Oakwood, Ill. (WCIA)

We’re rounding out our ciFavorites Spring into Spring edition at the Kickapoo Rail Trail!

The first 6.7-mile section of the Kickapoo Rail Trail in eastern Illinois opened in August 2017. Paralleling U.S. 150, the Champaign County rail-trail runs from Urbana east to St. Joseph along the former corridor of the Big Four Railroad through a rural and open prairie landscape.

Future phases of the trail will continue its eastward trajectory into Vermilion County to Danville (near the Indiana border) for a total of 24.5 miles. Along the way, the trail will connect the small towns of Ogden, Fithian, and Oakwood, and include a trestle bridge over the Middle Fork River, as well as provide access to Kickapoo State Park.

A second, three-mile segment of the trail was constructed in Vermilion County, linking the small town of Oakwood to the Vermilion County Fairgrounds complex. This stretch of trail includes a beautifully restored steel railroad trestle, which spans almost a quarter-mile over the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River and features a gorgeous Brazilian walnut wood surface, making it an ideal spot for some scenic photos.

A third, 1.5-mile stretch of the Kickapoo Rail Trail opened in eastern Champaign County. Running through Ogden between County Roads 2650E and 2800E, this off-road section of trail is paved with asphalt through town that switches to crushed gravel as the trail heads out of town.