McLean County’s Historic Route 66 Trail
The Constitution Trail is a multi-use rail trail located in Illinois. It occupies an abandoned Illinois Central Gulf Railroad corridor that runs through the ‘Twin Cities’ of Bloomington and Normal in McLean County, Illinois.
The trail, which is owned by the municipalities of Bloomington and Normal, is approximately 24 mi of former railways. It features the Camelback Bridge in Normal, a site on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Its official opening was May 6, 1989. In 2000, the trail was officially named a “Millennium Trail” by the White House Millennium Council.
In addition to the main strip of the trail, there are several branches that lead to more remote areas of the Bloomington-Normal area. For most of the trail’s extent the trail is proximal to Linden Street. The trail currently ends at these points; however, there are multiple branches extending from this route or very close to this route. There is a branch in the north that may be picked up at Linden St. and extends along Raab Rd. to Towanda Ave.
There are other smaller sections of trail located in various places around Bloomington and Normal, and there are also “proposed” sections of trail that will effectively link most of these scattered sections together.
The once Historic Route 66, of the most famous roads in the United States that ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona and ended in Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, California, covered a total of 2,448 miles. It has always been iconic for roadside stops….dinners…antiquing…and many historical sites. Although it longer exists, you can still “get your kicks” on the path it took through the United States on other highways and roads. In this series, I will highlight the many places you can stop to explore nature along this route….focusing on spots in the Midwest. Looking for more stops….check out this guide.
And here are a few other great resources.