START! Walking paths of the Southern 7 counties of Illinois

​"Walking is one of the simplest ways to get active and stay active. With each step you take, you travel further down the path to a healthier lifestyle. Research has shown that walking can have a significant impact on your health by lowering your chances of heart disease."
- American Heart Association

Looking for a nice place to walk in the area?
Just look for the signs with the green Start! logo.

Below are Walking Paths in the seven county region that are marked with Start Walking Signage. Descriptions of each area can be found below:

family walking on path
woman walking on walking path

Saint Mary’s Park – 28th Street Park Place West and 33rd Street, Cairo, IL 62914. This walking path in Cairo is located on the road that perimeter St. Mary’s Park and is 0.7 miles in length. The park has a tennis court and children’s playground, along with benches to rest. Parking is available on any of the streets around the park and the terrain is smooth for walking or biking. There are no bathrooms located at this site.


Tunnel Hill State Trail – 302 East Vine Street, Vienna IL 62995. The Tunnel Hill State Trail is an old rail bed that runs over 40 miles through Southern Illinois. The parking lot at the Vienna Park is approximately ½ mile. Trail is smooth surface and no incline. The trail is gravel and extends north and south several miles. It has a southbound decline of no more than 2% grade. Restrooms are located by the parking lot. Pets are welcome on leashes.


Shawnee Community College – 8364 Shawnee College Road, Ullin, IL 62992. The path is 1 mile (¾ paved and ¼ gravel). Beginning at the main entrance of the college in the main campus parking lot, walk west toward the Rustic Campus and then south along the truck driving range. Here, you will see an outdoor pavilion with a breathtaking view of open farm land. The path then turns to gravel toward the baseball and softball fields. As you begin the incline back to pavement, you will see the beauty of the college from the back view. Continue the path north toward the front of the campus or you can turn west and walk around the college lake (parts will be on grass). Restroom facilities are located in the main campus buildings and open when the college is in session.

Village Park Walking Trail – Route 51 and 260 East Commercial Ave, Pulaski, IL 62976. The walking path in the Village of Pulaski has smooth terrain and is 1 mile long. There are benches available to take a rest, and places to park. There are no bathrooms available at this walking path location.

Chambliss Park – Third Street and South Elm Street in Mounds, IL 62964. The walking path in Mounds, IL is located at Chambliss Park and is about 1 mile in length on smooth terrain. There are benches available and a children’s play area. Parking is available. No access to bathrooms on site.

Karnak Tunnel Hill State Trail – 2.5 Miles from Karnak to Cache River State Natural Area. The southern half of the trail explodes with scenery that includes bottomland woods, ponds, streams and marshes. The trail, which winds through several towns, even touches upon a handful of ghost towns that faded into the landscape after the trains here stopped running.

Lower Cache River Trail – End of Access Rd in Ullin, IL 62992. The Lower Cache is best known for its remnant examples of high quality wetlands which once were prominent in the Cache River Valley of Pulaski County, IL. This ecosystem is also the northernmost range of a true southern cypress/tupelo swamp in the Midwest.


Lincoln Memorial, Mississippi Bluffs Ranger District – 521 N. Main Street Jonesboro, IL 62952. This walking path is the third of seven Lincoln-Douglas Debates located at the Mississippi Bluffs Ranger District Administrative Site. Currently, the picnic area offers three walking loops ranging from .24-.41 miles on level terrain. Walking path is a paved surface and surrounded with various plant and trees species. Several benches are placed along the path for rest and relaxation. The site includes: 3 picnic units, 1 picnic shelter, 1 gazebo, 1 flush rest room and portable drinking water. It is open to the public all year from 6 a. m. to 10 p. m. The Lincoln Memorial pond provides great scenery for walkers and a great habitat for turtles.

Choate’s History Trail – 1000 North Main, Anna, IL 62906. This trail is a 1.7 mile graveled trail that starts at the baseball field located on the southwest side of the campus (Main Gate on North Main Street) going in a winding path through the woods and open field overlooking the Choate campus. There are some minor inclines and declines in the trail but nothing too steep. The trail comes out on one of the blacktop roadways located on the East side of the campus that leads back to the road which will lead to a sidewalk area circling the campus. There are no bathrooms available on the trail, but there are benches located on the trail. For those who do not wish to walk the entire path, there are two shorter trails that break off the main trail that lead back to campus. The trail is open from dawn to dusk. Parking is available in the ball field area.

Southern 7 County Submission Form
American Heart Association

For More Info

Natalie Sawyer,
Health Education Director
Phone: (618) 634-2297, ext. 971136





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