The Grand Illinois Trail (GIT) was first conceived in the mid-1990s. Knowing that northern Illinois had a rich network of off-road bicycle trails, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources proposed the creation of a “Grand Illinois Trail”. This suggestion was published in the Illinois State Trails Plan and was overwhelmingly supported by all parties involved: cities and villages, forest preserve and conservation districts, as well as non-profit organizations.
Slowly the off-road trails and on-road routes have fallen into place. Today we are approaching 500 miles of trails and designated road routes stretching from the shores of Lake Michigan to the banks of the Mississippi and back again. You will travel through large metropolitan cities and small rural towns. And at the speed of a bicycle, you’ll meet the real people of Illinois.
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.