Are you looking for singletrack nirvana in the Windy City? If your answer is yes, you’re not to be disappointed with the 67,000-acres of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (Chicago). Throw in the 23,000-acres of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, and you have trail bliss. Great rides are within a 30-minute drive of downtown. Here are some trails to explore the next time you decide to visit Chi-town.
Here is another scene from the Waterfall Glen area… it’s hard to believe you are so close to Chicago!
Located 11-miles west of the Loop, the Indian Boundary Trail has over 22-miles of trails to enjoy. The trail runs along the eastside of the DesPlaines River from Madison Street on the south, to past O’Hare Airport on the north. Bikers are guaranteed to see more than their fair share of whitetail deer along the trail. In fact, they’re all over the place. Local writer Ernest Hemingway was known to camp along the river in his youth.
Located 15-miles west of the Loop, the Salt Creek Trail has over 10-miles of singletrack to enjoy. There is a paved path here, but off-road trails are found on both sides of the creek. Don’t expect many hills along the trail, but be prepared to twist and turn along this winding and scenic trail.
Located 20-miles southwest of the Loop, the Palos Trails offer more than 30-miles of Chicago’s best riding. Tight singletrack with plenty of small 30-foot to 40-foot hills are the norm for this technical challenge. The park was one of the sites for the Manhattan Project (look for the memorial marker) and the trails are still a blast!
Located 25-miles southwest of the Chicago Loop, Waterfall Glen has over nine miles of good riding. While singletrack riding is banned here, the park has doubletrack trails of a crushed limestone surface.
Located 25-miles southwest of Loop, Waterfall Glen has over 9 miles of good riding. While singletrack riding is banned here, the park has doubletrack trails of a crushed limestone surface. The scenery is still worth a trip, Limestone bluffs, rolling hills, savannas, and great views of the Cal Sag Canal are found here. The rolling terrain is the result of the Wisconsin Glacier, which left its moraines (depression in the ground). Wildlife sighting may include whitetail deer, coyote, fox, and hawks.
For more information, contact:
- Forest Preserve District of Cook County, IL: (708) 771-1000
- Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, IL: (630) 790-4900
- Chicago Area Mountain Bikers (CAMBR): A local mountain bike club that lists trails, ride descriptions, and related events. http://www.cambr.org/
- Chicago Mountain Bike Trails Guide by P.L. Strazz. A comprehensive guide to the bicycle trails around Chicago. Big Lauter Tun Books