Dekalb, IL Mountain Biking Trails and Maps

1022 Reviews

Looking for the best Mountain Biking trails around Dekalb?

Find the top rated mountain biking trails in Dekalb, 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
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Type
12 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

Hennepin Canal Parkway

104.5 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Grass, 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

Joe Stengel Trail

7.9 mi
State: IL
Ballast, Grass, Gravel

Middlefork Savanna Trail

4.3 mi
State: IL
Crushed Stone, Gravel

North Shore Bike Path

7.7 mi
State: IL
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Pelishek-Tiffany Nature Trail

6 mi
State: WI
Dirt, Grass

Prairie Trail (IL)

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

Ridgefield Trace

3 mi
State: IL
Asphalt

Waterfall Glen

9.5 mi
State: IL
Crushed Stone, Grass
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 Hennepin Canal Parkway, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a state park, follows an old towpath along a canal opened in 1907 and quickly abandoned due to competition...
IL 104.5 mi Asphalt, Grass, Gravel
The Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail follows the eponymous waterway alongside the Illinois River. It traverses the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor, designated in 1984 and the first...
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 Joe Stengel Trail follows an old railroad corridor for 7 miles between the town of Polo and the much smaller community of Woosung. The trail corridor traces farm country along a route scattered...
IL 7.9 mi Ballast, Grass, Gravel
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 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, Grass
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 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

Now, More Than Ever, Trails Matter!

During COVID-19, trails are being counted on as places where people can find solace and respite and we need your support to keep trails open and provide these critical FREE resources! Please continue to practice physical distancing and check the status of your trail before heading out!

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...

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...

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...

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...

Accordion

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...

Hennepin Canal Parkway

IL - 104.5 miles

The Hennepin Canal Parkway, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a state park, follows an old towpath along a canal opened in 1907 and quickly abandoned due to competition...

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...

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 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...

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...

Hennepin Canal Parkway

IL - 104.5 miles

The Hennepin Canal Parkway, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a state park, follows an old towpath along a canal opened in 1907 and quickly abandoned due to competition...

Accordion

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...

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...

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,...

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....

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...

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

IL - 79.5 miles

The Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail follows the eponymous waterway alongside the Illinois River. It traverses the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor, designated in 1984 and the first...

Joe Stengel Trail

IL - 7.9 miles

The Joe Stengel Trail follows an old railroad corridor for 7 miles between the town of Polo and the much smaller community of Woosung. The trail corridor traces farm country along a route scattered...

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...

Hennepin Canal Parkway

IL - 104.5 miles

The Hennepin Canal Parkway, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a state park, follows an old towpath along a canal opened in 1907 and quickly abandoned due to competition...

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...

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 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...

Accordion

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....

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...

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...

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

IL - 79.5 miles

The Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail follows the eponymous waterway alongside the Illinois River. It traverses the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor, designated in 1984 and the first...

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...

Joe Stengel Trail

IL - 7.9 miles

The Joe Stengel Trail follows an old railroad corridor for 7 miles between the town of Polo and the much smaller community of Woosung. The trail corridor traces farm country along a route scattered...

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,...

Recent Trail Reviews

Danada and Herrick Lake Regional Trail

Beautiful Trail! Great Day!

October, 2020 by mcbax

We rode this trail today and loved the beautiful fall colors! We started at Danada off of Naperville Rd....loved the scenery, trail width and Herrick Lake! We then connected to Blackwell Forest Preserve via Butterfield for a longer ride (turning in just past Winfield Rd) Blackwell was beautiful, too! We found Two Brothers in Warrenville for lunch but used the GPS to find that and jump back on trail. 20 mile round trip...a great day!!!

Des Plaines River Trail

Great Trail

October, 2020 by julinka

I like the north branch of the trail for its beauty and the south branch for the rough ride and challenges. (Some nice scenery on the south branch too.) I have a 29er mountain bike. When I rode the south branch on my hybrid the first time I took that trail I had to take the bike in for repair afterwards. But on a mountain bike the south branch is a blast. Where else in the suburbs can you get a ride like that?

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Flat, Easy Ride

October, 2020 by lisaknits2

We started at Gebhard Woods State Park. Lovely day for a fall ride. There was a big sign telling us how far to ride to Seneca or Channahan, etc. we chose to ride to Channahan: however barely a half mile down the road there was a fence and there was no way around it. So we went toward Seneca...the trail was crushed gravel and grass and narrow but easy to ride. Might be a challenge to pass for newer riders, but it was a fairly flat ride and wooded. We enjoyed the ride. We rode from the state park on the roads to downtown Morris (which was lovely) after our trail ride. Took about 5 minutes to ride there.

Accordion

Centennial Trail (IL)

nestled between the banks of the Des Plaines river and the S&S canal

October, 2020 by dfuener

I hesitate to write a review as of this well maintained trail because it's our "go to" on busy bike trail weekends where it remains relatively empty particularly on the east side. Relatively flat the trail follows the banks of the Des Plaines river and Sanitary and Ship canal. This bankside forested path is broken up by some water based industry that is also unique to observe.

Millennium Trail

One of my favorite trails

October, 2020 by kent.neveu

We just moved to Lindenhurst at the very beginning of the trail. I have many parts of the trail out of Volo when we stayed at Fish Lake Beach in our motorhome. I am a senior rider. The trail had lots of wildlife and lots of wildflowers.

Illinois Prairie Path

great trail for geocaching

October, 2020 by pawprintlogic1_tl

I have placed and maintain 140 geocaches. Along this trail from Elgin south to south wheaton. Lots of shade and not too hilly. Perfect for biking.

Great Western Trail (DuPage County)

geocaching along the trail

October, 2020 by pawprintlogic1_tl

Great trail that has over 80 geocaches hidden. Perfect way to enjoy the trail

Prairie Trail (IL)

St. Charles to Richmond.

October, 2020 by danielkarl1957_tl

Road with my son last Saturday from St. Charles to Richmond, IL. Spent the night at the Baymont Inn in Richmond, nothing fancy but friendly staff and clean. Surprisingly lively Saturday Night crowd in Richmond, had a good time grabbing dinner and having a night cap at a sidewalk table. The walk into town is not a stroll but fine on a nice evening. There is a wine/cheese place with a restaurant within a five minute walk from the hotel where we got a takeout breakfast. The Fox River Trail was good with some rough spots in South Elgin. Looks they may be re-routing the trail further from the river towards some new housing. Not a big deal but we were surprised at the trail conditions on that short stretch.
The Prairie Trail was fine for the most part. There was some construction in Crystal Lake and Algonquin that was a little unpleasant but again not that big a deal. The hills in Stern's Woods are short and steep and not typical for the trails in the area. Don't let this stop you from making the trip. We cruised right through with a little huffing and puffing. It did look like a southbound ride would offer a few more uphills. This was our first time north of Crystal Lake and we both enjoyed the ride, would do it again.

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

This is a nice trail but blocked by fences just west of Morris at the aquaduct. You can get around the fence but it is very difficult with a bike. This was the low point of a nice ride.

September, 2020 by nardclaar

This is a nice trail but blocked by fences just west of Morris at the aquaduct. You can get around the fence but it is very difficult with a bike. This was the low point of a nice ride.

Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail

Beautiful and empty; some stretches closed

September, 2020 by ajnicholson

Had a nice time yesterday (9/28/20) on the stretch from Morris west toward Seneca. Note however that the part just west of downtown Morris that goes over Nettle Creek is closed in both directions; you can't proceed west if you start in downtown Morris and need to detour on city streets for awhile.

If you're starting from Morris and want to go west, a better bet is to park at Gebhard State Woods (but note that you cannot head east from there, just west).

Pelishek-Tiffany Nature Trail

Beautiful tree canopies. Trail mostly grass, but biking it was no problem. Very little use, only encountered 4 other people & they were walking. Parking lot at Clinton, but only street in parking at Allen-Grove.

September, 2020 by ljleslie314

Beautiful tree canopies. Trail mostly grass, but biking it was no problem. Very little use, only encountered 4 other people & they were walking. Parking lot at Clinton, but only street in parking at Allen-Grove.

Des Plaines River Trail

The tale of two trails

September, 2020 by dennyhebsonjr

I LOVE the Des Plaines River Trail. But. Going north and going south are totally different experiences.

I live in Glenview, so I join the trail through an unmarked path I somehow found at the end of Carol Lane in the Timber Trails neighborhood just west of Milwaukee. I catch the trail in the East Lake woods.

If I go north, it's beautiful. There are weird spots. In Northbrook, you have to cross a busy Milwaukee Avenue (by Allgauers restaurant) with no stoplight. Then you have to ride up a little street to find the trail again. (There's an interesting story about how the Rat Pack played at the restaurant that used to be at the site of Allgauers, but we'll save that for another review.)

The woods are lovely. There's a Nature Center (not open during COVID). It feels like you've left civilization behind. Until you have to cross Dundee Avenue, which can be a bit nerve-wracking.

But there's a big meadow that I love. The trail is just a small rut at that point, but the meadow is thick and beautiful and serene. The last time I went through it, was the last time I felt totally at peace.

And the other reviewers are right. The difference between the Cook County Trail and the Lake County Trail are night and day. I'm surprised you don't hear and audible "POP" when you cross the bridge at Lake-Cook Road.

The Cook County side, while gorgeous, is dirt and mud, if it has rained, and roots to watch out for. The Lake County side is crushed gravel, wide trails and benches every other mile. I've only been five miles into the Lake County side, but that was enough to see herons resting in tree branches while I pedaled over a small, charming bridge.

And yet, while the Cook County side seems to be the embodiment of forest preserve patronage, (I got a nephew who's got a cousin who's got a friend who keeps the trails maintained) I still love it.

Which brings me to going south on the trail.

When I take people on the trail, I bring them south first because it's just so...different. And maybe not right if you just want an easy, lovely ride.

It's beautiful from Euclid past Central. Tall trees, with sparse underbrush give way to dense thickets that feel like the English countryside.

And then, yep, you get to the freight train tracks. You have to pick up your bike and carry it across the tracks. Freight trains are infrequent, but they come. Apparently there are plans to build a bridge. But until then, it's part of the adventure.

That soon leads into my favorite part of the whole trail. Riding through, or beneath, actually, downtown Des Plaines.

The path is paved and takes you right along the river, down below the street and commercial buildings. Pass through a tunnel, under a railroad bridge, and you soon come upon the Methodist Camp. A strange old series of buildings that have been around for more than 100 years. Before that, the Union Army used to train soldiers at the site.

Once you are past that, well, it depends how wet it's been. The trail can get flooded and super muddy, so be prepared to call it a day. And if that's the case, the tunnels that were built to go under Touhy and Devon and Lawrence can also get muddy and flooded, so you may have to cross those streets without a stoplight.

Irving Park is the same way and it, like the others, is a four-lane road at that point.

At this point, it's pretty. It's nature. But it feels pretty urban. The trail's a little bumpy too (I think they might have paved it a long time ago, and then didn't bother to keep it up. (Thanks, nephew's cousin's friend).

You even take a bridge over the Kennedy Expressway at one point.

I'm glad I finally made it all the way out to the trail's end at North Avenue. But it can get a touch dicey between Devon and Fullerton at times. That segment feels a little forgotten somehow. I hear there are plans to improve this section, and it would be a good thing.

In the end, North is beauty. South is adventure.

Happy trails!

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