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Tunnel Hill Rail-to-Trail

Average Rating:    (4.2 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 10

Easy riding on old rail bed from Vienna to Tunnel Hill. Surface is packed, crushed limestone. Several high trestles over deep gorges and beautiful scenery. Trail goes through 500 foot long tunnel. Out and back total miles about 19.
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Latitude
37.40889176297184
Longitude
-88.88832092285156
Trail Directions
Take Exit 16 off I-24, go west on Hwy 146 1 mile to trail head and Visitor's Center
Trail Length
9.3 miles
Trail Level
Beginner
Trail Type
Fire Roads
City/County
Vienna
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
May 31, 2005

Overall Rating
 2 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 2 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

Visitors rate this review
4.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Rider of a Giant ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Someone wrote the most scenic part of the route is from Vienna to Tunnel Hill (the community). That person then said the second most scenic part is from Vienna south and through the swamp area.
There can be little doubt about those observations.
Recently my wife and I rode from Vienna to Harrisburg. Truly it is not as scenic. But the small community of Stonefort deserves a look and to spend some time there.
The old Stonefort railroad depot has been freshly painted. The country store/restaurant is a good place to rest and get a ho-made sandwich or a meal. The store carries a little bit of this and little bit of that.
Be sure to stop at the old Stonefort Jail nestled right against the trail. And have someone take your photo while standing in this 1800's jail.
Carrier Mills is a sad place to stop. You can readily see this was once a thriving community. Sadly, the vacant eyes of the empty storefront-windows stare back as you ride past.
Did a Wal-Mart kill this community? Or was it the closing of the mines and the railroads? Or, maybe it was all three.
Harrisburg is a bustling community of about 9,000 people. It offers plenty of eating and lodging. We stayed at a quaint bed & breakfast called the White Lace B&B.
Yes, the from Tunnel Hill to Harrisburg is not as scenic. It is mostly tree lined and tree covered. Not much to look at as you ride between the communities.
But give it a try, anyway.

Recommended Route:
Take I-24 to Vienna exit.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Rend Lake, Whittington/Sesser area



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Review Date
December 8, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 1 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: Bob Chamberlin ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
This is a great ride; not difficult and some of the best scenery in s. Illinois. Lots of birds. I run about 20 miles every weekend, and early is suggested as the route can get very crowded with families, and not all riders have learned the rules of the road. With the foliage gone, one can see lots of bluffs and caves, but a word a caution- it can be easy and dangerous to get too involved with the beauty around you and end up 50' down hill, or more. Watch where you put the front tire-some of the trail is slick and loose near the edge, and a fat tire recommended. Lots of great old train stuff and trestles. Outstanding!

Recommended Route:
I usually get on in Vienna and go north for about ten miles to the tunnel at Tunnel Hill- the back route is fast as the grade is slight to the south. The ten miles to Karnak from Vienna is also great with the cache river area know for outstanding wildlife.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Cedar Lake



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Review Date
September 16, 2002

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: John Flora , from Carterville, Il

Summary:
The trail is open now from Harrisburg to Karnak and west to the visitors center(it is supposed to be open now. Have not seen that though.) Riding through the tunnel is quiet an experience the first time, a light would be good! South of Bloomfield swampy areas are abundant and snake crossings are very visible on the trail. I have rode the entire trail, but not at one time. October 19th 2002, The Friends of the Cache are organizing a bike ride from Harrisburg to the Visitors center west of Karnak. The fee is $15.00 and you get a tee shirt and girl scouts will supply refreshments at all the stops. This is a great trail to ride and I highly recommend it for families. The bikers are very courteous and follow biking rules well. The trail is clear of garbage and well kept. The trussels have fenced area.

Recommended Route:
The Vienna to Tunnel Hill route is the most sceneic, with the Vienna to Karnak with the swampy area is second.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
There are old country roads in the vicinity that make for harder riding than the trail.



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Review Date
October 7, 2001

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Zac Austin , from Marion Illinois

Summary:
this is a very good trail to go on if you are into scenic stuff and its fairly easy.And if you are a advanced beginner than you should do fine.

Recommended Route:
From vieanna to tunnel hill and back 20 miles



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Review Date
May 16, 2001

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: COrey Tincher , from Marion Illinois

Summary:
This course is good for beginners and people who are out for just a good time. The small gravel makes for a great biking surface for any kind of bike. The gorgous scenery makes this quiet and easy trail well worth the time you spend on it. The park at Vienna makes for a great picnic area, which makes for a great day of family fun. I highly recomend this trail to beginners for a great ride, or advanced riders for a wonderful family day of fun.

Recommended Route:
From Tunnel Hill to Vienna, 9.3 miles

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Any of the local roads in this area make for great riding.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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