For a biking adventure in Southern Illinois, visit the Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail, and stay with one of the Illinois Bed and Breakfast Association members for lodging while on this bicycling excursion. This unique cycling rail-trail's endpoints are in Pere Marquette State Park and at the town of Alton, IL on the Mississippi River. The trail follows the Illinois River on the Great River Road.
The Sam Vadalebene Bike Trail affords travelers the opportunity to see the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway. Scenery includes expansive water views and steep bluffs. Riders will have the opportunity to stop for a rest to shop and eat, in the historic town of Elsah, the active city of Grafton, and Alton, which is one of the end points. Along the way, travelers will see the Piasa Harbor and pass through Piasa Park. A stunning point of interest is a limestone bluff containing a 48-by-22 foot reproduction of a Native American petroglyph mural of the Piasa Bird, described as a fierce and warrior-killing dragon.
The trail provides seasonal variations riders won't want to miss. Spring is marked by flowering trees, vibrant fall colors permeate the scenery in the fall, and Bald Eagle sightings are possible during the winter. Other wildlife sightings may include turtles, heron, and other waterfowl.
The Sam Vadalabene Trail is approximately 20.4 miles long, and though paved, does include short but steep hills and gullies. It connects to the Alton Trail and the Madison County trail for additional biking. Other possible trail activities include hiking, inline skating, fishing, and walking, and it is wheelchair accessible.
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