The Des Plaines River Trail is a recreational multiuse trail that follows the course of the Des Plaines River through most of Lake and part of Cook County in northeast Illinois in the United States.
Trail uses include hiking/walking, bicycling, equestrian, and even winter cross country skiing and snowmobiling (conditions permitting). Since much of the trail lies in the flood plain along the Des Plaines River, sections of the trail are occasionally closed due to flooding during periods of heavy rain. Though not all sections of the trail connect directly, there is currently a 28-mile (45 km) continuous section running through Lake County starting at Russell Road along the Wisconsin/Illinois state line and running south to West Riverside Road about a mile south of Route 22. There are additional disconnected sections south of this point.
Much of the Des Plaines River Trail runs through a protected corridor made up of a series of public lands that are part of the Lake County Forest Preserve District and the Cook County Forest Preserve District. The numerous forest preserves provide additional recreational opportunities along the trail. Underpasses and bridges are used to facilitate many (not all) of the major road crossings (The underpasses are highly prone to flooding during the spring).
Cook County Forest Preserve rangers give lectures at various time during the year. There is a nature house where forest animals reside for the public to view. The trails are very calm and beautiful and especially in the fall when the leaves change colors. A peak time to walk the trails is the second or third week in October. You can picnic right next to the Des Plaines River.
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