North Branch Trail is a 16.4 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Skokie, Illinois and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This is a great trail but not really a mountain biking trail. Crushed limestone for mountain bikes but not really the single track you would think for mountain biking. That being said I took the trail a little over ten miles north, the entirety of the yellow trail and the black, before I headed back. Being from the city I appreciate having a close wooded trail to ride a distance.
I thoroughly enjoyed it! My GPS watch was a little off but I made it. 16 miles later. :)
a very nice trail for biking or walking that takes you all the way to the Botanical Gardens. it's paved so biking is nice. the path disconnects and reconnects whenever it exits on forest preserve, crosses a road, then enters another preserve (it passes thru several) so watch for signs or have a map handy. i've spotted many dear alongside the path. they are so used to people that they don't even run away as you get closer.
We came out from the city to roller blade...it's great because it's not super far from the city and the trail is way less crowded than the lake front...I definitely want to come back w/ my bike...we even saw 3 deer in the middle of the afternoon! The trail starts at Devon Ave. and Caldwell Ave. and goes as far north as Lake-Cook Rd...several parking lots off Devon since there's a pool and park there...the trail winds along the Chicago River...it's super nature-y if you're looking for something that makes you feel like you're out of the city w/o really leaving!
This trail is great if you want a safe and long ride. There is some heavy traffic, so you have to be careful of pedestrians- especially when you are on a bike during the weekends. I lived near this trail for a couple of years and it is great for half-triathlon training (long distance runs and rides); but not an escape from the bustle of the city.
A nice easy ride that you can start on the north side of Chicago, pass the Skokie Lagoons, and take to the Botanic Gardens.