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The Best Way to Explore the Galena River Trail

The Galena River Trail is a lovely addition to the historic district in downtown Galena. The nearly nine-mile trail parallels the train tracks and the Galena River—perfect for a morning jog, afternoon stroll, or evening bike ride. The Buehler Preserve lies at the north end, and the route connects all the way down to the base of Chestnut Mountain. The Galena River Trail surface is comprised of finely crushed rock, creating the ideal compact terrain for all types of outdoor activities.

As a guest at our Galena Bed and Breakfast, you’ll be within walking distance of the main segment of the Galena River Trail. It’s the perfect way to get a beautiful panoramic view of our historic small town (keep your eyes open for the bright red roof of Jail Hill Inn!) Many of our early rising guests head to the trail in the morning before our complimentary breakfast, served in our elegant dining room between 9 and 10 am. A stroll on the Galena River Trail is the best way to kick off the day before our three-course morning meal with fruit, housemade pastry, and savory main courses.

We can’t wait to host you at Jail Hill Inn! We often book up in advance, so get your reservation on the books today! 

Galena River Trail

Stroll Along the Galena River Trail

The bright crushed limestone trail is hard to miss sandwiched between bright green manicured lawns. You’ll have train tracks to one side and the quiet backwaters of the Mississippi River on the other. The 3.4-mile Galena Junction Trail is the original section of the route and is considered the leading segment in the downtown area. A great place to start is Depot Park, located just below the U.S. 20 bridge by the famous floodgates that welcome you into Galena.

Along the route, you’ll see historical markers and signs detailing some of the area’s fascinating history. It’s not hard to imagine the old giant steamboats that once followed the path of the Galena River in the early 1800s. After your stroll, head across the bridge to Grant Park with historic cannons and monuments, a gazebo, and picnic benches for a quiet spot to take in the skyline of our charming small town.

Galena River Trail

As you stroll the Galena River Trail, you’re bound to notice those enjoying a leisurely bike ride and folks kayaking along the Galena River. This recreation area is truly the heart of outdoor activities in Galena! For those interested in getting out on the river, head to Galena River Outfitters. This family-owned business offers paddling adventures by kayak, paddleboards, and canoes. You can also rent bikes here and even book a custom tour!

The Galena River Trail is also the perfect place to view the local bird population. Keep your ears open for whistles and chirps. There’s a long list of bird sightings from warblers, orioles, woodpeckers, and much more. During your time in Galena, you’ll be sure to notice hawks soaring above the Inn—our back deck is a perfect spot for some birdwatching.

For those looking for more hikes in and near Galena, head over to our blog here.

Galena River Trail

The Best Place to Relax after Exploring the Trails

Our beautiful back deck area is one of our favorite places to relax after exploring the Galena River Trail. Equipped with comfortable lounge chairs, Adirondacks, and couches, the garden patio space is surrounded by lush greenery. You’ll sit in complete quiet, aside from the chirping songs of birds flickering through the trees. This is an ideal space to enjoy our afternoon wine and snacks tray—complete with a rotating selection of charcuterie, cheeses, nuts, antipasti, and our famous brown butter chocolate chip cookies—or our other amazing rotating recipes.

Sip your wine and take in this peaceful setting, truly creating a magical happy hour at our Galena Bed and Breakfast. At check-in, you’ll have your choice of white or red wine to pair with your snack tray (we also have a sparkling non-alcoholic option as well.) Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions or strong preferences; we’re always happy to accommodate. Join us in one of the most charming small towns in Illinois and book your stay at our luxury Galena Bed and Breakfast today! 

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