The Jane Addams Bike Trail

The Jane Addams Trail (approx 13 miles) is a crushed stone trail, located in northern Illinois (just west of Rockford) with some nice rural scenery, wandering streams and some cool rock wall passes.

A few of the things that I liked about this trail is that it is out in the country and you pretty much have the trail to yourself (at least we did on our fall ride), it is fairly flat and easy, I liked the scenery and where the trail (originally the railway) cut its way through the rocky hills and that it connects to the Badger State Trail at the Wisconsin border (making it another "interstate" bike trail).

Jane Addams Trail Bridge
A bridge just north of the southern end of the trail (near Freeport)
Jane Addams trail Sign
The Jane Addams sign and pavilion at Orangeville
Jane Addams trail Rock Wall
One of the impressive rock wall passes along the trail

There is a lot of history with Jane Addams and Cedarville (where she was born) too, if you want to check that out (a large section of interstate 90 is also named after Jane Addams). Jane Addams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 and has numerous accomplishments (Wikipedia can give you all the info on that). You could take a little side trip to Cedarville from the bike trail but I can't say what the roads are like since we did not do that part of the trip.

I rode this trail, with a friend of mine, in October and we continued on to the Badger State Trail into Wisconsin for a quite a few miles too. I took photos of the Jane Addams Trail and also the Badger State Trail (on the same trip) but I'm going to stick with the Jane Addams Trail here and write up the Badger State Trail separately.

I think that the photos on these pages provide a little different look from some of the other photos of the trail that I have seen online since the photos here were taken in October. You can tell that it is a popular place for snowmobiles in the winter.

Probably the biggest disadvantage of this trail (for me anyway) is that it is takes a little while to get there from Chicago and/or the suburbs (it is west of Rockford, Il) but if you are planning a long ride, the combination of the Jane Addams Trail and the Badger State Trail can provide quite a long, scenic and enjoyable ride.

Note: If you do the combination ride with the Badger State Trail (into Wisconsin), keep in mind that Wisconsin has a bike trail fee. There is some kind of cash box where you can pay this fee (daily or yearly) when you get on if you don't already have a yearly pass.

If you don’t like crowded trails, then this is a great trail for you! We did not see a single other person on the trail for about 8 or 9 miles and then we only saw a few other riders, walkers and joggers total.

Here's a photo of the bike trail map that was posted at just north of the southern end of the trail (by the bridge photo above).

Jane Addams Bike Trail MAP
(click to enlarge)


Here's the photo tour of the Jane Addams Bike trail from October, 2010.

The Jane Addams Trail Photos 1 - From Freeport Heading North
The Jane Addams Trail Photos 2 - To The Wisconsin Border

Enjoy your ride...