Greenways & Trails


This plan serves as an update to the 2007 Carroll County Greenways and Trails Plan and the 2009 Jo Daviess County Greenways and Trails Plan. The 2007 and 2009 plans were funded, in part, by a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The development of the 2007 Carroll County plan was led by Peace Corps Fellows Intern Sarrah Hammon, and the 2009 Jo Daviess plan was developed by Fehr-Graham & Associates in consultation with a greenways and trails planning committee from the county. Like the 2007 and 2009 plans, this version aims to identify existing and potential opportunities for residents and visitors to recreate and connect with nature. Through a process of inventorying existing trails, parks, and open spaces and collecting public input, a list of initiatives was developed. These initiatives, once implemented, will support the counties’ stakeholders’ efforts to provide quality recreation and outdoor experiences.


This iteration of the Jo Daviess and Carroll counties greenways and trails plan intends to:

  • Serve as a tool for government agencies at state, county, and municipal levels in recreation, transportation, land use, and natural resource planning
  • Offer support for municipalities and local organizations seeking funds for recreation, open space, or trails projects
  • Identify areas of recreation and trails demand for future planning efforts 
What are Greenways and Trails?

A greenway is a corridor of open land that is designated for conservation and/or recreation.  Greenways may follow natural land or water features such as rivers, shorelines or ridges, or human landscape features such as abandoned railroad corridors, trails or canals.  Greenways may form connections between communities, parks, historic and cultural sites, and nature preserves.  Greenways differ in their location and function.  Overall, a greenway can provide:

  • Recreational benefits,
  • Protect natural areas,
  • Protect water quality,
  • Enhance natural beauty and quality of life in neighborhoods and communities,
  • Buffer incompatible or adjacent land uses,
  • Stimulate economic development opportunities.
A trail or path is a type of greenway that is separated from vehicular traffic and is dedicated to the use of pedestrians, bicyclists, roller skaters, wheelchair users, etc.  Trails can be used for recreational purposes as well as to connect different sites and facilities.

What Greenways and Trails are not

  • Greenways are NOT all owned by the government.
  • Greenways do NOT need to be fenced.
  • Greenways do NOT take land from people.
  • Greenways do NOT require public access on all the land
2022 Jo Daviess Carroll Counties Greenways & Trails Plan

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