Start! Walking Paths

Want to begin a walking routine, but don’t know where to start?

Walking is an easy, inexpensive way to help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce the effects of stress, and lose weight. For every hour you walk you gain two hours of life expectancy.

Southern Illinois Healthcare and the American Heart Association together with the Jackson County Healthy Communities Coalition and the Franklin-Williamson Healthy Communities Coalition are bringing the American Heart Association’s Start! Walking program to local paths and parks. If you’re waiting to find a nice place to walk in your area, here you go! Just look for the signs with the green Start!

Jackson County

Outdoor Paths
  • Attucks Park — 400-800 N. Wall St, Carbondale:
    Attucks Park offers three easy trail lengths. Trail 1 is 0.6 miles, Trail 2 is 0.35 miles, and Trail 3 is 0.4 miles. The trail is paved with exercise stations along the path.
  • Bike Way — Located across from the Eastgate Shopping Center, on Wall Street, Carbondale:
    A large wood park sign marks the Bike Way pathway across the street from Gold’s Gym in the Eastgate Shopping Center. If you begin on East College Street and walk to East Grand Street, you’ve walked .36 miles. If you begin on East Walnut and walk to East College Street, you’ve walked .28 miles. If you want a longer trek, begin on East Walnut and work your way along Pyles Ford Creek until you reach East Grand: you’ll have walked .64 miles!
  • Evergreen Park — 1205 W. Pleasant Hill Rd, Carbondale:
    This is an easy, paved, 1/3 mile trail which begins and ends at Jaycee Field.
  • Marberry Arboretum — S. Wall St and Pleasant Hill Rd, Carbondale:
    Marberry Arboretum is an unpaved, 2/3 mile trail of moderate difficulty. The trail goes up and downhill and winds past a pond and a bamboo forest.
  • Memorial Hospital of Carbondale — 405 W Jackson St, Carbondale:
    The path begins at the Cancer Care Center sign as you come in the entrance off Jackson Street. This flat, paved path is 0.7 miles.
  • Riverside Park — 2610 W Riverside Park Rd, Murphysboro:
    Riverside Park offers a 1 mile paved Start! walking path that takes you around the entire park. You start and finish at the Recreation Center where it is easy to park your car. There are restrooms and benches at various places in the park. Come and join the many people who have already discovered this walking path and enjoy the outdoors, and don’t forget to bring your pets (on a leash).
  • SIU Campus Lake — South side of SIUC campus, Carbondale:
    An accessible, 2-mile paved path along the scenic shores of the Campus Lake is one of the designated Start! walking paths at SIUC. The path is perfect for walking or running, even with companions (e.g., babies in strollers, leashed pets). Numerous exercise challenges, including a rope and a wall climb, are strategically located off the path for added opportunities.
  • St. Joseph Memorial Hospital — 2 South Hospital Dr, Murphysboro:
    This ¼ mile path with slight inclines starts at the Cardiac Rehab and Senior Renewal entrance.
  • Trinity Christian School — 1218 W. Freeman, Carbondale:
    This is an easy, flat ¼ mile walking path, beginning at the Trinity Christian School parking lot. There are several benches placed around the path for your convenience, but no restrooms or lights are available. The Trinity Christian School Walking Path is open to the community from 6-7:30am and from 4pm to dusk. Pet are allowed.
  • University of Illinois Extension — 402 Ava Rd, Murphysboro:
    On the grounds of the U of I Extension office is a ¼ mile all-weather walking path. Begin at the driveway entry, go around behind the show building, and out to the highway on the west, then across the yard to the front entrance. From spring until fall, you can watch the ornamental/perennial garden blossom and thrive.
Indoor Tracks
  • Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale — 250 N Springer, Carbondale:
    This is a short, easy indoor track in the gymnasium. One lap is 260 feet, and one mile is approximately 20 laps. The track is available Monday-Friday 9 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.
  • SIU Student Center — 1255 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale:
    There are two walking paths within the Student Center. On the second floor, walking the edges of the International Lounge, through Art Alley and down through the River Room hallway 3 1/2 times creates a one mile path. If you need a change of pace, try the third floor by starting at the escalators and walking the halls. Twelve laps is a mile.

Saluki Striding Paths

Central Campus
  • Fountain Fairway — Student Center:
    An outdoor path that follows the sidewalk closest to the buildings located within Old Main. Including a trip up to the fountain this path is a 1/3 mile loop.
  • Old Main Lane — Student Center:
    By walking the perimeter of the second floor of the student center, staying to the edges of the International Lounge, through Art Alley and down the River Room hallway, you will make a ¼ mile lap.
East Campus
  • Outdoor Rec Walk — Student Health/Recreation Center:
    Begins any point on the sidewalk. If you follow the sidewalk all the way around the Health/Recreation Center complex you will have walked a ½ mile. A short part of the path on the west side of the Rec Center has no sidewalk; just follow the short drive until you reconnect with the sidewalk.
  • The SHC Shuffle — Student Health/Recreation Center:
    A ¼ mile loop along the perimeter of the second-floor hallway from one building to the other. Be sure to follow the hallway leading past the Sports Shop at the Recreation Center to complete this path.
South Campus
  • Campus Lake — Follow the accessible, two-mile paved path along the scenic shores of the Campus Lake. The popular path is perfect for walking or running, and includes numerous exercise challenges strategically located off the path for added opportunities.
  • CASA Corridor — 1/4 - mile loop is located on the ground floor of the CASA section of the complex. Each path follows the perimeter of the hallways.
  • Terrace Trail — A 1/2 - mile trail following Evergreen Terrace Drive from end to end and looping back to your starting point.
  • Miner’s Maze — A 1/3 - mile loop on the ground floor circles through the mining engineering department.
  • Tech Trek — A 1/4 - mile loop on the 1st floor takes you past the Katy Simonds Lounge in the Engineering complex.
West Campus
  • Daily Expedition — Communications Building:
    An indoor path that follows the perimeter of the major corridors in the Communications Building. This path will provide a ½-mile loop within the building. Be sure to include the small hallway that leads to the north entrance near the DE to make the full distance.
  • Media Mile — Communications Building:
    A nice outdoor stroll along the 1/2 mile long sidewalks that circle the Communications Building. The sidewalk ends on the west end of the building; just cut through the parking lot until you reconnect with the sidewalk on the other end.
North Campus
  • The Pulliam Path — Pulliam/Wham:
    Is an indoor pathway beginning at either end of the first floor of Wham (near coffee station) or Pulliam. Walking to the end of the other building and looping back will provide a ¼-mile loop.
  • The Green Mile — Pulliam/Wham:
    Explores an outdoor ⅓-mile loop through a natural, scenic part of campus. See unique points of interest on this path located near Morris Library, Wham, and Lawson Hall.

Green Earth Paths

Outdoor Paths
  • Herbie Beyler Trail — Part of the Brush Hill Nature Preserve.
    The trail and parking area is located directly next to the Carbondale Township Fire Department, 1125 East Park Street. Open dusk to dawn the Herbie Beyler Trail is approximately 1.0 mile in length and is moderately difficult. A shorter trail loop (approximately 1/3 mile in length) by-passes the steeper and more challenging portions of the trail. This trial is in a rugged wooded area so we recommend walkers wear long pants and proper hiking shoes. The full trail passes through many different habitats, including an old clearing, an upland forest, a lowland forest, a seasonal pond, and a coal pit excavated by early settlers. There are no available restrooms on this trail, but it is open to bring your pet!
  • The David Kenney Trail — Part of the Chautauqua Bottoms Nature Preserve.
    It is located by Life Community Center, directly across from the Parrish Park Parking Lot, in the 2500 block of West Sunset Drive. The trail travels along the west bank of Little Crab Orchard Creek from Chautauqua Road to Sunset Drive. The trail is approximately 1.0 mile in length and provides beautiful views of the creek and the cliff banks. This trail is pet friendly and open dusk to dawn but there are no restrooms or benches.
  • The Maurice Webb Trail — Part of the Chautauqua Bottoms Nature Preserve.
    It is located on the north side of West Chautauqua Road, 0.1 mile off South Emerald Lane. The Maurice Webb Trail is located off the well marked parking area on Chautauqua Road. This trail meanders through a tall grass prairie, riparian woodland, and the reforestation area, looping back to the trail head by the parking area on Chautauqua Road. The trail is approximately 1.3 miles in length and forks to intersect with the Woodland Spur Trail to the north. Maurice Webb is open dusk to dawn and pet friendly.
  • The Stan Harris Trail — Part of the Oakland Nature Preserve located on North Oakland Avenue
    Open dusk to dawn the Stan Harris Trail is located south of the railroad tracks that bisect this property. This trail loop is approximately 1.0 mile in length and winds through woodland and prairie habitats. There are no available restrooms on this trail, but pets are welcome!
  • The Woodland Spur Trail — Part of the Chautauqua Bottoms Nature Preserve and located at the end of West Freeman Street
    The trail trends northwest through an upland woodland and passes a seasonal pond that is inundated throughout the rainy season. The .75 mi trail can either end at Little Crab Orchard Creek and be retraced back to the Freeman Street trail head, or continue on to cross Little Crab Orchard Creek to connect to the David Kenney Trail. The creek crossing is very steep and should be only be considered by those willing to get their feet wet. This trail is open dusk to dawn and pets are welcome.
  • The Woodland Trail — Part of the Oakland Nature Preserve located on North Oakland Avenue
    The trail is located on the north side of the railroad tracks that bisects this property. This portion of the site is entirely wooded and we recommend walkers wear long fitted clothing and proper hiking shoes. The trail loops approximately 1.0 mile in length. This path is open dusk to dawn and is pet friendly, but there are no restrooms or benches.

Franklin-Williamson Counties

Outdoor Paths
  • Arrowhead Lake Nature Trail — 1600 Peterson, Johnston City:
    The 2 1/8 mile nature trail with numerous slopes winds around the peaceful Arrowhead Lake adjacent to the Arrowhead Lake Campground. The trail is rocked with benches along the route for resting. Walkers and bikers are welcome as well as pets on a leash. Water fountains (for humans and pets) available during summer season, restrooms available year round. Parking, playground and picnic area is adjacent to nature trail. Nature trail hours from sunrise to sunset.
  • Cambria Park — Maple St, Cambria:
    This is an asphalted, ½ mile, well-lit path in the center of town. The path is very child friendly and surrounds a playground. Bathroom facilities are available. Parking lot accessible. No pets please.
  • Cannon Park — Cannon Drive, Carterville:
    Located on the NW edge of Cannon Park, just north of the Harrison Bruce Annex/Carterville Community Center. The walking path is approximately 0.6 miles, asphalted, well lit, and beautifully landscaped. Bring your kids and let them fish in the pond, or skate at the skate park—both very close by. Parking and restrooms are available. Runners and walkers welcome, no dogs please.
  • Carterville’s Got Heart! — Located behind 101 S. Division (Carterville City Hall in the public parking lot)
    This 1.0 mile walking path gives you the opportunity to check out historic downtown Carterville. Make sure to take a moment and look closely at the antique architectural features that still grace many of our buildings. Most of these buildings house modern businesses like a furniture store, a cabinet company, a daycare center and even our city government. This well lit path is completely paved and pets are welcome.
  • Energy ‘Bruce’ Park — Located just one block east of Rt. 148 (behind city hall), Energy:
    The park, boasting covered pavilions, basketball courts, softball fields and plenty of children’s playground equipment, is ringed by a paved and lighted 1/2 mile walking track. The track encircles the entire park and has a gentle slope on the northern end. Park hours are from sun-up to sun-down.
  • Franklin Hospital — 201 Bailey Lane, Benton:
    This is a 0.5 mile path that starts at the front entrance of Franklin Hospital. From the parking lot proceed east to N. Franklin Drive around to E. Park Street and turn onto Mark Franklin Street back around to the start. The path is flat, paved and lighted in most areas. Restrooms are available with the hospital.
  • Herrin City Park — 1010 North 5th St, Herrin:
    Herrin City Park located just off of Herrin Road welcomes you to get fit on their asphalt paved, well lighted, Start! Walking Path. Walkers & runners can begin their journey at the park or the Herrin Bruce Sports Complex. There are benches for resting along the way and restrooms at the beginning of the path in the park. Leashed pets are welcome.
  • Herrin Downtown — 3 South Park Ave.
    Begin at the Chamber Office to pick up your Healthy Herrin Passport to participate in the Healthy Herrin Program. This 1.66 mile path goes through downtown Herrin and is marked by Start! Walking Path signs on both sides of the street and in some downtown Herrin business windows. The Herrin Chamber of Commerce’s Healthy Herrin Program, encourages you to utilize the path during daylight hours and to help keep the path clean of any debris by placing it in the trash receptacles on the corners along the path. The path consists of concrete sidewalks. Crosswalks are available when you need to cross any streets. Don’t forget to pick up your passport! Prizes await anyone who returns a full passport to the Chamber office!
  • Herrin Hospital — 201 S 14th St, Herrin:
    The 0.4 mile walking path at Herrin Hospital begins at the main entrance and continues on sidewalks and pavement throughout the hospital campus.
  • Serenity Trail-Rotary Club of Williamson County Heartland — 3333 W. DeYoung Street, Marion:
    This 0.6 mile paved walking surface is located behind Heartland Regional Medical Center at the southeast corner of the hospital. Located off of Route 13 on Old Bainbridge Trail, go past the main hospital entrance and turn left into the second entrance, which goes to the back (southeast corner). Walkers can park in the employee parking lot, where they will find the path surrounding a 2 acre pond. We recommend walking during day light hours, as there is no lighting for night time walkers. On the path, there is a pavilion with 6 picnic tables, 2 benches, and 2 bocce ball courts. Contact Deborah Hogg (922-0403) or Brad Ragain (727-4884) to schedule the bocce ball courts. There are no restrooms inside the pavilion, but restrooms are located inside the hospital. This path is pet friendly!
  • Slim Lane — Located on Hendricks Street, across from the Casey’s General Store located on Rt. 148 and Linden Street (old Rt. 149), Zeigler:
    This unpaved, ¼ mile track is perfect for walking or running. Benches are located along the path. Parking and restroom facilities are available.
  • Super Kohl Park — Located on the west side of Rt. #149 South and Maple St., Zeigler:
    The park offers a 1/5 mile shaded, unpaved path. There is a picnic area, a play area, and restroom facilities available. Park hours are from sunrise to sunset.
  • West Frankfort Aquatic Center/Community Park — 1100 E Cleveland St, West Frankfort:
    This path starts in the community park at the intersection of Lincoln and Cleveland. The 1 ½ mile, paved path winds past a butterfly garden and duck ponds, then loops around the Aquatic Center. Parking and restrooms are available. Pets on a leash please.
  • Williamson County Regional Airport — 10400 Terminal Drive, Marion:
    This path starts on the Airport drive and runs east down Express Drive to Rent All. If you walk all the way to Rent All and back you’ve walked half a mile! The road is paved, there are two restaurants, and airport restrooms are easily accessible. Use this walking path during the day (no lights). A great path for employees working along or near Express Drive.

Perry County

  • Pinckneyville City Park — 920 County Road, Pinckneyville:
    This 0.62 mile paved path starts at the front entrance of the Pinckneyville Fairgrounds and surrounds the entire park. While walking this path you may bring your pet and enjoy other activities such as, basketball, tennis courts, and a children’s play area. If you are an evening walker, lighting and the flat surface of the path will allow for an enjoyable and safe experience. Numerous picnic areas and restrooms are also available for your enjoyment.

Pulaski County

  • Shawnee Community College — 8364 Shawnee College Road
    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.