North Shore Cruise

Chicago, Illinois

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If you’re like many cyclists, sometimes the momentum behind a bike ride is generated wholly by the desire to find a scenic spot to relax and enjoy the lunch you packed along. This ride offers great choices for picnicking spots, including roadside prairies, bluffs above Lake Michigan, and several sprawling forest preserves. In addition to the many parks along the way, the second half of the ride takes you through the picturesque campus of Lake Forest University and the historic grounds of Fort Sheridan. On the way to Fort Sheridan, the first half of the route passes by a series of large wooded parks that invite you to take a break and have a look around. The Heller Nature Center on Ridge Road is the first of these: It features a short network of trails that wind through oak-hickory forests, tallgrass prairie, and wetlands. On St. Marys Road you’ll encounter three county-owned forest preserves situated along the Des Plaines River. Wright Woods contains several miles of crushed gravel trails and hundreds of acres of thick bottomland woods along the river.

North Shore Cruise Professional Review and Guide

"If you’re like many cyclists, sometimes the momentum behind a bike ride is generated wholly by the desire to find a scenic spot to relax and enjoy the lunch you packed along. This ride offers great choices for picnicking spots, including roadside prairies, bluffs above Lake Michigan, and several sprawling forest preserves. In addition to the many parks along the way, the second half of the ride takes you through the picturesque campus of Lake Forest University and the historic grounds of Fort Sheridan.

On the way to Fort Sheridan, the first half of the route passes by a series of large wooded parks that invite you to take a break and have a look around. The Heller Nature Center on Ridge Road is the first of these: It features a short network of trails that wind through oak-hickory forests, tallgrass prairie, and wetlands. On St. Marys Road you’ll encounter three county-owned forest preserves situated along the Des Plaines River. Wright Woods contains several miles of crushed gravel trails and hundreds of acres of thick bottomland woods along the river."

Activity Type: Road Biking
Nearby City: Chicago
Distance: 35.4
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Season: Spring, summer, fall
Local Maps: USGS Highland Park quad
Driving Directions: Directions to North Shore Cruise

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May 2018