There is parking access to the trail nearby off of highway 45. The Tunnel Hill Trail is part of a former railroad founded by Civil War General Ambrose Burnside. State Parks & National Forest In this Cruisin’ Illinois web exclusive, we’ll take you for a ride down the Tunnel Hill State Trail. Biking The “rails to trails” movement is where governments take old railroads and make them into hiking or biking trails. A Puppet Parody at the Effingham Performance Center, Tunnel Hill Bike Rental at Sandburn Junction, Eco-Friendly Hotels and Green Getaways in Illinois, Five Champaign Restaurants Perfect for a Romantic Outing, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The Tunnel Hill Trail in southern Illinois is 56 miles in length, mostly through forest or heavily-treed areas. Are you a cyclist, runner, or hiker? The trail runs along the former bed of a part of the Cairo and Vincennes Railroad, a transportation unit led during its early years by Civil War General Ambrose Burnside. The 23 picturesque trestles along the completed sections of Tunnel Hill State Trail feature decking and side rails, which entice trail users to stop. Tunnel Hill State Trail is a day-use trail, offering drinking water, privy toilets and parking at the access areas. The trail continues on a trails spur for 2.5 miles from Karnak to Cache River State Natural Area - Henry Barkhausen Wetlands Center on the old Chicago and Eastern Illinois railroad bed. Visitors will pass 23 trestle bridges (one of which is 450 feet long), a ghost town, a park, and the 543-foot tunnel for which the trail was named. Share 'Tunnel Hill State Trail' Rolling agricultural fields, reclaimed strip mines, ravines, rocky streams and wooded bluffs dominate the northern half of the Tunnel Hill State Trail. Parks Tunnel Hill State Trail stretches for 45 miles from Harrisburg to Karnak. The Tunnel Hill State Trail is free to anyone who wishes … In 1872 Burnside and others began the Vincennes & Cairo Railroad, which connected Vincennes, Indiana and Cariro, Illinois. Several campgrounds, however, are located nearby. © 2020 Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Meditation for Healthy Living: 3 Part Virtual Series, Winter Carnival at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, Roots & Boots at the Effingham Performance Center, Mandela: Struggle for Freedom at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, That Golden Girl Show! Step back in time to the golden age of train travel and settle in for a peaceful ride to discover some of Illinois’ most charming towns and hidden treasures. The trail runs for 45 miles from downtown Harrisburg to Karnak in southern Illinois. Although an experienced cyclist should be able to travel the complete trail in about a day, hikers are advised that the trail does not have camping facilities. With 47.8 miles (one-way) of crushed gravel surface, extended inclines and dark tunnels, this trail is a difficult one, but one not to pass up, as long as you’re up for the challenge. Originally more than 800 feet in length, a portion of the trail's namesake tunnel collapsed in 1929, shortening it by 300 feet. Find out how to get to Illinois by plane, train, bus and driving. Enjoying a fall bike ride at Tunnel Hill State Trail in southern Illinois. 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