Great Western Trail

Illinois

Distance17.0mi
Elevation Gain577ft
Trailhead Elevation780ft
Top930ft
Elevation Min/Max742/930ft
Elevation Start/End780/780ft

Great Western Trail

Great Western Trail is a hiking and biking trail in DeKalb County and Kane County, Illinois. It is 17.0 miles long and begins at 780 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 34.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 577 feet. Near the trailhead there is a shelter. This trail connects with the following: Randall Road Trail.

Great Western Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The ride begins on the western edge of St. Charles, west of Randall Road on Dean Street. This 18-mile one-way (36 mile total) rail-to-trail conversion runs through rural areas on the outskirts of the Chicago suburbs. Ninety percent of the trail is limestone gravel and about ten percent is blacktop. You'll pass through agricultural, housing, commercial, and manufacturing areas. Even though you'll ride through these developed areas, this trail will give you a nice flavor of fields, marshes, and wetlands the farther west you go. In fact, you'll pass seven designated natural areas on the trail. You'll see several natural species of grass as well as abundant whit-tailed deer, fox, and beaver.

The trail runs from St. Charles in Kane County to Sycamore in DeKalb County. You'll pass through several old farming towns that you might want to explore: Wasco, Lily Lake, Virgil, and Richardson. some see why Illinois is called The Prairie State. Note, heavy rains have been known to cause washouts along this trail. This trail has a bit of everything, from commercial and manufacturing to agricultural and natural areas. It fees less developed than it is, and the natural areas include a nice spectrum of local scenery, from wetlands to fields."

"Setting out toward Sycamore from St. Charles, the first half of the path presents you with attractive woodland intermingled with acres of bright and shiny housing developments. A rural landscape takes over on the second half of the path as it slices through wide-open agricultural land alongside IL 64."

"Setting out toward Sycamore from St. Charles, the first half of the path presents you with attractive woodland intermingled with acres of bright and shiny housing developments. A rural landscape takes over on the second half of the path as it slices through wide-open agricultural land alongside IL 64."

"There is a Great Western Trail that stretches from Canada to Mexico through Idaho, Utah and Arizona, but it doesn’t go through Illinois. The Great Western Trail that you can ride on in Illinois only touches two countries. What perhaps gives this trail its greatness is its uncharted character, similar to that of western territories. Or maybe it's great because it heads west.

With this in mind, take heed that the hook that draws you into Illinois Great Western Trail is that no one else is hooked. Shooting just west of St. Charles, the Great Western Trail is probably one of the least-popular trails this close to Chicago, possibly because few people know about it. It's a ride on which you can truly be along with your thoughts. Aside from bridge crossings and a few twists and turns, this is a flat, straight, semi-rural trail with a few streams and ponds along the way. Farm country takes over as you ride westward. Things to see: Farm country."

Great Western Trail Reviews

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12/24/2006
The great western is a flat trail for the most part. If there is an incline it is very slight. Some parts are paved and others dirt/cinder (which turn to deep mud in wet conditions). Great trail for running or biking in good weather conditions. One way out and one way back....no chance on getting lost on this trail.
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Comments

Trail Information

Kid-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Accessibility
Asphalt, crushed gravel
Surface
Moderate
Skill Level
Birding, ATV/OHV
Additional Use
Wildflowers
Features
West Side Park
Local Contacts
USGS Elburn, Geneva, Maple Park, and Sycamore DeLorme: Illinois Atlas and Gazetteer: Pages 27 and 28 Kane & Northern Kendall Counties Bicycle Map; Kane County Division of Transportation; www .co.kane.il .us/dot/com/publications
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018