Des Plaines River Trail: Old School County Forest to Des Plaines

EASY 42 reviews

Des Plaines River Trail: Old School County Forest to Des Plaines is a 21.9 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Libertyville, Illinois that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 21.9 miles Elevation Gain: 252 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash

cross country skiing


horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

paddle sports

road biking

trail running


bird watching






wild flowers





Complete and detailed guide of the Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway from the Old School Preserve to Lake-Cook Road. The Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway traverses Lake County, Illinois, North to South, over 31 miles as it winds it's way along the Des Plaines River connecting preserves, local parks, and communities. Unlike typicall arrow straight rails-to-trails projects, this improved trail offers quiet and fun riding as it meanders lazily to and fro following the Des Plaines River over a virtually flat trail. Multiple access points over it's length make it accessible via auto, bike, or pedestrian traffic and provide limitless options for riders of all levels of skill and experience. This complete and detailed guide covers the Des Plaines River Trail and all it's access points, trailheads, parking, connecting trails, communities, parks, preserves, and facilities (including restrooms and water) between the Old School Forest Preserve and Lake-Cook Road. This guide provides over 40 points of interest and even more beautiful photos on the Des Plaines River Trail, viewable via your browser at home, or on the fly trailside via your mobile phone.

9 months ago


11 months ago

I love this trail but would rate easy, not moderate.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Quiet walk on Saturday afternoon. The only bummer was having to walk to light to cross over and then retrace back to trail

Friday, July 15, 2016

One of my favorite Lake County Forest Preserves! Lots of trails and love hiking along the river, where I frequently see deer and beavers. So cool to see the deer swim in the river. Love the different nature smells along the river with the wildflowers and trees. After heavy rains, the river trail can get quite muddy and even close at times due to flooding much of the entire river bank, but there are plenty of other trails to hike here. Bring and use bug spray, if hiking in the more wooded trails, as they are frequently buggy.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016


mountain biking
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Great trail. Been riding it for 20 plus years. Indirectly connects to the north shore bike path in libertyville and the Kenosha bike path off of Russell road at the north end

road biking
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I enjoy biking on this wide trail. For running, I prefer single track and more hills.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Starting at Old School Libertyville and ending at Old Half Day Rd., have breakfast or lunch depending when you start at Egg Harbor in Lincolnshire. Then take the trek back to Old School. Can be busy depending on the day. Of course, weekends are busy with runner, bikers and hikers. Still beautiful hike among the forest, wildflowers, ferns, and deer sightings. During spring, the river may be too high and block access under Route 60 / Townline Rd. If your adventurous you can carry bike across the water or scurry over rocks close under the overpass. Level gravel surface, some slight downhill, nothing a beginner couldn't handle. Have ridden my bike and that is as much fun as hiking. Easy rider!

road biking
Thursday, December 27, 2012

Rode about half of this trail and will be back to complete. Very nice, mostly unpaved

road biking
Saturday, July 28, 2012

We did an awesome 8 mile family ride here today and enjoyed the scenery a lot. Little hilly but when you are pulling a bunch of kids that is more difficult. We will definitely be going back.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Okay for biking or running but not a very interesting hike.

mountain biking
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

great trail for pleasure and having a great time

9 days ago

mountain biking
10 months ago

Saturday, June 23, 2018

mountain biking
Monday, June 04, 2018

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Monday, September 04, 2017

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

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