Tour Rantoul by foot or bike on their nearly 8 mile rail-trail

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Rantoul, Ill. (WCIA)

Village of Rantoul Trail Description

View Trail Map

This is a story of four trails in one. The newest and northwestern section of the trail runs by the old downtown area of the village and its local Amtrak station. Then across the northern section there’s a beautifully landscaped rail-trail along the former alignment of the Fisher Farmers Railroad, which connected the north side of Rantoul to farming communities to its east and west. The city section in the middle goes by businesses and housing on Maplewood Drive and around the tranquil storm water detention pond where fishing is permitted.

The southern section of the trail mostly goes through parts of the former Chanute Air Force Base, which closed in 1993. Here there are numerous village facilities and small businesses close to the trail: Baerman Park (old Air Force parade grounds), Aquatic Center, Forum Fitness Center, Rantoul Recreation Center, Youth Center, Public Library and Civic Center. Most of these have restrooms and water fountains. Of special note and interest to visitors are the Chanute Air Museum (now closed) and Lincoln’s Challenge Academy.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at all the village facilities along the trail. There are also lots by locations of special interest to out-of-town visitors. The Amtrak train station, the Maplewood Detention Pond and the former Chanute Air Museum (1011 Pacesetter Drive). To reach the large parking lot at the museum from I-57, take Exit 250 onto US 136 East. Follow the highway 1.7 miles into the village and turn right onto Century Boulevard/US 45. Continue south for 0.9 mile and turn left onto Flessner Avenue. Proceed 1 block onto Aviation Road and Pacesetter Drive; the parking lot is on the left.

Thank you to Durst Cycle and Fitness for lending us the bikes for riding the rail-trail!

The experts in Urbana-Champaign for all your bicycling and fitness equipment needs, sales and service.

Durst Cycle and Fitness, located in Urbana, IL, has been a family owned & operated business since 1935. We have two different locations to better serve our customers. One of our locations is conveniently adjacent to the University of Illinois campus & the other is in Western Champaign to serve residential areas. In the interest of improving health & providing fitness for people of all ages, Durst Cycle & Fitness also offers fitness equipment. We offer treadmills, elliptical, rowers, upright cycles, recumbent cycles & dual-action cycles, weight gym systems & benches. Our stores offer a complete line of accessories from heart rate monitors to fitness balls. Currently we offer a wide selection of bicycles, including:-Used Bikes-New two wheelers-Adult trikes-Tandems-Unicycles-Child joggers-Trailers & tandem trailers-Recumbent bikes.

We have a complete skateboard department at our Champaign location. Also electric toy trains (at our Urbana location) have been sold & serviced since 1947. Antique bicycle restoration service is also available.

Service is the bedrock of Durst Cycle & Fitness in that we only sell what we can service. Ronald W. Durst, son of the founder, has managed the company since 1977. Call or stop by today to experience the family owned service of Durst Cycle & Fitness. 

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