Monday, October 3, 2011

Millennium Trail Extension

The Lake County Forest Preserve District has opened the newest addition to their Millennium Trail, a two mile segment in Round Lake from Litchfield Drive (Nature's Cove community) to Fairfield Park Disk Golf Course (Round Lake Area Park District.)

From Litchfield Drive, you pedal a 3/4 mile section running behind the Valley Lake community and along a garden nursery, including a boardwalk over a wetland and several lovely stretches through woods.

Then you reach a fence blocking the trail with a prominent sign indicating that the trail ends because the Village of Round Lake (847-546-5400) will not cooperate in granting a 640' long easement through the section shown below (as well as a 30' section at the start of the trail at Litchfield Drive)...

 The next segment follows the power tower corridor and crosses Nippersink Road...

After several uphills and downhills, the trail curves into the woods to avoid a wetland area, crosses under the power lines, crosses Squaw Creek on a bridge...

...and enters Fairfield Park (with signage warning you are entering a disk golf area with flying frisbees possible.)  There is a good size gravel lot at Fairfield Road for those who wish to drive to the trail access.

I've biked 149 trails across the country, including 33 in the five-county Chicago area, and the two signature trails of the LCFPD (the 32 mile Des Plaines River Trail and 20 mile Millennium Trail) are among the best I've biked -- both place high on my list of the top 10 trails I've been on.

I hope the FPD builds the "missing link" next year through Marl Flat Preserve to connect the existing section in Volo to this new Round Lake segment. Otherwise, you have to bike 2.5 miles on Fish Lake, Waite, Wilson, and Litchfield Roads to make the connection.  And I hope the Village of Round Lake develops a cooperative mind set towards this multi-community trail effort.

The plans for the Millennium Trail are to extend it to the north and east to complete the "U" shaped loop and return to the Des Plaines River Trail from whence it began in Libertyville. I anticipate the trail will continue under the power corridor until it meets the Round Lake Bike Path, then on through several more forest preserves -- namely Rollins Savanna, McDonald Woods, Fourth Lake, and eventually Wadsworth Savanna (the trail exists or is being built in several of these areas.)

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