Chicago’s Best Hidden Trails

Chicago’s Best Hidden Trails

Village Cycle Center loves Chicago and the surrounding areas – and we love to reveal hidden treasures! That’s why we’re bringing you our favorite hidden biking trails in the Chicagoland area! For more information on Village Cycle and our products and services, visit us online at or call (312) 751-2488.

Des Plaines River Trail

The Des Plaines River Trail is a trail that follows the Des Plaines River for 28 miles. This is a beautifully tree-covered and well-maintained and engineered trail. The Lake County section is quite flat, while the Cook County portion is more challenging.

Things to keep in mind:

  • There are some busy roadways along the trail – keep this in mind when planning your route.
  • Because the trail is in a flood plain, make sure you check flood warnings.
  • Because of the very winding nature of the trail, be sure to keep an eye out for oncoming riders. 

Green Bay Road Trail

The Green Bay Road Trail runs 9 miles along the Chicago commuter rail line. The trail is very doable for younger and more inexperienced riders, as it doesn’t provide too many challenging elevation climbs.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Pavement aging has left some imperfections in this trail that may make it less comfy for road bikers.
  • Keep an eye on a map! You’ll want to make sure you know where you’re going since this is an urban trail.

Palos Forest Preserves

With more than 80 miles of beautiful biking trails, you’ll continuously find new and well-maintained routes to explore.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Some trails at Palos are paved, but mountain bikers will be most comfortable on the paths here.
  • The East trail typically has less foot traffic.

North Branch Trail

The North Branch Trail winds along the North branch of the Chicago River. Beginning at the South end of the Chicago Botanic Garden and continues South to the forest preserve at Edgebrook.

Things to keep in mind:

  • This is another urban trail, so be sure to reference a map for start and stop points.
  • This trail has been very well maintained and is a great option for road bikers.

Illinois Prairie Path

The Illinois Prairie Path is a rail-trail conversion path that covers 61 miles in Historic Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin along the electric railroad. Its five branches (Main, Aurora, Elgin, Wheaton, and Maywood) converge at the Volunteer Park in Wheaton.

Things to keep in mind:

  • This suburban trail has a little something for everyone. It’s well-maintained and sprawling, so it’s great for exploring.
  • There are few elevation climbs, so this is a great trail for beginners or young riders.

Village Cycle Center is your top source for bikes, cycling gear and accessories, and service in the Chicagoland area. Visit us online at or call (312) 751-2488 today!

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