North Branch Trail

North Branch Trail North Branch Trail is a Class I bicycle trail The North Branch Trail is a Class I bicycle trail located in northwestern Cook County, Illinois.

The trail starts at the corner of Caldwell and Devon Avenues in Chicago, and from there it continues north approximately 20 miles (32 km) to Lake County. The trail follows a path along the North Branch of the Chicago River and the Skokie Lagoons. Along the path, riders will find themselves passing through city streets and into quiet forests where the sounds of the city quickly fade away. Because the area is located within a forest preserve, many generations of wildlife have lived and died with limited but safe contact with humans. As a result, it is not uncommon to find animals such as deer who have no fear of humans and may even stop and examine you as much as you examine them. The trail adjoins an equestrian facility at Golf and Harms Rds. The trail started after World War II as several disconnected and unpaved equestrian trails, most of which still exist. The present paved trail was largely completed in the 1980s with a continuous paved surface, and overpasses at Oakton Street and Lake Ave. The entire length of the paved trail was torn up and repaved in 2007, correcting many poor sections and offering a smooth and groomed pathway. Much work was done on the equestrian trails as well. Parking and access to the trail is available in many locations, including Harms Woods in Skokie and the Tower Road boat launch. The trail splits at Tower Road, looping around the Skokie Lagoons. This offers an excellent tour of this locally famous conservation effort performed during the depths of the depression. A commemorative plaque can be found honoring the Civilian Conservation Corps work, just east of the Edens Expressway and north of Willow Rd. The lagoons was also the site of a (Nike) missile base constructed during the cold war, although little remains of this today.

Operating as usual


6300 W Devon Ave
Chicago, IL


(312) 629-6841


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check out Springbrook prairie bike trail in naperville il
Is there a group that posts the conditions on the trail, like if it is flooded? Thanks for whoever can help.
Check out this post about the best hiking spots in and around Chicago featuring the North Branch Trail! Super informative and a great resource.
On my ride a few days ago. Love this trail
Love, love, love the North Branch Trail! Spent a beautiful afternoon biking with my darling husband there yesterday!