Bike ShawneeShawnee National Forest & Southern Illinois Bicycling Information
Gravel Biking Routes
Gravel Biking can pretty much be accomplished all over southern Illinois and around the Shawnee National Forest. However, we figured we’d list some of the more popular gravel biking areas around the region in case you wanted to ride more of those!
Bowman Bottoms Road: To ride this route, you could park at the Tunnel Hill village trail head for the rail-trail. Then ride across the highway onto the gravel road going up and continue to Bowman Bottoms, go left and ride it to Dutchman Lake Road. You can add on some extra mile out and back to Fishing Hole Lane which takes you to the lake. A lot of gravel and a lot of hills on this route. Out and back, you’re looking at about 12-miles.
Raum Road: 12-miles of gravel cycling with plenty of hills going up and down and up and down. Some of the best Shawnee National Forest can be found on this rural Pope County road.
FSR-1912/FSR-1901: This 4-mile route is close to Hicks Dome south of Garden of the Gods and offers a nice secluded gravel experience through the middle of the Shawnee National Forest
FSR – Forest Service Roads: Check out this Forest Service Road map. Any forest service road that is open to motor vehicles is open to bicycles to. That is the law. A bicycle in the State of Illinois is identified as a legal vehicle, period. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, they’re wrong.
Levee Roads: Most Levee Roads on the west side are open to public motor vehicle use and therefore open to bicycles. These roads are usually always gravel or dirt and can make for excellent gravel cycling routes.
Pine Hills: The Pine Hills area near Snake Road is a popular gravel riding area. You can even ride on Snake Road when the road isn’t closed. However, when the road is closed for wildlife migration – cycling on the road is ILLEGAL. Upper Pine Hills is a very challenging but favored gravel route as well.
Forest Service Roads: Here is a map to the West Side FSRs. Any forest service road that is open to motor vehicles is also open to bicycles.
Check out this website for awesome Illinois gravel routes!
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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!