The St. Clair County Transit District MetroBikeLink System includes trails and bike paths along MetroLink in Southwestern Illinois. The development of a bicycle trail adjacent to the St. Clair County MetroLink extension was an important piece in the St. Clair County Transit District’s (SCCTD) efforts to link transportation modes in the community. Since the initial trail, the system has expanded to include several other trails all connecting in with the original MetroBikeLink and transit. Currently, the MetroBikeLink Trail runs from Shiloh/Scott MetroLink Station to Memorial Hospital MetroLink Station in Belleville to the new extension to the Fairview Heights MetroLink Station. Additionally, with the connecting Phase I of the Orchard Loop Trail open and Phase II of the Orchard Loop Trail under construction, the MetroBikeLink system continues to grow.
The St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) began work on a new trail extension from the Memorial MetroLink Station to the Fairview Heights Station in 2018. This 3.5 mile trail, opened this summer, has historic roots in the community as the economic engine of Southwestern Illinois from the late 1800’s through early 1900’s with access to many of the area’s coal mines. The trail follows the old CSX rail alignment and Schoenberger Creek through hills and hollers of the Dutch Hollow area of Belleville and Fairview Heights.
The trail passes by what was once the Winslow Mining Company. It was a stop on the St. Louis and Southeastern Railway, which was acquired by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in 1879. There were several other mines along this route, and the new trail will provide a scenic, pastoral ride, walk or jog through St. Clair County.
This section of trail connects to the other 11.5 miles of MetroBikeLink for a total of 14 miles of paved trails along Metro.
Currently, Phase 1 of the SCCTD Orchard Loop Trail stretches for approximately 3 miles. This first length of the path connects in to the MetroBikeLink trail along the light rail system between the SWIC/College Station and the Belleville/Scheel Street Station.
Phase 2 will add another mile or so of trail, including a bridge that will go over Green Mount Road. Once Phase 2 is completed, it will connect Phase 1 with the Orchards Subdivision, providing hundreds of local residents with an easy access point to the scenic trails and Eckert’s Farm, and the MetroLink system.
This corridor is envisioned to extend from Lebanon Avenue in Belleville to Milburn School Road in Fairview Heights. Phase 1, from Lebanon Avenue to Rand Lane, will be constructed in 2020.
The St. Clair County Transit District was awarded a $200,000 grant for Phase 2. Governor J.B. Pritzker announced $2.6 million in grants in 2019 for 16 local projects that will help communities acquire, develop and improve bike path facilities throughout Illinois. SCCTD received the grant for Phase 2 of the Old Collinsville Road Trail to construct another 1.25 of trail along Old Collinsville Road. This will connect to the Phase 1 trail, and also to Swansea’s new Clinton Hills Conservation Park trail system.
Currently, the MetroBikeLink path connects into both Richland Creek Bikeway and West Belleville Bikeway (municipal trail systems) along the light rail system between the Swansea Station and the Belleville/Scheel Street Station near North End Park.
An additional connection to Swansea’s Mel Price Park is planned for 2020, just west of IL Route 159.
The MetroBikeLink system is a great way to get out and explore Southwestern Illinois through walking or biking with or without a link to transit. More information on the system and updates are available at www.scctd.org
As a reminder, all of these trails are made possible through the St. Clair County Transit District, public funds and partnerships with local stakeholders and organizations, including MetroEast Park and Recreation District, who has assisted with nearly every trail SCCTD has constructed.
MetroBikeLink is the ped/bike link to our transit system and a key component to an integrated, multi-modal transportation system is southwestern Illinois.
Get out explore with your bike and transit.