Grand Illinois Trail

The Grand Illinois Trail is nearly 500-miles of trails and designated-roads for hiking and biking in northern Illinois. First conceived in the mid-1990s, the Grand Illinois Trail is today a network of locally-managed trails which create a route for long-distance recreation.

The Grand Illinois Trail stretches from Lake Michigan to the banks of the Mississippi and back again, offering a intimate way to experience the natural landscapes and local communities of the Prairie State. It includes the I&M Canal State Trail, the Old Plank Road Trail, and the Illinois Prairie Path, which was the nation’s first rails-to-trails conversion.

Openlands’ recommended route of the Grand Illinois Trail is designed for bikers who are new to long distance rides. Before hitting the trail, be advised the sections of the route can close unexpectedly due to flooding or maintenance. Plan your locations to overnight before departing. Availability of camping and hospitality vary across the state.

View an interactive (and mobile friendly) map of the Grand Illinois Trail.

A section of the GIT is also a part of the American Discovery Trail and Openlands serves as the state coordinator for the northern Illinois portion of the trail.


For more information, please contact GIT@openlands.org.