Multi-use Trail Projects

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a man biking

What are multi-use mountain bike trails at Touch of Nature, and what will they offer SIU and the surrounding communities? Read the brochure, then watch the video below it:

Explore the rolling hills and sandstone bluffs of the Shawnee National Forest by mountain bike! 

Ride centers and trail systems popping up all over the Midwest prove mountain biking no longer happens only in the mountains. Touch of Nature wishes to create a new environmental and recreational experience for SIU, Southern Illinois, and the surrounding region. 

The Multi-use Mountain Bike Trail Project strives to fulfill these goals:

  • Provide new recreational opportunities for southern Illinois locals and visitors to explore our unique natural landscape.

  • Provide Southern Illinois University students with an asset not many other universities can match.

  • Educate users on the local environment and help them recognize the importance of conservation. 

  • Provide a creative way to tie the Carbondale urban environment to the Shawnee National Forest. 

  • Recognize volunteerism is a high emphasis of SIU and the surrounding community, and there is a strong commitment to this project and the maintenance necessary to maintain the trails. 

For more information, please contact graduate student Isaiah Tanner at  

Volunteer to help build our mountain bike trail system. 

We're working on additional trail stewardship dates for 2018.  If your group or organization would like to help, contact Isaiah Tanner at