Tunnel Hill State Trail is a sprawling trail spanning nearly fifty miles located in Vienna, Illinois, a city in the beautiful southern half of the state. The trail is long and winds through quiet forests, over trestle bridges, and beneath railroad tunnels. It is a fantastic location to explore with a canine companion, as it not only provides a calm and scenic setting for a walk, but also offers an expansive amount of trail to enjoy.
Tunnel Hill State Trail is a point-to-point trail that rests between Barkhausen-Cache River Wetlands Center and Eldorado High School Athletic Fields. It is a rail-trail, meaning it was previously used as a railroad (the Cairo and Vincennes Railroad, to be exact) and has been converted into a concrete and crushed-stone trail for public use.
If you choose to begin at the Wetlands Center, you will find the first twenty miles or so to have a slight uphill grade until you reach the first tunnel. You’ll also encounter the natural beauty of the area — the trail is surrounded by large trees, and you might catch a glimpse of the various birds and other wildlife that populate the forest. The trail also connects to a number of small towns and villages and has interspersed restrooms and water fountains, so you can rest assured you’ll have access to the amenities you need to enjoy your hike.
As with any trail, be sure to clean up after your furry friend; there are no bags provided on the trail, so be sure to bring some along. Also, be courteous to other trail users and note that dogs are required to remain on their leashes at all times.
Tunnell Hill State Trail is one of the greatest trails in Illinois, and if you and Fido decide to visit it, you will find out why!