Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Wildlife
Closed when wet.
There are several creek crossings and portions of the trail are often wet or muddy. There are a lot of roots and hills on this trail as well as uneven footing from people using it when it is wet. The only water I have seen available is a hand pump at Maple Lake. There may be other sources - I am unsure.
The Yellow Trail
at Palos Park is a multi-surface trail. If you are tired of having to go to Waterfall Glen
for a longer (3+ hour) outing, this trail is a great alternative with fewer road crossings. You do occasionally have to keep an eye out for unleashed dogs in the more frequently used parts of the park, but that is only a small portion of the 9+ mile loop.
I like to start at the Mountain Bike Staging area/Maple Lake East Trail
parking lot. Shortly after the start, the trail empties out onto 95th St.; head right (east) on the road toward the light and go left (north) on Flavin Rd/104th Ave. You'll see the trail pick back up right away on the far side of Flavin Rd.
This next section of the Yellow Trail
features a dirt surface and is quiet as it heads north, paralleling Flavin Road. You'll eventually come to an unmarked "Y" where you'll want to go right.
After some more quiet running, you'll come to a "T" at an intersection with the Tan Trail
with no obvious signage for continuing on the Yellow Trail
(do not go straight). TURN LEFT. Go to your left just a bit, and you'll see the Yellow Trail
marker on the right. The trail eventually widens into a wide gravel trail, and you may see families and horses.
As the trail winds back to the west, it crosses 104th Ave again, but that is the last true road crossing. This brings you past the Little Red School House.
The only other paved crossing is a parking lot at the south end of Maple Lake. Take a right and follow the parking lot almost to its end, and you'll see the Yellow Trail
pick back up on the left. There is water available here and this is another easily-accessible entry point. You'll see a lot of mountain bikes heading through this area on nice days.
Flora & Fauna
I have seen deer, coyotes, many types of birds and other wildlife. They are doing a series of prescribed burns throughout the area during the late winter (February).