Nature, recreation, convenience, and history all describe the popular Constitution Trail. What began as the Illinois Central Railroad from Bloomington to LaSalle in 1853, has now become one of the most extensive urban multi-use trails in Illinois. One of the main goals is for the trail to stretch throughout Bloomington-Normal, reaching as many neighborhoods as possible, so that people don’t have to drive to use it. In fact, due to the Trail’s popularity, the Twin Cities (Bloomington & Normal, IL) have developed trail plans which will eventually connect the Trail to places of employment, commerce, schools, parks, and historic interest.
The initial idea for the trail was proposed in the early 1980’s. Since the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad line was abandoned at around this same time, it provided the perfect pathway for the trail. After the railroad tracks were removed, the first section of the trail was installed totaling 4.3 miles. Then, in celebration of the 200th birthday of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1987, the Trail was dedicated and officially named “Constitution Trail.” Finally, the grand opening took place on May 6, 1989.
In 2009, The Friends of the Constitution Trail (a non-profit group that works to expand and beautify the Trail), financed six signs that were posted along the trail. These signs pay homage to and describe significant sections of the US Constitution and how they apply to our lives today.
- The Preamble – Rosa Parks Commons
- The Bill of Rights – Connie Link Amphitheater
- Article One – Tipton Park
- Article Two – West Route 9 Wayside
- Article Three – Keith Rich Memorial near Rollingbrook Park
- Article Five – Atwood Wayside
This year marks the 29th anniversary of the trail which now totals over 45 miles! This hard-surfaced trail is open to walkers, runners, cyclists, in-line skaters, as well as wheelchair and other non-motorized forms of transportation every day from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. There are numerous parking areas adjacent to the trail as well as picnic tables, water fountains, shelters, restrooms, benches, and trash receptacles. What’s more, the Trail is conveniently located less than 10 minutes from the Vrooman Mansion!
As you plan your next visit to our historic and elegant bed and breakfast, be sure to carve out some time to trek this historic and beautiful Trail! Pack your trail shoes, bicycles, roller blades, or picnic baskets and take full advantage of all the Trail offers to both visitors and locals alike. After an enjoyable afternoon, come back to the Mansion, put your feet up and enjoy our luxurious amenities and comfortable accommodations for a fantastic weekend getaway!