The Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway traverses north–south along the route of its namesake river along its course through both Lake and Cook counties. The corridor protects 85% of the riverine habitat in the county. The 56+-mile trail connects numerous forest preserves, parks and communities between the Illinois–Wisconsin border and south, well into the western Chicago suburbs.
In Lake County, snowmobiles are permitted along the trail between Wadsworth Road (and in the wetlands research project area) and the northern terminus at Russell Road.
Although the trail was not built on a former railroad bed, the trail runs into an active railroad line just north of Golf Road in Des Plaines and continues just on the other side of the tracks, giving it a rail-with-trail designation. Caution should be used here when crossing the tracks.
There are numerous access points and places to park along the Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway. Consult the local map for more details on access and the different services found along the way.