Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Southern Illinois
    My Bikes
    Giant "Rainier"
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Tunnel Hill Trail Today (+pics)

    Everybody has some special biking related area where they live that makes the rest of us a little jealous. When I see pics from the NW, CO or UT, I wish I was there. The East and North East is rich with history. The south always gloats with its ride pics when most of the rest of us are iced and snowed in tight. And of course Mr. Beanz has it all.

    Well, about once a month I get to ride THE TUNNEL HILL TRAIL. This is a great rail trail in Southern Illinois about 20 minutes from my house. The trail is 47 miles long from end to end. You can get rock bluffs, deep woods, wetlands and farm land. My favorite ride is a 20 mile "out and back" (10 each direction) that is truly two different trips. Starting from the Vienna (pronounced VI-ANNA) trail head going north, for ten miles that take you through numerous rock cuts, over 8 trestles, one which is 90ft high and over 500ft long, and up to and though an amazing train tunnel that is almost 600ft long and goes completely pitch black for most of the ride through. All you see is the light at the end and you have zero sense of where the walls are. Everyone who experiences it for the first time, is completely freaked out.

    What makes this particular ride nice is that the first 10 miles is all uphill. Not much at all, but enough to know you have gained altitude. So the ride back treat you with low resistance and all the stuff you didn't see on the way up.

    Here is a link to all the pics: http://s425.photobucket.com/albums/p...Tunnel%20Hill/

    And here are a few that I picked out.




    Approaching the Tunnel



    Entering. You can see the date of the tunnel at the top. 1929


    As you can see, there are ghost orbs inside this thing :-o


    Inside looking out


    Several of these rock cuts that were just wide enough for the train. you would not have wanted to be in one of these when the train came through.


    Ok, I am getting better at this shooting myself thing.


    Again, I am lovin the macro setting on the camera.


    You don't see this sign everyday. I am glad there is a telegraph there. I can conserve the battery on my Blackberry.


    My trusty steeds
    http://www.homeairdirect.com Hey! It's What I Do

  2. #2
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Upland Ca
    My Bikes
    Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
    Posts
    20,031
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Ahhh Cool nice pics! Nice area too!...Is it me or is that tire like taller than your waistline? That's one BIG wheel!...

  3. #3
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    My Bikes
    1990 Schwinn Crosscut, 5 Lemonds
    Posts
    3,761
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Where does it go from Vienna, jboyd? I used to live in Cdale long ago, so I'm somewhat familiar with the area. I'm guessing it goes east-west across Little Egypt?

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  4. #4
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Southern Illinois
    My Bikes
    Giant "Rainier"
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
    Where does it go from Vienna, jboyd? I used to live in Cdale long ago, so I'm somewhat familiar with the area. I'm guessing it goes east-west across Little Egypt?
    Hey Billydonn,

    The Trail originates on the north end at Harrisburg and runs through Carrier Mills, Stonefort, New Burnside, Tunnel Hill, Vienna, Karnak and finally ending at the Cache River Nature Center a couple of miles past Karnak.

    I assume you went to SIU? I live at Anna, just south of Cdale.
    http://www.homeairdirect.com Hey! It's What I Do

  5. #5
    Neil_B
    Guest
    Thanks, just what I need. Another trail I need to ride sometime.

    Tunnels are fun. My upcoming tour has seven tunnels on the Montour and Great Allegheny Passage trails and C & O Canal towpath - Enlow, National, Greer, Big Savage, Bordon, Brush, and Paw-Paw.

  6. #6
    On the road to health. Griffin2020's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    My Bikes
    Specialized Allez, Cervelo RS is in process.
    Posts
    603
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Ahhh Cool nice pics! Nice area too!...Is it me or is that tire like taller than your waistline? That's one BIG wheel!...
    That is a camera perspective error. Comes from the tire being closer to the camera than the rider.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Southern Illinois
    My Bikes
    Giant "Rainier"
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin2020 View Post
    That is a camera perspective error. Comes from the tire being closer to the camera than the rider.
    It is actually more complicated then that. It is a combination of the factors. First, you are correct that it is a camera perspective error. But it is compounded by the fact that the tire is a 29" fat knobby, and then to add to the effect, the subject in the background is a short chubby guy
    http://www.homeairdirect.com Hey! It's What I Do

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    In Oregon looking for more hills to ride
    My Bikes
    2013 Norco Sight Killer B-1,2013 Lynskey R330, 2008 Kona Jake
    Posts
    775
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Man if I had a place like that to ride, I would do more off road. Very nice, thanks for the pics!!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Spokane/Tri-Cities WA
    My Bikes
    mountain bike, road bike
    Posts
    1,336
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nice report and pics. There is a rails to trails ride here, that I hope to do this summer. The most amazing thing to me is there is NO graffiti on the tunnel walls.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RoaringMad Mac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama
    My Bikes
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp. and a Giant Sedona. Also a stationary bike.
    Posts
    161
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nice pics. I wish I had some areas like that.

  11. #11
    Senior Member davin1023's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    143
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That looks like a really fun ride, and not to awful far from me. Is the trail gravel, i could not really tell, but I might have to make a Saturday trip that way and try it out. Just need to know if I need to put my old knobby tires back on.

  12. #12
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Windy City
    My Bikes
    A road bike for every purpose
    Posts
    9,215
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks!
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber CX bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road bike

  13. #13
    I Ride, Therefore I Am BigUgly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Central, PA via Philthadelphia
    Posts
    490
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nice Pics. Nice Trail. Nice Bike. I was thinking it was a 29er, either that or you were really, really short (not that there is anything wrong with that

  14. #14
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Southern Illinois
    My Bikes
    Giant "Rainier"
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BigUgly View Post
    Nice Pics. Nice Trail. Nice Bike. I was thinking it was a 29er, either that or you were really, really short (not that there is anything wrong with that

    For perspective, I am 5' 10". About average till you wrap it with 255# of me

    Quote Originally Posted by davin1023
    That looks like a really fun ride, and not to awful far from me. Is the trail gravel, i could not really tell, but I might have to make a Saturday trip that way and try it out. Just need to know if I need to put my old knobby tires back on.
    Davin, the very fine gravel chip. I see lots of comfort bikes with slicks and some road bikes with wider tires from. Really a little of everything. I went off trail at the lake and looked at flood damage fro last year below the spillway and absolutely needed the knobs, but otherwise no need.

    btw......Where is not to awful far?
    http://www.homeairdirect.com Hey! It's What I Do

  15. #15
    Senior Member davin1023's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    143
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jboyd View Post
    btw......Where is not to awful far?
    Just South of Evansville IN. About an hour and a half from Vienna. It looks like a really good trail for my wife and i to make a day trip to.

  16. #16
    Senior Member bbeck's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    GallatinTn
    My Bikes
    2008 Specialized Sequoia Elite
    Posts
    510
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    looks great
    Brandon Gallatin, Tn.
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/bwbeck

  17. #17
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    2,597
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That is a nice trail. I've been there once. It is too far for me to make it a day trip, so I camp out at one of the state parks. That tunnel is freaky. I went through about ten times!

    Here's a video I took while riding through. It's a little shakey but I did it no-handed and one-handed while looking through the camera. Kind of give you an idea of what it's like if you've never been there.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4b_QwHGWH8
    Last edited by sknhgy; 04-27-09 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Added video link
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  18. #18
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    2,597
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    btt
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    33
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    jboyd thank you for the pics they are awesome. much to my embarassment I've never heard of this bike trail and I live in Pinckneyville. Do you know any other good trails in the area. I'm gonna do the Tunnel Hill trail as soon as weather and work allow. Thanks.

  20. #20
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Southern Illinois
    My Bikes
    Giant "Rainier"
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Magnum Man View Post
    jboyd thank you for the pics they are awesome. much to my embarassment I've never heard of this bike trail and I live in Pinckneyville. Do you know any other good trails in the area. I'm gonna do the Tunnel Hill trail as soon as weather and work allow. Thanks.
    Magnum Man, You should be embarrassed Do make the time someday. It is well worth it. October is the best time to ride the tunnel.

    As far as other trails, there is the Trail that runs around the State Park over at Rend Lake. I think it is almost all concrete and asphalt. And, you have that labyrinth of roads that snakes around and through Pyramid State Park just south of Pinckneville.

    Funny how we consider our home rides too common for us. I spend many weekends over at Cape Girardeau, MO
    http://www.homeairdirect.com Hey! It's What I Do

  21. #21
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Southern Illinois
    My Bikes
    Giant "Rainier"
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    That is a nice trail. I've been there once. It is too far for me to make it a day trip, so I camp out at one of the state parks. That tunnel is freaky. I went through about ten times!

    Here's a video I took while riding through. It's a little shakey but I did it no-handed and one-handed while looking through the camera. Kind of give you an idea of what it's like if you've never been there.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4b_QwHGWH8
    The video was great. I shot a great video with a helmet cam of the tunnel and trestles a couple of years ago and set it to music and the youtube nazi's got me for copyright and took my video down.

    btw..... Don't ever touch the walls on the inside of the tunnel. I got disoriented one time and rubbed the wall and it took days to get the black stains off my skin
    http://www.homeairdirect.com Hey! It's What I Do

  22. #22
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    My Bikes
    1990 Schwinn Crosscut, 5 Lemonds
    Posts
    3,761
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jboyd View Post
    Hey Billydonn,

    The Trail originates on the north end at Harrisburg and runs through Carrier Mills, Stonefort, New Burnside, Tunnel Hill, Vienna, Karnak and finally ending at the Cache River Nature Center a couple of miles past Karnak.

    I assume you went to SIU? I live at Anna, just south of Cdale.
    Yep... SIU... lived out of town on the "Giant City Blacktop" just above DeSoto NF. But I got around the area quite a bit- Makanda, Goreville, etc. and even Vienna/Anna area, which used to be an antiquing haven as I recall. I loved it down there and have many fond memories. Riding the City of NO to Chicago! Ah... what days....

    Note to BF members: Southern Illinois really is quite nice!

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •