Cal-Sag Trail


25 Reviews

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Cal-Sag Trail Facts

States: Illinois
Counties: Cook
Length: 13.7 miles
Trail end points: John Husar I&M Canal Trail (Lemont) and Freedom Park, 4775-4777 W 131st St (Alsip)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Canal
ID: 6272904

Cal-Sag Trail Description

Closure Notice: The trail is closed at the 127th Street bridge until the end of 2024.


The Cal-Sag Trail (also known as the Calumet-Sag Trail) runs for 13.7 miles and connects several communities and additional trails, as well as provides access to scenic forest preserves and secluded natural areas.

About the Route

The trail's western endpoint is located at the trail's convergence with the John Husar I&M Canal Trail, with the trail's westernmost access point to the trail located just a few hundred feet east. As the trail heads south along the Kingery Highway and then east alongside the Calumet-Sag it also passes the Channel Sagawau Environmental Learning Center. Just past here, the trail also crosses the Sag Quarries Nature Preserve, where old stone quarries have been converted to lakes for birding, fishing, and hiking. Eastward from here, the trail is rather flat as it passes cleared expanses of forest land now landscaped with natural grasses and wildflowers.

Just beyond the cutoff to Teason's Woods, the trail becomes more hilly and densely tree-lined, all the way to just east of the 86th Avenue parking area. There it comes away from the woods to run alongside Calumet Sag Road, all the way to Southwest Highway. For about two blocks the trail continues alongside the highway without crossing it, though some trail-goers may want to cross to one of the businesses there to get refreshment or food.

From the highway to the woods again, the trail rejoins its fundamental alignment next to the Channel. It goes under another roadway and a railroad bridge, before breaking onto a quiet city street around the beautiful Lake Katherine area. From there it's back to the wooded trailway to the end at Ridgeland Avenue. There the trail passes the newly built Trinity Sports Complex then continues to 127th Street where it crosses over the Channel and then follows alongside it until it crosses under Cicero Avenue (SR 50) bridge and reach its easternmost endpoint at Freedom Park in Alsip, IL. 


At the trail's western end, the trail users can continue along the John Husar I&M Canal Trail.

In Palos Heights, the trail connects to the Palos Heights Bike Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

The Cal-Sag Trail runs between the John Husar I&M Canal Trail (Lemont) and Freedom Park, 4775-4777 W 131st St (Alsip), which offers parking.

Parking is also available at

  • Sagawau Ski Center, 12545 111th St (Lemont)
  • Lake Katherine Nature Center, 7402 Lake Katherine Dr (Palos Heights)

Please see TrailLink Map for all parking options and detailed directions.

Cal-Sag Trail Reviews

Great trail, but needs some TLC.

I ran into minor construction on the 127th st. bridge, but the workers let me through no problem. The street crossings were annoying, but relatively safe. My only complaint is that the trail is somewhat dirty (especially at road crossings) and could use a good brush off and resurfacing.
I look forward to the day when this trail is completed to its proposed western terminus and connection with the Burnham Greenway!

New CalSag Closure 127th St. Bridge

Announced last week is the closure of the 127th St. bridge which is located just east of CalSag Road. This will take place from March to December, 2024. Or in other words, the whole biking season for 2024. The repair of the intersection at 127th and CalSag road was completed in late 2023.

trail still closed at 127 and 83

We started at freedom park rode across the canal then were stuck in road construction nightmare. After walking across the intersection dodging cars and trucks we were able to continue beautiful the remainder of the ride. Just beware you may want to start at a different point.

Trail Closed at 127th Street & Rt 83 until the end of 2022

Just an FYI that if you access the Cal Sag Trail at Freedom Park in Alsip (MM13) the trail is
closed at 127th Street & Rt 83 (MM12) until the end of 2022. I did not notice any detours for the trail. On a side note the benches installed look great!



Very intense ride for my first time riding there so relaxing great parking and the smell of nature is in invigorating¿¿¿

One of my regular rides, but be warned...

It's a very nice ride on a bike; relatively flat with quite a few shady zones. It's near my house and I've ridden it many times. However, be very careful...there are several blind corners where the trail wraps around (~270 degrees) the concrete bases of road bridges crossing the canal. People tend to "fan out" across the trail with no regard for the fact that a biker can't see them around the corner until they're about to collide. I've considered this many times, but it finally happened for real about two weeks ago; came around the corner, not anywhere near top speed, to find two guys on push scooters blocking the path. Clipped one and caromed into the guard rail, ended up with a mild concussion and a wrenched up shoulder. I'm 57 and it could have been much worse. When I get back out there I'll either stop or call out as I approach the blind corners. Don't find out the hard way like I did!

Off-topic, they claim it's 15 miles, but between Freedom Park on the east and the Sagawau Environmental Center on the west I've only ever clocked it at 24+ round trip (based on GPS), so I'd say it's more like 12.

well maintained

This trail is smooth and well maintained. There are some beautiful stretches, especially near Lagrange. Stop at nicks barbecue on the eastern end of the trail.

One of Chicago land's best trails

From riding the bluffs to the west and then down close to the Cal Sag in the middle and finally a little more urban to the east you wouldn't know you were in a major metropolitan area. This is a ride that can be taken as the seasons change again and again.

For short family rides, moderate rides or long rides (the maps show a ride to Calumet City) this is one of Chicago lands's finest. Coo-do's to the Cook County Forest Preserve.

One of my favorite Illinois trails

So happy I discovered this trail. Really beautiful and offers some challenge with the occasional incline and quick turns (but no serious inclines) and beautiful scenery surrounds on the majority the trail. Family friendly and suitable for cyclists of all levels.

Lovely, Family Friendly

This is a long, well maintained and paved trail. It is relatively flat with no major hills. There is beautiful shrubbery and flowers and some wild wilderness along the river. When we went between 10am - 12pm in August, there were hardly any people.

awesome trail!!

what an awesome trail! all paved! no street crossing. perfect for riding with the younger set!! loved it!

Beautiful trail, no street crossings!!

Loved exploring this trail today! A bit hillier than Prairie or Salt Creek but nice rolling up and down both ways. We easily found Sag Quaries with Google Maps off of 83 and jumped right on. Couldn't believe no street crossings all the way to Nicks BBQ at the end of the trail! We stopped for lunch than headed back. Nice 24 miles! Loved the Lake Katherine area and the low traffic on this trail! We'll do it again in the fall as the foliage will be beautiful!

Roll on

I hit the trail today at 6am. That’s the magic hour, the air is crisp, lots of fauna to see and most of all the path is yours alone and it is fast. I started at freedom park and rode the whole length. It’s hilly and curvy in the right places. I’ll be back soon despite someone's refusal to curb their dog.

Cal Sag

Ashland to Halsted paved. Bridge over the Branch of the Little Calumet river at Fay’s point is complete. Trail east of Ashland need to be completed still in order to link to Blue Island along the waterway, for now you’ll have to go by street to get to Blue Island business district.

Cal Sag Spring 2018

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.

Trail itself is great, needs better markings for west-end connection

My dad, brother, and I rode a few miles on the west end of this trail last weekend and it was great. Had to turn around because of rain but the short segment we did was in beautiful shape.

My complaint is the connection at the west end of the trail. We connected from the west via the Centennial Trail. The route from the Centennial Trail to the Cal-Sag Trail was marked pretty well up until the very end. The trail just completely dead-ends at the northwest corner of 83/171/Archer Ave/Main Street. Funny thing is, there's a trail marker sign right at this dead end, so from a ways off, we figured we were going the right way. It picks back up on the northeast corner, but we ended up trudging through some tall grass carrying our road bikes and crossing a busy intersection without a crosswalk to get there. On the way back, we smartly just crossed 83 at the trailhead parking lot (it's marked as Old Archer Ave on Google Maps), but it was a little hairy with no traffic light. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.

GREAT trail for us Southwest siders!

I have been riding this trail since July 2015 and each time out is a different and enjoyable experience. In the beginning I would park at 86th Ave or Southwest Highway and head west to the Cal Sag Quarries and back. Since the completion of the paving behind the Trinity Athletic Complex between Ridgeland Avenue and Central I find it necessary to "start" at the beginning-Freedom Park in Alsip. I ride this trail often (2-3 times a week) and each trip provides unique views of nature and wildlife. Intersecting with the Centennial trail and I&M trail at the western endpoint allows access to Waterfall Glen, Lemont, and Lockport. Trail also allows access to Swallow Cliff trails at 104th Avenue. 2017 will begin expansion eastward and ultimately become a 26 mile trail. Summer weekends find many people walking and riding but the trail never seems crowded. Enjoy your experience and PLEASE help keep the trail clean!

I'm sure it's even better in the summer

We did 12 miles each way on this today, it's supposed to be 13 miles (with plans to expand to 26 eventually?) but we couldn't see the connection for the last mile. The path has a fair number of small hills, all paved. It's lovely scenery, not a lot of shade yet but there should be more once the leaves are on the trees. Parking in both Alsip and Palos Park. Plenty of people using it but not overly crowded.

Facinating & visually stunning trail

I inspected the entrance to the trail in Alsip on Sunday & came back for a ride on Monday. Found the trail to be very intriguing and beautiful. Hills weren't too steep but longer than the ones I'd been on. Only went 5 miles in and back out but got a good workout. Met friendly residents and fellow bicyclers.

Lots of twists and turns but a pleasant ride. Glad that there were benches scattered throughout the route. When my cousins come from out of town with their bikes I think I'll bring them to this trail.

“Best New Chicago Trail..

..that's not the Bloomingdale.” That's what one writer called the Cal-Sag Trail. But let's just leave that last part off. Both of them are great new trails; but they're so different, it's pointless to make comparisons.

The Cal-Sag is a great, classic trail through nature and town alike. The quarries in the west and the long stretches along the channel. All the trees and the new landscape seedings. In another year, it's going to be grown up and beautiful all the way to Southwest Highway.

Then comes the gorgeous Lake Katherine area (where we parked) – with places to picnic, paths to stroll, and time to pass just looking at the lake and all the people visiting it.

There are no unsafe street crossings here. Along the channel, the trail goes under all the roadway crossings, affording places to stop and enjoy the view a bit.

Open meadows, dense woodlands, lakes, waterways and city streets. There's always something different to look at. And the trail surface is smooth new asphalt. Joy on joy, this is a great place to ride!

Nice mix of sunshine and tree-protected trails

I parked at Teason Woods at 104th and Rt 83 and after crossing the intersection, I found a trail that was well-marked and did not require crossing any more streets--until one goes east toward Alsip and a couple small streets need to be crossed. I looped west to where Rt 83 heads north (Lemont) and then went back to the east end. Past Lake Katherine one can still go another few miles. Looping back to Lemont and then back to Teason , it's a pleasant and picturesque 31 mile ride. A bit boring in the wide open prairie but nice enough. In the woodsy part, one must watch out for lots on twigs on the path in order to avoid bike slippage/crash.

pretty awesome

I rode from the north side of Chicago and took the major Taylor trail to 134th in riverdale and meandered up to 135th and Cicero in Alsip to get on the trail. I found it to be amazing and scenic. There is a 1 mile stretch that is unfinished east of Ridgeland Avenue, but I didn't mind slow going it. What a treat!

Overall, this trail is wonderful. I think it will be beautiful in the fall too. However, the description fails to state that the trail does not exist for one mile east of Ridgeland Avenue. The ride for that mile is through a gravel parking lot and isn't fun! I would strongly suggest not getting on the trail in Alsip, but getting on either at Harlem or Lake Katherine until that stretch is completed.

Looking good!

Crews are still working on this trail, but it's an enjoyable ride. Should be awesome when it's completed along with the future parts of this trail project.

Only the begining

The trail does not officially open until tomorrow June 6th on National Trail Day. We thought we would get in a pre-opening sneak peak ride.

We started on the Western end in Lemont off of Rte. 171. There is a large parking lot for the Forrest Preserve District with a port-a-pot where we parked.

Trail itself was pleasurable to ride with all the newly laid asphalt. Trail markers are clearly displayed every mile and also clearly mark where you are going.

The only negative was construction crews were still scrambling to do last minute cleanup work at different points of the trail in preparation for the grand opening tomorrow.

Lake Katherine is a nice place to take a break as there are port-a-pots there as well.

Entire trail will be ready sometime in 2017 and will be 26 miles one way when finished.

Should be an awesome trail in a few short years.

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