiseterre Creek and one of its tributaries. It consists of an inner loop and an outer loop that have been joined together to make a single longer loop. Most of this is fast, wide singletrack.
Trail 3 is on the west side of Woods Lane north of Mauvaiseterre Creek. It is a long, skinny loop with a few places to cross from one side of the loop to the other. The south side of the loop mostly follows the creek. The west end is still quite new and as far as I remember the only section out in a grassy area. The west ~half of Trail 3's north side parallels Country Club Road. It has a main route in the creek bottom and an alternate route that makes a few short, steep climbs up onto and drops back down from an embankment; this was probably my favorite part of the entire trail system. Trail 3 features a few log piles and wooden obstacles; my favorites were the "W"-shaped wide plank ride and the short but very solid and smooth-operating teeter-totter.
Trail 4 is a loop on the east side of Woods Lane north of Mauvaiseterre Creek. It is probably the tightest of the 4 trails. The southeast side of the loop mostly follows the creek. It goes all the way out to IL Rte. 104 and then winds back in sight of a field. There are a few obstacles including a ~3 foot high, steep teeter-totter that I attempted about a dozen times with no success. Next time...
Recommended Route: from Jacksonville on bike (recommended - this is no more than ~5 miles evenfrom the other end of town), take Vandalia Rd. east. The wildlife sanctuary is only a mile or so past Nichols Park. Or instead take Country Club Rd. south/east from Morton Ave.; the trails are right where it intersects Woods Ln.
from Jacksonville by car - same options as by bike, or instead take Morton Ave. east to Woods Ln., take a right (south), cross the train tracks and IL Rte. 104, trails are just past Country Club Rd.
from Interstate 72 - Take I-72 Exit 68, go west on Business 72 (Morton Ave.), go left (south) onto Woods Ln., cross the train tracks and IL Rte. 104, trails are just past Country Club Rd.
Riding route: Pick up a map from one of the trail entrances on Woods Ln. The trails are short enough and easy enough to navigate that I would recommend hitting the whole thing one direction, then doing them all the other direction. Then if you feel like it, repeat the entire process.
Most of the area where the trails are built is a creek bottom, so I would guess that they are pretty sloppy during wet times of the year. But yesterday when I rode them with my dad, they were in great shape.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Not much close by. Jim Edgar - Panther Creek State Park is ~25 miles north, though I still haven't gotten out there (I grew up in Jacksonville but now live in Bloomington-Normal).
There are some trails at Lake Springfield; looks like there's a new MTBR listing of those. I haven't been on the Lake Springfield trails in probably 7 or 8 years, so I'll let the reviewers tell you how they are.
A couple hours' drive will land you at Kickapoo State Park (Danville), Garman Park (Decatur), Comlara Park (Normal), Independence Park (Pekin), Dirksen Park (Pekin), Farmdale Reservoir (East Peoria), Jubilee State Park (west of Peoria), or Black Partridge (Metamora; I haven't ridden at BP yet as it's pretty new). A similar drive in the opposite direction will put you in the St. Louis area, which I understand has some good trails.