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The Chain O' Lakes Bike Path is a paved trail that runs between E. Grand Avenue in Fox Lake and Grant Woods Forest Preserve to the east. The trail parallels the railroad track and Rollins Road/CR 31, passing by the Ingleside Metra station before heading notheast toward Grant Woods. Here it meets with the Grant Woods Bike Path, a 6-mile unpaved route through prairie, woodlands, and marshes.
Parking is available at the north end of the trail along Rollins Road and at Grant Woods Forest Preserve off County 55 and Grand Avenue/Rt. 132, both east of Fox Lake Road. For information on parking at the Metra stations (Ingleside and Fox Lake), visit http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home.html.
I use this path mostly for runs (5 - 6 miles round trip) and for a leisure ride on the bike. A fair amount of the path is alongside a major road so may not be appropriate with children or pets. In the winter, during snow, only part of the path is cleared and salted (between Fox Lake and Ingleside stations).
It is a paved trail with trash cans and benches along the way.
Trail is right alongside heavy traffic, very loud, too many intersections to cross with kids, will not be going back to this trail.
This path is paved, smooth, and easy to ride for all levels of cyclist. Your best bet is to start in the town of Fox Lake. Park in the Sullivan Food parking lot which is about a minute bike ride to the trail, then begin your ride.
The path winds along Rollins road towards Round Lake for just over 3 miles where it turns into Grant Woods Bike Path which stretches for another 6 miles, this path is unpaved but fairly smooth and enjoyable. Your total trip (there and back) is about 18 miles. This is a great practice ride for those looking to tackle bigger adventures and just need to warm up, or it's just a nice day trip for those looking to relax and enjoy the day.
Be warned, there is a bit of road work on Rollins road about 2 miles into the ride. As of Aug.26, 2014 that road work has not been completed. Take extra care on this section of the path. Rollins Road can be quite busy.
We bike this trail with our kids. We explored all trails including to the turtle pond and caboose park. Lots of wildlife and deer. Great local family trail.
Did this trail last Sunday. It was a designated walk...little more than a sidewalk crammed between a busy road and a train track. Some portions were essentially a wider shoulder of the road.
I'm glad I did it. I've never been to that area before and it was cool seeing all of the houses and bars with boat slips into the meandering rivers and waterways throughout the area. But this was not an escape from traffic, litter and roadkill in the least. Probably better as a warm-up ride to the Grant Woods Forest Preserve.
I have driven along this path many times going down Rollins Road when we go to visit my wife's relatives that live in the area. It is not a scenic path. Going from the western terminus is a train parking area, a train station, a sewer plant, a concrete plant, and another train station. There are assorted business and residential areas along the way as one proceeds east. It passes by a Dog and Suds that sometimes has car shows.
It is located in the right of way between Rollins Road and the train tracks the whole way over to Grant's Woods.
It is paved and seems to be in good condition. There are benches labeled as being provided by the Lake County Transportation Department as one goes along the path. I seem to recall receptacles for litter as well. Not much in the way of shade. A few trees here and there. I think I recall at least one water fountain.
The far west terminus you might be able to park at the small shopping mall there, but I would not bet on it.
I do see a fair number of people using the path when we go by. It is not my cup of tea though.
For some reason the signs on the path call it the East Chain O' Lakes Bike Path. That makes me think there might be one or more other Chain O' Lakes Bike Path(s) as well, but I don't recall ever seeing any so labeled.
I should note that the trail continues through the Grant Woods Forest Preserve, but this section of the trail is unpaved but in very good condition.
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