Ah, the wind in your hair as you peddle along. Whether a leisurely ride or packing on the miles, biking is a great way to get around in DuPage County.
With nearly 500 miles of bicycle and pedestrian trails, it’s no surprise that DuPage County ranks #3 for good health in the state, according to the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.
Grab your helmet and a bottle of water as you hit the trails of Chicago’s western suburbs!
Bike the first rail-to-trail conversion in the United States, the Illinois Prairie Path. The 61 miles of trails are primarily made of crushed limestone, which makes for great biking. Take in the majestic prairie restorations along the way. For a restful break, stop in town centers for some shopping or a light snack to fuel your ride.
On July 11th, join in on a 5-, 10- or 15-mile looped bike ride, as the new 100-mile commemorative DuPage Forest Preserves Century Trail is unveiled in celebration of the forest preserves’ 100th anniversary.
Also part of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve is host to prairies, savannas, and oak-maple woodlands that are home to over 300 species of wildlife. Surrounding Argonne National Laboratory, Waterfall Glenn’s 11 miles of trails and 2,492 acres offer some of the most impressive ecological features in DuPage County, and the hilly topography makes for a more challenging ride.
Don’t have a bike? Don’t worry! The Morton Arboretum has got it covered. Take advantage of their bike rentals from April through October. (Call ahead to check on availability.)
Glide past the vast trees and beautiful wildlife along their 9 miles of paved roads. May through September, you’ll also find vehicle-free roads for an even more comfortable ride.
Did you know “American’s premier particle physics laboratory,” Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, is also home to 6,800 acres of land that includes biking trails? Along your ride, visit the herd of bison, the tall-grass prairie and interpretive nature trails.
Park districts are always a great retreat for those seeking to be active. Visit park district trails in Addison, Bensenville, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Itasca, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Warrenville, Westmont, and Wheaton for your biking pleasure.
Following their lead, the Village of Lombard is working on their village-wide bicycle and pedestrian plan. This plan will not only increase transportation options, but also safely and comfortably connect neighborhoods to their already extensive trail system.
Taking the train as you travel from Chicago or other cities? Bring your bike along, because Metra is also bike friendly. Check out their rules and regulations, including time constraints, before you go.
Watch the excitement and high speed action of the Elmhurst Cycling Classic held in Elmhurst around the month of July. Stand just feet away from the elbow-to-elbow action as the racers zoom by at speeds over 30 mph. Prospect Avenue will come alive with fans at this family-friendly event. And don’t miss the pro races later in the day!
We want to make sure every ride throughout DuPage County is not only unforgettable, but also safe. To help us make this happen, we encourage you to follow these simple trail etiquette rules to ensure the safety of the people, animals and native vegetation around us.
- Make an effort to stay to the right, except when passing.
- Give an audible warning when passing another user by calling out “passing on the left.”
- Don’t travel at excessive speeds.
- Stay on the surfaced portion of the path and avoid going into the vegetation and landscaped areas.
- Watch out for wildlife crossing the trail.
- Wear your helmet at all times.
Check the County of DuPage’s bikeways and trails web page for even more trail suggestions and a mapping resource.
What trails are you biking this summer? Leave a comment to share your favorites.
See you on the trail!
Published July 7, 2015