Galena River Fall Half Marathon & 8K

Saturday, October 26, 2024 • Galena, IL • Course Map

You’ll follow a gentle, out-and-back run along the trails that wind alongside the Galena River and the Mississippi River here in the northwest corner of the state at the Galena River Fall Half Marathon, which is set to start and finish inside Depot Park, right alongside the river.

Historic place. Home to just shy of 3,500 people, Galena was once a bustling city of some 10,000 people back in the early 1800s, when the area was famous for its galena, the native American name for the mineral that was mined here for more than a thousand years.

Fast-forward to today and the town now is better known for its historic 19th-century architecture and for being the home of Ulysses S. Grant, the famed Civil War general and the 18th president of the United States.

Just a stone’s throw from where the race starts, you can visit the home where he lived with his family in the years leading up to the Civil War, as well as Horseshoe Mound, a hill just outside Galena where you can see three states.

Out-and-back along the river. You’ll start the race in Depot Park, which overlooks the Galena River downtown, and from there head out onto the roads and trails that wind alongside the river as it snakes toward the (much larger) Mississippi River.

You’ll along Park Avenue and then the Galena Junction Trail and the Aiken Trail, all the way to the race turnaround point at South River Road in the tiny community of Aiken. Once you’ve made the turn, you retrace your steps along the route you’ve just run, all the way back to Depot Park for the race finish.

Walkers and runners are welcome in the 8K, but organizers note that the half marathon is for runners only.

A stretch of the Galena River Trail in Galena, Illinois. (Photo courtesy Galena River Fall Half Marathon)

A view of the Galena River from the Chestnut Mountain Ski Lift. (Photo by Richie Diesterheft/flickr)

The hills surrounding Galena, Illinois. (Photo by Richie Diesterheft/flickr)

Race Weather & Climate

Nestled along the Galena River in the northwest corner of Illinois, about a 20-minute drive across the river from Dubuque and roughly 3 hours west of Chicago, Galena typically sees temperatures between the upper 30s and the low 60s in October, while rainfall totals average just over 2.5 inches for the month.

  • Oct. 26 average low temp: 35ºF
  • Oct. 26 average high temp: 56ºF

Course Map

See the race route map for the Galena River Fall Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

8:00 AM


  • $60 – $80 for the half marathon or 8K


To reserve your spot in the 2024 running of the Galena River Fall Half Marathon or 8K race, register online at here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Galena River Fall Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, as well as anything you learned about the race that you think other runners/walkers should know.

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