Deer Grove Trail

Deer Grove Nature Preserve, Illinois

Elevation Gain181ft
Trailhead Elevation781ft
Elevation Min/Max740/790ft
Elevation Start/End781/781ft

Deer Grove Trail

Deer Grove Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Cook County, Illinois. It is within Deer Grove Nature Preserve. It is 3.9 miles long and begins at 781 feet altitude. There is a water well along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Yellow Trail Loop (5.4 Mi), Palatine Bike Trail and Deer Grove Bicycle Trail.

Deer Grove Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The rolling landscape at Deer Grove is blanketed with thick groves of oak, hickory, and maple. Mixed in with the dense forest are ravines, marshes, ponds, and the occasional stream straddled by picturesque old limestone bridges.

Dogs must be leashed. If you’re visiting after a rain, plan on getting some mud on your shoes. During summer, bring mosquito repellent. In winter, Deer Grove is popular with cross-country skiers."

"Nearly a century after its creation, the oldest forest preserve in Cook County is arguably its most popular. Beloved by hikers, cyclists, campers, skiers, equestrians—and even model plane enthusiasts—the tranquil woods of Deer Grove are one of the few tracts of real wilderness in Illinois, spared from the farming industry thanks to its early purchase in 1916. This steady walk through shady oaks and hickories takes you through the denser, quieter western side of the preserve for an intimate look at an unspoiled forest."

"Deer Grove comes in two flavors: open prairie paved, and deep woods unpaved. Both are hilly. A ride through each keeps those who know about Deer Grove coming back for more. As forest preserves go this one is a favorite because it's close to Chicago, easy to bike, and lots of fun. It's also one of the few mountain-biking trails available in Cook County that satisfies hill hunger without overwhelming you.

Though Deer Grove is not immense, it makes good use of the space it has without confusing switchbacks and interior loops. Signs mapping out the preserve and your location are a help when you're unsure how far you've gone. Though its suburban surroundings do little to inspire a feeling of isolation as you drive in, the eighteen hundred acres inside hide well what's outside. Things to see: Deer, prairie, forest."

"Located in Palatine, off Dundee Road. If you're north of Chicago, Deer Grove is where you should go to get some mountain bike action. While there is a paved bicycle trail in the forest preserve, the real excitement is on the cross-country ski trail. Even though this wide, 8.5-mile multiple-loop trail has paved sections, the majority of it is dirt. if you want even more exhilaration, you might explore the various dirt single-track spurs you'll find off the main trail.

The single-track is narrower and hillier than the main trail. You ride goes through dense woods full of rocks and fallen trees. Even though the Chicago area is notoriously flat, you'll be surprised by the elevation of this area. It's not uncommon to ride down a steep ravine, come to a creek crossing at the bottom, and hit a steep climb on the way back up. You'll also get to test you technical abilities in areas where you'll find jumps across streams. (The best riding of this type is found along the creek)."

Deer Grove Trail Reviews

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This beautiful, well marked trail was enjoyable on a hot summer day. Ample shade, steep ravines and some mowed clearings made for a moderate and relaxing hike. Unfortunately, this time of year is very dry and August is usually a drought so we missed out on those snaking rivers that run across the trail. I'd recommend going in late spring. There was also a beach and sand volleyball, which made for a great picnic. My favorite part about this hike was that hunters and hikers follow the same trail but the park assures there have been no accidents, lol. Hope you enjoy!
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With my experience, I cannot give a full review of this trail due to lack of day light. However, I would like to post a "heads up." If you are familiar with the area, you may know that the old park roads are NOT for bikes, but the criss-crossing single track does not have any posted signs restricting this access. The warning is this, if you''re on the old park roads, keep your eyes peeled for 1/2" steel cables strung across the road. These cables (at brake lever height) will stop you in a hurry, and do wonders to your bike and body. Once I fix my bike and body, I''ll give you teh full review of the single track. Happy trails!
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Just to let you know Deer Grove is not all that. You can now only ride on the main trail. All of the good single track has been closed down to Mountain Bikers. So, it is now BORING to just ride the main loop.

Deer Grove Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Deer Grove Nature Preserve
Nearby City
Deer Grove Nature Preserve
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Skill Level
Local Contacts
Forest Preserves of Cook County offers a map on its website: USGS Lake Zurich, IL
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018