CAUTION: The majority of this trail is on-road on low-traffic, two-lane gravel country roads. Watch out for vehicles using this trail.
Restrooms available at Blanding Landing Recreation Area.
Park at the trailhead for the Galena River Trail: Aiken Segment located on S. River Road approximately 0.5 miles south of the intersection of S. River Road and W. Hart John Road (alternatively, do this trail in reverse by starting at Blanding Landing Recreation Area at 5720 S. River Road, Hanover, IL 61041). Head south along River Road. After 0.4 miles, the trail crosses the railroad tracks. The trail crosses the railroad tracks again at 0.9 miles.
1.6 miles from the trailhead, S. River Road intersects W. Sand Hill Road. Continue straight on S. River Road to stay on the trail. At 2.6 miles, you'll see Chestnut Mountain Resort on your left. In the summer months, you can often ride the ski lift up to the lodge to grab a bite or a drink at the restaurant.
At 3.7 miles, the road is closed to vehicular traffic. The next 0.2 miles are open to non-motorized traffic only. A flash flood washed out this section of the road several decades ago and was never repaired. Recent efforts by the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation helped the Illinois Department of Natural Resources acquire the land and re-open the washed-out road as a trail.
Continue straight after the trail re-opens to vehicular traffic at 3.9 miles. Continue straight at the intersection of S. River Road and W. Diggin Hill Road at 4.4 miles. Take the underpass under the railroad tracks at 4.7 miles. You'll arrive at the end of this trail segment at Blanding Landing Recreation Area at 5.2 miles.