Bike Shawnee

Shawnee National Forest & Southern Illinois Bicycling Information

Bike Paths


On this page, you will find bike paths that are easier than mountain biking trails but safer than road or gravel riding. The paths listed on this page are for bicycles and walking/hiking only. 

Horseshoe Lake Bike Path: This 6-mile loop trail is listed as easy but I would make it moderately difficult because of its conditions. Many parts of the trail are eroding and while park staff do their best to maintain it, it is obvious the state isn’t trying to improve it. But it is still worth checking out as long as you use a bike with stronger tires like a mountain bike. The gravel portion of it is very beautiful and scenic with view of Horseshoe Lake, the only natural lake in southern Illinois. I recommend visiting in fall/winter months.

Carbondale Bicycle Infrastructure: The City of Carbondale has miles and miles of cycling paths, lanes and greenways. For those wanting to ride in the city, this city has the best A Grade for southern Illinois cycling infrastructure.

Rend Lake Bike Trail: Rend Lake has over 20-miles of mostly concrete or paved bike trail. This is a great trail and some of it is hilly. There is plenty of access to the lake as well as the beach right from this trail.

Tunnel Hill State Trail: This trail starts from Karnak, Illinois and ends in Harrisburg, Illinois with over 45-miles of rail-trail (former railway converted into a bike/walk trail). Most of the trail is crushed limestone with paved portions in Harrisburg. This trail features numerous trestles and a tunnel that you go through that is over 300′ in length.

George Rogers Clark Discovery Trail: This trail is a short 4-mile trail from Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis, Illinois to Brookport, Illinois. This is also a rail-trail. As of 8/16/21, a bridge is out with a closure on part of the trail that goes over Massac Creek in the state park portion. The bridge is being repaired at this time and should be open soon.

Eldorado Bike Path: This short series of non-rail trail is mainly concrete with some gravel. Cycling and walking is allowed on this trail.

Glen O. Jones Lake Bike Trail: This 5-mile trail starts at Glen O Jones Lake and ends at Equality, Illinois. There is a little bit to see including a ghost town and some scenic creeks/Saline River but most of it runs through agriculture.


If you know of a road, gravel road, designated mountain bike trail or bike path that isn’t listed on our site, contact us and we will make an effort to get it listed soon!

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