DuPage County has hundreds of miles of bicycle and pedestrian trails. The trails are great places to do a great many activities, from exercising to bird watching. Over 80% of DuPage County residents live within an eight minute bike ride (one mile) of our regional trail system, and our trail system is easily accessed by Metra or Pace services. Parking lots are located at all major trail heads should you need a place to park you car.
Not sure where to go? If you are unfamiliar with the DuPage County Trail system, we have identified some rides for less experienced bicycle riders to explore the DuPage County trails and forest preserves.
If you have a favorite ride that you think would be an interest to other people, please share it with us so we can publish a map and ride description. Be sure to tell us what make this ride fun or interesting. Send it to the DuPage County Trails Coordinator at: TrailPathCoordinator@dupagecounty.gov.
Go for a long bike ride or train for a marathon on this 35 mile loop that starts and ends at the Bartlett Metra Station and passes through 5 DuPage County forest preserves with woodlands, wetlands, and prairies. This loop will take you by the scenic Pratt's Wayne Woods and Pate Phillips State Park. You'll pass wetlands on the Illinois Prairie Path and spot numerous wetland bird species. See restored prairie along the Great Western Trail at Timber Ridge Forest Preserve. Need a rest or a drink mid-way through your trip? You'll have numerous options in downtown Wheaton. After this ride, grab a meal or a drink in downtown Bartlett.
- IPP East-West Ride Map (PDF)
The Illinois Prairie Path is the proud grandfather of rail-to-trails. Take the Illinois Prairie Path between the eastern trail head at the Blue Line in Forest Park to the West Chicago Metra on the Illinois Prairie Path Geneva Spur. This ride takes you on the IPP through great suburban communities that offer numerous opportunities to stop and grab lunch or a snack in between riding under a mature canopy of shade trees. Numerous points of interest can also divert you from your ride and offer a chance to learn more about DuPage County's history.
Drive and park at a one of the numerous parking lots along the trail or take Metra to access various parts of the trail. This loop ride offers the ideal rail-trail ride - no need to ride on streets with traffic. The Illinois Prairie Path and Great Western Trail are both constructed on former railroad right-of-way and therefore have few conflicts with vehicular traffic. Pass through forests, natural areas, and quaint downtowns with plenty of opportunities to dismount and shop, eat, drink, or relax in the shade.
- Lombard Loop Map (PDF)
Explore the neighborhoods that make Lombard, the Lilac Community, a great place to live and maintain an active lifestyle using bike-friendly streets. Take detours from the loop and explore the two major bikeways that pass through the town: the Great Western Trail and the Illinois Prairie Path. A tour of the historic downtown area, within walking distance of the Metra Station, highlights the heritage earlier residents left to contemporary Lombard: the historic Lilacia Park, Lombard Historical Museum, and the Maple Street Chapel, a historic landmark built as the original First Church of Lombard in 1870.
Explore three scenic rail trails in northwest DuPage County that are easily accessible by car or Metra: The IPP Elgin Branch, the IPP Geneva Spur, and the Fox River Trail. The ride offers a great mix of natural areas, downtowns with trail amenities, and educational amenities.
Stop and spend time at James "Pate" Phillip State Park. Together with 3,432 acre Pratt's Wayne Woods Forest Preserve, this large block of open space provides corridors that facilitate animal movement and seed dispersal and enables breeding populations of animals, such as sandhill cranes, herons and Blanding's turtles. This land contains the remnants of one of the most diverse natural systems that ever graced the Illinois landscape, the tall grass prairie and its associated communities. The visitor's center offers parking, exhibits, programs, water, and restrooms.
The Fox River trail travels along the route of a historic railroad line. Stop along the way at local diners, or pack a lunch and take a break at picnic spots. Signage along the trail lets riders opt for the auxiliary trail that detours through neighborhoods and Main Streets. Take a detour north to visit the Fox River Trolley Museum to see the trains that once were active along the Prairie Path right-of-way.
Explore four scenic rail-trails in southwest DuPage County that are easily accessible by car or Metra: the IPP Main Stem, the IPP Batavia Spur, the Fox River Trail, and the IPP Geneva Spur. The ride offers a great mix of open spaces with diverse environments and downtowns with trail user services.
The Fox River trail travels along the routes of historic railroad lines. Stop along the way at local diners, or pack a lunch and take a break at picnic spots. Signage along the trail lets riders opt for the auxiliary trail that detours through neighborhoods and Main Streets. Stop and visit St. James Farm Forest Preserve, admire the prairie restoration of the West Chicago Prairie, admire the scenic Fox River, or take a detour to spot wildlife along the West Branch DuPage River Trail.
This is an east - west ride that begins in Villa Park and ends near the DuPage County border in Naperville with an option to end in downtown Naperville. If a one-way ride is preferred, you can take Metra from downtown Chicago and return using Metra stations at Villa Park, Wheaton, Naperville, or Lombard to decrease the total ride length. Conversely, parking is available for free on most weekends at these Metra stations.
The east portion of this ride takes riders through neighborhoods and communities' downtowns. There are numerous stores and restaurants to stop and get refreshments. The western portion of the ride feels more rural and takes you through forest preserves. There is an option to take the West Branch DuPage River Trail from just west of Winfield Road south along the river to on-street routes that bring you to Metra stations at IL 59 or downtown Naperville.
The Salt Creek Trail is a 25-Mile trail that connects Busse Woods in Cook County, passes through numerous communities in DuPage County, and terminates at the Brookfield Zoo. Riders can also continue south on bicycle-friendly streets to popular destinations like Fullersburg Woods, historic downtown Hinsdale, and the Southern DuPage Regional Trail.
The Salt Creek Trail can be easily accessed via numerous Metra stations or there are various parks of forest preserves to park a car and unload your bicycle. The trail passes through numerous forest preserves in Cook and DuPage Counties which include historic sites, natural areas, and picnic sites. Side trips can be taken on the Illinois Prairie Path or the Great Western Trail.
Do you want to get to know DuPage County better? We designed this loop of northern DuPage County for slightly more experienced riders; segments of this loop include on-street riding, but the vast majority uses trails or bike friendly streets. Visit 13 of the 39 communities in DuPage County. Pass through forest preserves, ride America's first rail-to-trail, and ride on four regional trails. Attractions along or near the route include Wheaton College, Cosley Zoo, museums, and Klein Creek Farm. Add two miles to the loop and include visits to downtown Wheaton and Glen Ellyn where numerous refreshment options are available only a few feet from the Illinois Prairie Path. The route is easily accessible from Metra trains or the expressways with various locations to park and unload bicycles.
Do you want to get to know the communities of central and southern DuPage County better? We designed a long loop ride for southern DuPage County along our regional trail system that minimizes on-road riding. Pass through forest preserves, ride America's first rail-to-trail, ride on parts of four different regional trails.
Attractions along or near the route include Cosley Zoo, Graue Mill Museum, the Peabody Estate, Centennial Beach (downtown Naperville), and historic downtown Hinsdale. The ride route is easily accessible from Metra trains, the expressway, or any of the 15 communities along the route.