Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Des Plaines River Trail is Complete!

Last year, the Lake County Forest Preserve District acquired the final piece of land and constructed the last missing segment of their premier trail to finish the 31+ mile Des Plaines River Trail, which passes through 12 forest preserves on its way.  The vision of the trail began in 1961, construction was begun in 1981, and it required 34 years to acquire the land and construct the trail. And it is a job very well done! One of the reasons it took so long to complete is the fact that the preserve board refused to ever use eminent domain to acquire property. In fact, the LCFPD owns over 85% of the land abutting the two sides of the river, a testament to their perseverance and dedication to conservation.

The LCFPD section of the trail ends at Lake-Cook Road, the diving line between Lake and Cook Counties, but the trail continues another 27 miles through Cook County, making a 58 mile trail and connecting over 30 forest preserves.

Of the 220 trails across the country that I've ridden, I consider it one of the top trails I've biked.  Here are photos of this newest 1500 foot section:

The Des Plaines River is on the left, and since this is flood plain, pilings had to be driven to stabilize the trail. The black fencing on the right separates the trail from the land owner who after 20 years of overtures, finally relented and sold the property to the forest preserve district.

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