Bike trail tunnels through Shawnee Hills

25 miles from Carbondale, you’ll discover one of the region’s most colorful bike trails.  And it’s a great and safe place for families to enjoy the beauty of the Shawnee National Forest, without having to worry about the hazard of cars or trucks.

In this Cruisin’ Illinois web exclusive, we’ll take you for a ride down the Tunnel Hill State Trail.  See how you can rent bikes and coast down the bike trail, which is set at a comfortable 2% downgrade.

Built on an old railroad bed, Tunnel Hill stretches 45 miles from Harrisburg to Karnak.  It snakes through a corridor of 100-year-old trees, sandstone bluffs and verdant wetlands .

For most everyone, the highlight is the midway point where cyclists encounter the dark passageway known as Tunnel Hill.  Bored out of the Shawnee Hills limestone, the former railroad tunnel stretches nearly two football fields long.

While passing through the, the only light you might see – literally – is the light at the end of the tunnel .  For a few seconds, as you go deep inside, it’s so dark that you can’t even see your hand in front of your face!  But strangely, you never lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s a weird optical illusion that little ones love.

Join WGN’s Julian Crews as he takes you off the beaten bike path in this Cruisin Illinois web exclusive.

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