Cary Mountain Biking Trails and Maps

944 Reviews

Looking for the best Mountain Biking trails around Cary?

Find the top rated mountain biking trails in Cary, whether you're looking for an easy short mountain biking trail or a long mountain biking trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a mountain biking trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type
14 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Des Plaines River Trail

56.2 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel

Hebron Trail

6.7 mi
State: IL
Crushed Stone, Gravel

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

79.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Grass, Gravel

Illinois Prairie Path

58.4 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Lake Michigan Pathway

14 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Middlefork Savanna Trail

4.3 mi
State: IL
Crushed Stone, Gravel

North Shore Bike Path

7.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

North Shore Channel Trail

6.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Concrete, Dirt

Prairie Trail (IL)

26.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel

Ridgefield Trace

3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Seven Waters Bike Trail

17.6 mi
State: WI
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Gravel

Waterfall Glen

9.5 mi
State: IL
Crushed Stone, Grass

White River State Trail

19 mi
State: WI
Concrete, Crushed Stone, Gravel
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Des Plaines River Trail runs alongside the Des Plaines River for just over 56 miles, protecting watershed habitat and forestland through much of Lake and Cook Counties. The trail is a natural...
IL 56.2 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel
The Hebron Trail rolls across the northern Illinois prairie through the former corridor of the Kenosha and Rockford Railroad, known as the Kenosha Division Line at the time of its demise in 1939....
IL 6.7 mi Crushed Stone, Gravel
The Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail follows the eponymous waterway alongside the Illinois River. The trail runs along the old canal towpath from LaSalle to the historical quarry town of...
IL 79.5 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Grass, Gravel
The Illinois Prairie Path (IPP) was one of the nation’s first rail-trail conversions. It consists of five connected trail segments with three main branches that converge at Volunteer Park (West...
IL 58.4 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
The 13.5-mile Lake Michigan Pathway keeps you in close touch with the sixth-largest freshwater lake in the world as it links rail-trails north and south of the port city of Racine. Along the way, the...
WI 14 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
The Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve is a natural gem hidden in an high-income neighborhood of Lake Forest, Illinois.  Those 600 acres are home to perhaps the best-preserved example of the rare...
IL 4.3 mi Crushed Stone, Gravel
The North Shore Bike Path runs for nearly 8 miles between Lake Bluff and Mundelein, paralleling State Route 176 for the path's entire length. The trail is one of dozens in the Chicagoland area, all of...
IL 7.7 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
The North Shore Channel Trail extends from the junction of Green Bay Road and McCormick Boulevard in northern Evanston to the junction of Lawrence Avenue and Francisco Avenue in Chicago. All but the...
IL 6.7 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Dirt
The Pelishek-Tiffany Nature Trail runs for 6 miles along an abandoned railroad corridor, between the towns of Allens Grove and Clinton. The trail is open to snowmobiles, cyclists, horseback riders and...
WI 6 mi Dirt
The Prairie Trail runs the length of McHenry County and is managed by the McHenry County Conservation District. The rail-trail spans just over 26 miles from the Wisconsin border and the farms and...
IL 26.5 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel
Ridgefield Trace currently consists of two short segments open for use. The western section runs from McHenry County College on US 14 in Crystal Lake to just west of N. Oak Street. Active railroad...
IL 3 mi Asphalt
The Seven Waters Bike Trail is a scenic corridor stretching more than 17 miles north–south between Burlington and Muskego Lake into Waukesha County. The trail was originally three trails, locally...
WI 17.6 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Gravel
The trail system in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve makes a loop around the entire park. The preserve is geologically significant, featuring glacier-carved rock ridges, ravines and wetland potholes,...
IL 9.5 mi Crushed Stone, Grass
The White River State Trail is composed of two separate segments: a 12-mile stretch that runs between Elkhorn and just west of Burlington in Walworth County, and a 7-mile section that connects the...
WI 19 mi Concrete, Crushed Stone, Gravel

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Trails by activity

Middlefork Savanna Trail

IL - 4.3 miles

The Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve is a natural gem hidden in an high-income neighborhood of Lake Forest, Illinois.  Those 600 acres are home to perhaps the best-preserved example of the rare...

Des Plaines River Trail

IL - 56.2 miles

The Des Plaines River Trail runs alongside the Des Plaines River for just over 56 miles, protecting watershed habitat and forestland through much of Lake and Cook Counties. The trail is a natural...

Seven Waters Bike Trail

WI - 17.6 miles

The Seven Waters Bike Trail is a scenic corridor stretching more than 17 miles north–south between Burlington and Muskego Lake into Waukesha County. The trail was originally three trails, locally...

White River State Trail

WI - 19 miles

The White River State Trail is composed of two separate segments: a 12-mile stretch that runs between Elkhorn and just west of Burlington in Walworth County, and a 7-mile section that connects the...

Accordion

Ridgefield Trace

IL - 3 miles

Ridgefield Trace currently consists of two short segments open for use. The western section runs from McHenry County College on US 14 in Crystal Lake to just west of N. Oak Street. Active railroad...

North Shore Bike Path

IL - 7.7 miles

The North Shore Bike Path runs for nearly 8 miles between Lake Bluff and Mundelein, paralleling State Route 176 for the path's entire length. The trail is one of dozens in the Chicagoland area, all of...

Prairie Trail (IL)

IL - 26.5 miles

The Prairie Trail runs the length of McHenry County and is managed by the McHenry County Conservation District. The rail-trail spans just over 26 miles from the Wisconsin border and the farms and...

North Shore Channel Trail

IL - 6.7 miles

The North Shore Channel Trail extends from the junction of Green Bay Road and McCormick Boulevard in northern Evanston to the junction of Lawrence Avenue and Francisco Avenue in Chicago. All but the...

Illinois Prairie Path

IL - 58.4 miles

The Illinois Prairie Path (IPP) was one of the nation’s first rail-trail conversions. It consists of five connected trail segments with three main branches that converge at Volunteer Park (West...

Lake Michigan Pathway

WI - 14 miles

The 13.5-mile Lake Michigan Pathway keeps you in close touch with the sixth-largest freshwater lake in the world as it links rail-trails north and south of the port city of Racine. Along the way, the...

White River State Trail

WI - 19 miles

The White River State Trail is composed of two separate segments: a 12-mile stretch that runs between Elkhorn and just west of Burlington in Walworth County, and a 7-mile section that connects the...

Hebron Trail

IL - 6.7 miles

The Hebron Trail rolls across the northern Illinois prairie through the former corridor of the Kenosha and Rockford Railroad, known as the Kenosha Division Line at the time of its demise in 1939....

Middlefork Savanna Trail

IL - 4.3 miles

The Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve is a natural gem hidden in an high-income neighborhood of Lake Forest, Illinois.  Those 600 acres are home to perhaps the best-preserved example of the rare...

Seven Waters Bike Trail

WI - 17.6 miles

The Seven Waters Bike Trail is a scenic corridor stretching more than 17 miles north–south between Burlington and Muskego Lake into Waukesha County. The trail was originally three trails, locally...

Accordion

Waterfall Glen

IL - 9.5 miles

The trail system in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve makes a loop around the entire park. The preserve is geologically significant, featuring glacier-carved rock ridges, ravines and wetland potholes,...

Illinois Prairie Path

IL - 58.4 miles

The Illinois Prairie Path (IPP) was one of the nation’s first rail-trail conversions. It consists of five connected trail segments with three main branches that converge at Volunteer Park (West...

Prairie Trail (IL)

IL - 26.5 miles

The Prairie Trail runs the length of McHenry County and is managed by the McHenry County Conservation District. The rail-trail spans just over 26 miles from the Wisconsin border and the farms and...

Des Plaines River Trail

IL - 56.2 miles

The Des Plaines River Trail runs alongside the Des Plaines River for just over 56 miles, protecting watershed habitat and forestland through much of Lake and Cook Counties. The trail is a natural...

Pelishek-Tiffany Nature Trail

WI - 6 miles

The Pelishek-Tiffany Nature Trail runs for 6 miles along an abandoned railroad corridor, between the towns of Allens Grove and Clinton. The trail is open to snowmobiles, cyclists, horseback riders and...

North Shore Channel Trail

IL - 6.7 miles

The North Shore Channel Trail extends from the junction of Green Bay Road and McCormick Boulevard in northern Evanston to the junction of Lawrence Avenue and Francisco Avenue in Chicago. All but the...

Lake Michigan Pathway

WI - 14 miles

The 13.5-mile Lake Michigan Pathway keeps you in close touch with the sixth-largest freshwater lake in the world as it links rail-trails north and south of the port city of Racine. Along the way, the...

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

IL - 79.5 miles

The Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail follows the eponymous waterway alongside the Illinois River. The trail runs along the old canal towpath from LaSalle to the historical quarry town of...

North Shore Bike Path

IL - 7.7 miles

The North Shore Bike Path runs for nearly 8 miles between Lake Bluff and Mundelein, paralleling State Route 176 for the path's entire length. The trail is one of dozens in the Chicagoland area, all of...

Ridgefield Trace

IL - 3 miles

Ridgefield Trace currently consists of two short segments open for use. The western section runs from McHenry County College on US 14 in Crystal Lake to just west of N. Oak Street. Active railroad...

Ridgefield Trace

IL - 3 miles

Ridgefield Trace currently consists of two short segments open for use. The western section runs from McHenry County College on US 14 in Crystal Lake to just west of N. Oak Street. Active railroad...

North Shore Bike Path

IL - 7.7 miles

The North Shore Bike Path runs for nearly 8 miles between Lake Bluff and Mundelein, paralleling State Route 176 for the path's entire length. The trail is one of dozens in the Chicagoland area, all of...

Waterfall Glen

IL - 9.5 miles

The trail system in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve makes a loop around the entire park. The preserve is geologically significant, featuring glacier-carved rock ridges, ravines and wetland potholes,...

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

IL - 79.5 miles

The Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail follows the eponymous waterway alongside the Illinois River. The trail runs along the old canal towpath from LaSalle to the historical quarry town of...

Accordion

Lake Michigan Pathway

WI - 14 miles

The 13.5-mile Lake Michigan Pathway keeps you in close touch with the sixth-largest freshwater lake in the world as it links rail-trails north and south of the port city of Racine. Along the way, the...

Des Plaines River Trail

IL - 56.2 miles

The Des Plaines River Trail runs alongside the Des Plaines River for just over 56 miles, protecting watershed habitat and forestland through much of Lake and Cook Counties. The trail is a natural...

Prairie Trail (IL)

IL - 26.5 miles

The Prairie Trail runs the length of McHenry County and is managed by the McHenry County Conservation District. The rail-trail spans just over 26 miles from the Wisconsin border and the farms and...

Hebron Trail

IL - 6.7 miles

The Hebron Trail rolls across the northern Illinois prairie through the former corridor of the Kenosha and Rockford Railroad, known as the Kenosha Division Line at the time of its demise in 1939....

Illinois Prairie Path

IL - 58.4 miles

The Illinois Prairie Path (IPP) was one of the nation’s first rail-trail conversions. It consists of five connected trail segments with three main branches that converge at Volunteer Park (West...

Seven Waters Bike Trail

WI - 17.6 miles

The Seven Waters Bike Trail is a scenic corridor stretching more than 17 miles north–south between Burlington and Muskego Lake into Waukesha County. The trail was originally three trails, locally...

Pelishek-Tiffany Nature Trail

WI - 6 miles

The Pelishek-Tiffany Nature Trail runs for 6 miles along an abandoned railroad corridor, between the towns of Allens Grove and Clinton. The trail is open to snowmobiles, cyclists, horseback riders and...

White River State Trail

WI - 19 miles

The White River State Trail is composed of two separate segments: a 12-mile stretch that runs between Elkhorn and just west of Burlington in Walworth County, and a 7-mile section that connects the...

Middlefork Savanna Trail

IL - 4.3 miles

The Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve is a natural gem hidden in an high-income neighborhood of Lake Forest, Illinois.  Those 600 acres are home to perhaps the best-preserved example of the rare...

North Shore Channel Trail

IL - 6.7 miles

The North Shore Channel Trail extends from the junction of Green Bay Road and McCormick Boulevard in northern Evanston to the junction of Lawrence Avenue and Francisco Avenue in Chicago. All but the...

Recent Trail Reviews

North Shore Channel Trail

start stop kills this and badly sign posted

May, 2018 by kenneth_j_mitchell

Won’t be riding this again on the road bike. Fumes from roads make this not so pleasant. Sculptures and play ground for kids are great but that’s about it. Got lost when it flips to other side of river. This route is for kids on bikes, not serious cyclists. Fun all the same with the kids for sure

North Branch Trail

Best trail by a mile

May, 2018 by kenneth_j_mitchell

Coming from the uk I was pessimistic about city cycling. After getting bored of the lake front trail and north Sheridan/Green Bay road repeats this trail is a god send. Love it. Perfect for road biking and quiet(midweek) will continue to look for other trails but this one will be hard to beat.

Oak Leaf Trail

Beautiful Paved Trail

May, 2018 by cindylrowe

A friend and I rode sections of the Oak Leaf trail as part of a multi-day trip from Chicago to Cedarburg, WI. We rode 10 different trails and found some sections of the Oak Leaf trail to be as good as it gets! It is paved and well maintained and generally runs through quiet country and/or neighborhoods. We only had a couple of issues - one being that part of the trail was closed and the detour signs were not clear for people from out of state. We are very thankful for friendly "natives" who helped us find our way to where the trail was open. The second was a section near Oak Creek that had 4 small sections with significant flooding - about 18 inches of water. It is kind of fun riding through big puddles, but unfortunately, the water was deep enough to soak the bottom of our saddlebags. Nonetheless, we thoroughly enjoyed riding on this trail (the sections of the trail we did ride) and would recommend it highly! We found very few other riders/users - but I am guessing that rain, wind and cloudy days keep locals indoors--because the trail itself is wonderful!

Accordion

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Bumpy ride

May, 2018 by ryanalf

I rode Ottawa to LaSalle. Sections of the trail were very rough. Motorbike tracks, moguls and stream remnants made the trail dangerous. The history and the washed out bridge are awesome(see photo).

Des Plaines River Trail

First ride of 2018

April, 2018 by riverwoods

Excerpted from my blog (https://desplainesrivertrailcycling.blogspot.com/)

April 12, 2018

First ride of 2018, 42 miles down and only 1,958 to hit my annual target! The afternoon started out warm and sunny, a rare occurrence this Spring as the start of April hasn't been this cold in Chicago in 137 years with multiple snow storms! About 90 minutes into my ride the wind shifted and it was like someone turned on an air conditioner - in five minutes the temp went from high 60's to 50 degrees which is where I usually draw the line on riding 'cause it gets too cold for me.

Overall trail conditions are pretty decent with no flooding from Deerfield Road up to Independence Grove and while the trail surface is somewhat rutted from the long winter it is in reasonably good shape. One word of caution, bring plenty of water as none of the wells along the trail are open for the season and are wrapped in plastic film.

I did the circuit around Independence Grove and from a distance spotted what appeared to be two baby owls peeking out of the hole in tree. I thought it was my lucky day and quickly snapped this pic (see on blog) only to get closer and realize they were fake, the dead giveaway is the yellow glue on their feet - fake news indeed :-)

Not much in the way of color on the trail yet, it has been too cold for any spring flowers.

Burnham Greenway

I lived in Hammond in 2014-2016 and this was one of the nearby trails I would frequent. Very well maintained. It doesn't hit any unique spots or destinations. Just a fine trail for a road or touring bike.

April, 2018 by mbobcek

I lived in Hammond in 2014-2016 and this was one of the nearby trails I would frequent. Very well maintained. It doesn't hit any unique spots or destinations. Just a fine trail for a road or touring bike.

North Branch Trail

perfect combo of nature and fitness.

April, 2018 by knitme1pearl

This is the perfect trail in so many ways. Quieter, with water and restrooms, all sorts of native birds and animals, places to picnic and just enjoy the great outdoors. I feel lucky to have this trail just a couple blocks from my home on the south end. Summer here we come !

Old Plank Road Trail

Old plank trail a nice flat trail is a nice bikeing experience one of my favorite trails

March, 2018 by chessrunkb

Nice flat trail , easy too access from different areas that’s a plus , only downside is too manny stops in Frankfort cross traffic, otherwise it’s a gem , a shout out too the Madison county trail in western Illinois 123 miles of trails really nice 👍

Cal-Sag Trail

Cal Sag Spring 2018

March, 2018 by andrewuk1992

Trail from Ridgeland Ave east to Cicero (2.5 miles) is paved.

Park at 131st and Cicero in Alsip has lots of parking spaces right beside the trail.

Trail east of here is in progress, with new bike/pedestrian bridge spans going into place last week at the East Arm of the Little Calumet River. This will provide a connection to Joe Lewis Golf course which will link to the Major Taylor Trail. Have no timeline for when that bridge will open.

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Start of the trail season warnings

March, 2018 by chubbycheeks

My husband rode his fat tire bike on the trail this morning between Chestnut St., in Ottawa, and the Buffalo Rock trail parking lot. His goal was to check out the conditions of the trail. He said that it was not fun. He came back via the street. The trail was wet, and the 1/2 mile from Chestnut west, as well as the 1/2 mile from Buffalo Rock east had many piles of dog poop. (There is a parking lot at Buffalo Rock that people use when they walk their dogs.) Seems like the dog walkers do not even bother to sweep the poop piles to the side. That is the least you can do if you are not going to pick it up.

Moraine Hills State Park Trail

Mountain Adventure

March, 2018 by szangrila

I visited this path on Summer 2017. I loved that path. My, my father and my nephews enjoyed all aspects of the path, the lakes, trees, animals and hills. As one of the visitor mentioned, this path offers a lot to see. We stopped once to see the entire colony of almost 100 turtles (Yes, we stopped long enough to count them) The view amazed us. Because the path follows "one way" only, it annoyed me a bit, but as we were exploring it, I understood the rationale. People had a reason to call it "Moraine Hills." Two way traffic would cause plenty of accidents. However, the those hills really shaped and strengthened our endurance. The step slopes would made simultaneously spit your lungs out on the way up, and on the way down scream from top of your lungs. Excitement and the joy from being on the path resulted in the best memories. Everyone needs to visit this path. I can assure you that I will come back there with pleasure.

Robert McClory Bike Path

Oatmeal

January, 2018 by campbob

I was told that this trail is much better at other times of the year, but this was not it. I started at Anderson Park in Kenosha and rode the south portion of the Kenosha County Bike Trail. The McClory path started when crossing the state line. Going from pavement to mush was pretty disheartening, but the McClory was a struggle. I gave up after a mile, which was much further than I saw anyone else ride. I imagine that riding through two inches of oatmeal would be pretty similar to this experience.

After riding west from the trail I turned south on Lewis Avenue. That wasn't too bad until it changed to a 4-lane road with little room on the side. I went back east when I saw a sign for a library. There was an old blacktop path that ran parallel to the McClory for a short distance. It was pretty beat up, but better than the McClory. When that ended I rode a few streets in the area that ultimately took me back to Lewis, at which point I headed back to Kenosha.

It was very disappointing, but I'll try again this summer when things should be better. 2 stars because I was given hope for a better experience later in the year. It's too bad that Lake County doesn't pave this since the road riding can be a bit frightening around there.

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