North Branch Trail

Lincolnwood, Illinois

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If you look at a map of Chicago’s northern suburbs and follow the routes of several streams that merge to form the North Branch of the Chicago River, it looks like strands of a rope gradually coming together. While much of the North Branch and its tributaries have fallen victim to campaigns to straighten the many bends, the sections of river along the North Branch Trail wriggle and twist through a glorious 15.0-mile-long corridor of county-owned forest preserves. Small bluffs, woodland, ponds, prairie, open grassy parkland, and little streams trickling into the Chicago River greet trail users along the way. There are multiple road crossings along the North Branch Trail. Be alert—some of these crossings are very busy with traffic. Fortunately traffic lights and overpasses simplify the busiest crossings. This trail can become congested on summer weekends.
Best Rail Trails Illinois

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Rail Trails Illinois

by Ted Villaire (Falcon Guides)

If you look at a map of Chicago’s northern suburbs and follow the routes of several streams that merge to form the North Branch of the Chicago River, it looks like strands of a rope gradually coming together. While much of the North Branch and its tributaries have fallen victim to campaigns to straighten the many bends, the sections of river along the North Branch Trail wriggle and twist through a glorious 15.0-mile-long corridor of county-owned forest preserves.

Small bluffs, woodland, ponds, prairie, open grassy parkland, and little streams trickling into the Chicago River greet trail users along the way. There are multiple road crossings along the North Branch Trail. Be alert—some of these crossings are very busy with traffic. Fortunately traffic lights and overpasses simplify the busiest crossings. This trail can become congested on summer weekends.

©  Ted Villaire/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Rail-Trails
Nearby City: Lincolnwood
Distance: 15.1
Surface:
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Season: Year-round
Local Maps: USGS River Forest, Park Ridge, and Highland Park
Driving Directions: Directions to North Branch Trail

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May 2018