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The eastern segment of the Great Western Trail in Illinois follows 12 miles of an abandoned railway corridor through DuPage County, between Villa Park and West Chicago. There are plans to extend the eastern segment of the Great Western Trail west of Route 59. The Chicago Great Western Railway (later Chicago and North Western) was called the Corn Belt Route because it linked Chicago, Minneapolis, Omaha and Kansas City. Today, the crushed limestone trail provides access for cyclists, walkers, joggers, equestrians and cross-country skiers.
You can link the east and west segments of this trail—in a long, roundabout way—by continuing on the Illinois Prairie Path where it meets the western terminus of the Great Western Trail (just west of Prince Crossing Road). Take the Illinois Prairie Path north and west to Elgin, where it meets the Fox River Trail. Cross the river and take the Fox River Trail south and west to the River Bend Trail (a.k.a. Silver Glen Trail), which meets up with the Randall Road Bike Path. Head south to LeRoy Oakes County Forest Preserve, where you can join the western segment of the Great Western Trail.
At the western end of the trail (West Chicago/Winfield), parking is available at Klein Creek Farm Forest Preserve and Nature Center on County Farm Road, south of North Ave. and St. Charles Road and north of Geneva Road. A north/south trail that runs along the west side of County Farm Road connects both the Illinois Praire Path (IPP) (Wheaton-Elgin branch) and the GWT. Klein Creek Farm is about 0.25 mile south of the GWT and about 0.75 mile north of the IPP.
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