The trail stretches 44.5 miles from Harrisburg, IL to Karnak, IL, with 2.5 miles being managed by the City of Harrisburg. The trail continues on a trail spur for 2.5 miles from Karnak to Cache River State Natural Area-Henry Barkhausen Wetlands Center on the old Chicago and Eastern railroad bed.
The 9.3-mile section between Tunnel Hill and Vienna crosses trails already known to outdoor recreationists: the River-to-River Trail, which extends from the Mississippi to the Ohio River; the American Discovery Trail, which in Southern Illinois follows back roads and some of the River-to-River Trail, the U.S. 76 Bicycle Route; and the Trail of Tears, the primary route of the Cherokee Indians on their forced move from the Great Smokies to Oklahoma during the winter of 1383-39.
Originally more than 800 feet in length, a portion of the trail's namesake tunnel collapsed in 1929, shortening it by 300 feet. Now 543 feet long, it is the only tunnel on the trail.
The 23 picturesque trestles along the completed sections of Tunnel Hill State Trail feature decking and side rails, which entice trail users to stop. The trestles range in length from 34 to 430 feet. The longest is Breeden Trestle, which is also the highest at 90 feet. It is located 2.5 miles south of Tunnel Hill.
Shared By: Don Childrey