Illinois Prairie Path Main Stem

Chicago, Illinois 60684

Illinois Prairie Path Main Stem

Illinois Prairie Path: Main Stem Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The Illinois Prairie Path, one of the first rail trails in the nation, runs along the route of the former Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin Railway, an electric railroad line that carried commuters and freight between Chicago and its western suburbs. Stretching from Wheaton to Maywood, the main stem of the Prairie Path takes you through wooded parks and greenways and offers a taste of a handful of communities that grew up alongside this route.

Before heading east on the trail, consider taking the 1.5-mile trip west along the path into downtown Wheaton, where restaurants, bars, and shops line the streets. Along the way you’ll pass Wheaton College, which contains a museum focusing on the school’s most famous alumnus, the evangelist Billy Graham.

The trail also passes a large Romanesque-style courthouse built in 1896 that is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The building, topped off by a large clock tower, was recently remodeled and now contains high-priced condos. The west side of Wheaton is where the Prairie Path splits into two main branches; one goes to Aurora, the other to Elgin."

More Illinois Prairie Path: Main Stem Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

"The Illinois Prairie Path, one of the first rail trails in the nation, runs along the route of the former Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin Railway, an electric railroad line that carried commuters and freight between Chicago and its western suburbs. Stretching from Wheaton to Maywood, the main stem of the Prairie Path takes you through wooded parks and greenways and offers a taste of a handful of communities that grew up alongside this route. Sections of this trail can get busy; be mindful of other trail users. Watch for broken glass on the paved sections. The trail crosses a few streets with very heavy traffic. Waiting to cross sometimes requires patience." Read more

Illinois Prairie Path: Main Stem Reviews

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6/1/2006
You can't go wrong exploring the slender natural wonder of this path as it courses through suburban Chicago. In many places the natural beauty overwhelms, and the parts that do not are fun and interesting. It is fun to bicycle a portion at a time and plan on stopping and eating somewhere along way.
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Trail Information

Chicago
Nearby City
Kid-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Accessibility
26.8
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Asphalt, crushed gravel
Surface
Easy
Skill Level
3 hours
Riding Time
Skating, Birding
Additional Use
Hoffman Park
Local Contacts
USGS Elmhurst, River Forest, and Wheaton DeLorme: Illinois Atlas and Gazetteer: Pages 28 and 29
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018