Busse Woods Trail


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Busse Woods Trail Facts

States: Illinois
Counties: Cook
Length: 11.2 miles
Trail end points: Beisterfield Road and Golf Road (Ned Brown Forest Preserve)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6487078
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Busse Woods Trail Description

The Busse Woods Trail system is located within Ned Brown Forest Preserve, a 3,700-acre property in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago. There are 11.2 miles of paved trails for cyclists, equestrians and pedestrians. The main loop is nearly 8 miles, circling some lakes and meadows, while a couple of much shorter side loops will take you to the north and south end of the forest preserve.

The Busse Woods Trail connects with the Schaumburg Bikeway on the west, and on the north, Busse Woods links to the Rolling Meadows Bikeway system. Some key features of the forest preserve include fishing, boat rentals and a small herd of captive resident elk. The trails are open from sunrise to sunset.

Parking and Trail Access

The Busse Woods Trail in Ned Brown Preserve is located just east of Woodfield Mall. Access the park at E. Higgins Rd. and Arlington Heights Rd. in Elk Grove Village.

Busse Woods Trail Reviews

I try and ride this trail every spring. Great way to get your legs back in shape after a long winter in Illinois. I usually take the main loop around twice. I go one direction and then turn around and go the other way getting a look at the scenery both ways. The main loop is about 8 miles around so I end up getting 16 miles in. The scenery is nice and the trail is well maintained. You are hardly ever riding alone.

Great !! Clean! Smooth! Scenic! Shady Wish this was closer to home

I rode this trail yesterday while I had some time to myself. It was in the 30's, with a very light snow falling. That meant that very few people were out on the trail. That also meant it was a great day for a ride. I parked off of Golf Road next to the Black trail, rode south and did two loops on the red trail before returning to the car. The whole ride came to a bit over 17 miles. I probably saw as many animals as people. Three deer were grazing next to the trail, there were a couple of elk out in their fenced in area, and, most concerning, was coming around a corner and hearing an animal noise only to look over and see a skunk poised to spray me! Fortunately I was going past it, not at it, so I came away clean. Probably due to the lack of sun and my unfamiliarity with the Preserve, I never seemed to have a good sense of what direction I was riding. There were plenty of maps, but I just didn't get a feel for it. The environment varied quite a bit from prairie to forest. There had been a recent controlled burn, primarily in the woods, so there was a light smell of fire still in the air. It's definitely a great trail to ride when the people count is low!


Perfect bike trail! We did it with kids riding their own bikes and a dog. We will be coming back again.

one of the best bike trails in Elk Grove village ¿¿¿¿¿¿

Yes, it can be crowded. This is one of the most visited preserves on the county. The construction under the Tollway is open at this time and looks to be final soon.

I was visiting from Missouri and love this trail. Not difficult, but safe. Highly recommend.

Love it here! Not many hills, which is nice. Many varieties of scenery.

To the other reviewers complaining about crowds on trails around hills ~ consider reading the Cook County Trail Rules. They specifically say to walk your bike down hills, and no speeding.

When I first started biking, I enjoyed this trail immensely. The main section is an approximately 8 mile loop that's fairly flat with only very gradual elevation changes (aside from approaches to the two bridges over Higgins Rd), and there's a mall on the west end and a bike shop on the east end, ensuring that any potential bike issues can be dealt with without the need for an incredibly long walk. That being said, once you get to where you want to bike more than 15 miles or so, the trail gets boring to just go around and around in circles on. Also, particularly on the weekends, the trail gets extremely crowded. People camp out on the bridges and dams (some of the narrowest parts of the trail) to go fishing. Families have a tendency to stand on the trail near the fenced in area on the northeast side of the trail where the elk are - and it's particularly dangerous because of these folks because if you're headed counter-clockwise around the loop you're coming down a steep downhill from the bridge over Higgins Rd, then around a fairly blind turn before you hit the elk pasture and if you're not careful you could end up running into someone; despite wanting to keep your momentum from the downhill, particularly on the weekend you should really control your speed. If you get to this trail and it's crowded, you'd be better off taking the Salt Creek Trail which starts from the same Busse Woods forest preserve.

I love Busse Woods, but there are some bicyclist that just don't know how to follow the rules of the road. On July 3rd I was biking with a friend when along came this guy on the wrong side of the path. I yelled and yelled to him to him to get over, which he did not and caused me to wipe out. I hit my head and hurt my back all because of someone's inconsideration.
No he was not passing anyone, he was on the wrong side. I did not notice earbuds either.

No he did not stop either. He kept going never asking how I was or if I needed help.

There needs to be some patrolling of the trails for people like this.

I have heard many stories since my fall about broken bones etc because of bikers like this guy.

Watch yourself, because they are not watching for you.

For the next several months, the section under the Tollway at the far north end is closed due to Tollway expansion. Temporary access may be soon later but for now, it is closed.

This trail is great for shade lovers. Just enough sun, but not to much. Nicely paved and maintained. It can be crowded, so a leisurely pace is expected. Many runners, walkers, riders and pet owners. Enjoyed this relaxing ride.

I am a local resident for this trail and often ride it multiple times per week in my riding season. I use the trail for conditioning and part of the weekly workout. The trail is paved and is in good condition. You will find yourself on a 8 mile loop (red trail) which will take you through open meadows and through the forested parts of the woods. There are overpass bridges that take you over Route 72 twice. You can also take the trail North of the Red trail that will take you about another five miles to the North. The trail can be very crowded on weekends when families are most frequent. The path is used as a bike, run and walking path. The trail has great scenery and offers some nice places to take a break overlooking the lake. Often wildlife are on the trail towards the dusk or early dawn. Anytime of the season this is a popular and active trail.

My husband and I rode this trail August 27th, starting about 6 pm. The air temp had dropped, which could account for the heavy use of the trail. The only moments we were alone on the trail was approximately after 7:30 pm., when it was getting dark in the woodsy sections. There were cyclists, skateboarders, skaters, and walkers on the trail. About a third of the cyclists were racers in training. I have to say that the majority of them were polite and issued the required warning as they past us at 20 mph. This is not true at all paved trails. I hope this is common at Busse Woods. We had not been in Busse Woods in almost 30 years. Much has changed, and all to the benefit of the public. We were happy to see brick and mortar bathrooms with running water. In the 9 miles round trip that we rode, there were at least 4 such restrooms. There is ample parking. The only drawback is a lack of benches and picnic tables for the number of people at the preserve. And we did see a cycling policeman.

Beautiful woods

Great paved biking trail for beginners or those with small children. A few ups and downs but nothing severe. Many places to stop and even full plumbing washroom facilities! It's a loop so you finish where you started. It gets a bit crowded with families and inconsiderate walkers so more advanced riders seeking speed may want to stick to off-peak hours. More advanced mountain bikers seeking thrills will probably be bored.

This is probably the best forest preserve for biking/walking/running in the NW Suburbs. I use this trail for biking but it has facilities for plenty of other activities like fishing, boating, picnics, etc. If you're on the trail you only have to stop to cross a main road once, other than that its pretty smooth and uninterrupted 8 mile loop (which cant be said of the other forest preserves in the area). There are lots of ponds and bridges and a good portion of the trail is under tree cover which provides some relief on those hot, sunny days that we've been seeing of-late. It does get crowded at times on weekends but you'll notice this only at the parking lots. There are plenty of ponds for fishing and lots of spots for sunbathing if that's what you're looking for.

Here is a video I made of my ride...


Love this trail! It's not far from the city but feels worlds away. On a nice day there are walkers & slow pokes. But compared to the Chicago Lake path I usually ride; it's practically deserted. So you can keep a pretty fast pace if you like without a lot of worry. But the scenery is lovely too, for you slow pokes out there. I've been going in the late afternoon, so I haven't spotted the elk herd yet. But I'll keep my eye out.
Just one downside. Water access is limited to the occasional bathroom sink. (connected to the lakes around the trail) So do yourself a favor & bring your own if you're picky.

Busse woods is awesome for a fun easy family ride. Park on the north side of Higgins, near route 355. Bike traffic moves at an easy pace. The elk herd on the east side are a good place for a rest stop.

http://ilbob.blogspot.com/2012/09/20120926-busse-woods-elk-pasture.html I stopped here a few days ago and took some video and pictures of the elk. Pretty cool.

I'm new to trail biking but this trail was fantastic! Beautiful nature, and generally a pretty flat trail making it easy for most people. Trail tracker calculated 7.6 miles following the red trail, took me just about an hour. Lots of places to stop and rest, use the restroom, get water and not a whole lot of car traffic to worry about. Overall I will be frequenting this trail often!

A great trail to ride with friends or family that aren't training for the Tour de France. Kinda crowded on weekends in the summer and alot of cross traffic. The crossing at Higgins and 53 sometimes takes a while.
Great scenery- the elk, the lake, the bridge.

On the south end of the trail is a spur that will take you out to Salt Creek. If you are looking to extend your ride Watch for the arrows.

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