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“A gravel trail that allows users explore nature along the Des Plaines from the Cook County border to Wisconsin.”
— Matthew Rodriguez
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Lake — River/Creek — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
The Des Plaines River Trail in Lake County is a well maintained and well traveled trail that runs the length of Lake County along the Des Plaines River. The trail gives unparalleled access to the Des Plaines River. It can be accessed by several forest preserves and parks that are very close to towns in the area. It is important to be aware that the trail is mixed use; cyclists and pedestrians frequent this trail so it is important to be attentive to fellow trail users. In the winter, this trail can be used for snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
Due to its proximity to the Des Plaines River, the trail is relatively level with a few short low grade hills. It runs through woodlands, oak savannah, plains, and wetland areas. Mosquitoes and ticks can be found during the warmer months, so be sure to check for them after your run.
The trail is primarily gravel with a few sections of concrete or asphalt when different parts of the trail are connected via roads, bridges, or underpasses. After periods of heavy rain, these underpasses may be impassable; there may be detours available.
One of the largest forest preserves that the Des Plaines River Trail runs through is Independence Grove, which is a reclaimed gravel quarry which provides a number of activities from fishing to concerts.