Exploring Clinton County, IL, Bike Trails

Spend a day exploring Clinton County, IL, bike trails. Is there anything that reminds you more of childhood than hopping on a bike on a sunny day and exploring? You may have grown up a bit and prefer logging lots of miles. The relatively flat topography of our area of southwestern IL makes biking a joy! Plan a fun getaway, pack your bikes, and enjoy the scenery.

Biking isn’t the only thing to do on a delicious Illinois day! There is fishing, and fairs, and music, too. Some of these rides are along Carlyle Lake, so you get the advantage of sparkling water twinkling at you when you ride and the opportunity for a swim at the end.

Carlyle Lake Bike Trail

The Carlyle Lake Bike Trail area, with marked and well-maintained trails, is excellent for hiking and biking—park at the Carlyle Lake Visitors Center. The relatively flat 10-mile trail makes it easy for all levels and provides some pretty scenery.

You’ll pass through habitats that include lakes, forested areas, agricultural fields, restored prairie, and wetlands. A 1.3-mile section, the Kaskaskie River Walk, located below the Main Dam, follows the river and crosses a pedestrian bridge.

Interpretive displays explain the history of this stretch, once part of the Goshen Trail. Visitors will also cross the General Dean Suspension Bridge, built in 1859 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Carlyle Lake Extended Bike Trail

If you are ready for the challenge, plan a full day of biking the 65-mile Carlyle Lake Extended Bike Trail. On this route, you will circumnavigate the Carlyle Lake entirely! Be aware that much of this route is on county and township roads, so use standard road precautions. Follow your map closely, as there are few markings once you have left the dedicated trail.

Visit Local Wineries by Bicycle

Another fun way to spend a day on your bicycle is to plot a trip to several of our local wineries on Google Maps and pedal your way with a destination in mind. Choose “two-wheels” for your mode of transportation, and if you are leaving from downtown Carlyle, you can make it to Twelve Oaks Vineyard in 18 minutes via IL-127S/12th St and County Road.

If you choose Hidden Lakes Winery as your next destination, plan to arrive by bike in over an hour. This ride on back roads is the best way to enjoy the countryside! Hidden Lakes is an excellent place for lunch. Take some time to explore the Silent Forest before heading back to Carlyle.

You may have exceeded your winery limits, but if you want to visit one more, Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery is just 0.20 miles outside Carlyle, which will break up the ride back! There are game areas and another opportunity to sample wine or have a bite to eat. Wow, this has been a full day.

Plan Your Clinton County Getaway

After a full day of biking, you will want a comfortable place to lay your head! Take your pick—from campgrounds, cabins, lodges, and motels to cozy bed and breakfasts, there is something for every taste. If you need a tasty dinner, a burger is one of the best meals after a day of biking! Bring your bike, fishing gear, and a spirit of fun and adventure and relax in our southwestern IL small-town atmosphere.

Photo Credit: © studioroman via canva.com

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