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Benld-Gillespie Bike Trail header
Benld - Gillespie Bike Trail
B i c y c l e     T r a i l
Bike Treail warning sign
Photographed September 2009
Bike, jog, or walk
on this paved path
Route 66 sign
Photographed September 2009
 
B - G Bike Trial sign
Photographed June 2008
Benld entry to Bike Trail
Photographed March 2007
Benld Entry
  Gillespie entry to Bike Trail
Photographed March 2007
Gillespie Entry
    The Bike Trail between Benld and Gillespie is a great recreational place for bicycling, straight-line skating and of course the primary purpose - walking for health, exercise and enjoyment. For use by people of all ages without the hazards of motorized traffic.
    Being paved and well maintained, this one and four-tenths mile trail sees a vast amount of use on a daily basis in all types of weather conditions.
 
Directions - Benld :
    On Illinois Route 4 on the west side of Benld, turn east on Illinois Route 138, also known as Central Avenue in Benld. Continue east for three blocks, the fire Department is on the south side and Trolley Street goes north. Take Trolley Street to the north for three blocks which is to the end of the street. On the north side is the Bike Trail entryway, just across the street from the ball diamond.
 
Directions - Gillespie :
    On Illinois Route 4 at the southern side of Gillespie, turn to the east on Clark Street. Continue east on Clark Street for two and one-half blocks, then just past the AmerenIP sub-station is the Gillespie entryway.
 
Route 66 sign     Not actually part of the Route 66 roadway, this trail parallels Illinois Route 4, which was used as Route 66 from 1926 through 1930. Less than a mile to the east, the bike trail is easily accessible from Illinois Route 4.
 
The Benld - Gillespie Bike Trail was designated as part of the Route 66 Bike Trail in 2009.
Route 66 1926-30 sign

 
 
      The Benld-Gillespie Bike Trail is on part of the route of the electric trolley railway known as the Interurban. This is a small portion of the railway furnishing transportation through central Illinois, from St. Louis, Missouri through Alton, Edwardsville, Staunton, Sawyerville, Benld, Gillespie, Carlinville, and on north to Springfield, Peoria, Bloomington, Decatur, Danville, and other points in between.
 
Depot Photo
Photograph furnished by : Jill Secoy
      The above photo is actually of the Benld, Il. depot. The facade for both depots was similar, but the leaning on the banking curve of the streetcar, where it turns north and west, indicates the actual location.
 
      The photo below shows the ITS Depot in Gillespie during the mid 1950s, located in the 300 block of South Macoupin Street.
Gilllespie ITS Depot Photo
Photograph furnished by : Jim Marcacci

      The Illinois streetcar system of Champaign and Urbana was purchased by William B. McKinley in 1890 and thus began McKinley Lines, the basis for the beginning of this railroad. Through merging and connections with other lines, this became the Illinois Traction System and the route was completed through to Staunton in 1905. Another line between Alton and Edwardsville, the Illinois Terminal Railroad was bought by Illinois Power and Light in 1928 and then in 1956 these lines were merged to form the Illinois Terminal Railroad Company.
      Note :
      Illinois Power and Light became Illinois Power Company and then was succeeded by AmerenIP.
 
      With this system no longer in operation and the rails and related items removed, the blank strip of land was eventually utilized as a paved trail for it current use.
 
Looking for photos, history, comments and any other pertinent items to be included on this web site.

May is National Bicycle Safety Month
- off site Links -
 
Illinois Bicycling Guide     from : Illinois Department of Natural Resources
http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/Programs/Biking/BIKEGDE.HTM
Car and Traffic Safety for Kids     from : Shift Insurance Services
http://www.shiftins.com/automobile/car_and_traffic_safety_for_kids.aspx"
Bicycle Safety Issues - What to teach your child about staying safe on their bike.
           http://www.ibike.org/education/safety-kids.htm

 
Bike Safety Statistics - Information everyone should know about bicycle helmet safety.
           http://www.bhsi.org/stats.htm

 
Bicycling & Skating Tips - Some easy to remember and useful tips for staying safe while skating and biking.
           http://www.safekids.org/safety-basics/safety-resources-by-risk-area/bicycling-and-skating/bicycling-and-skating-safety.html

 
Ride Your Bike Safely- from : MotoSport.com
http://www.motosport.com/atv/ride-your-bike-safely-article
 

  ITS logoIllinois Traction System Trail  

This website is a work in progress :     Comments and additions may be e-mailed to :
Bike Trail Comments
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© 2007 - 2014    by Wayne Hinton
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