Millennium Trail

Illinois

Millennium Trail Facts

States: Illinois
Counties: Lake
Length: 28.5 miles
Trail end points: Forest View Park (Lindenhurst) and Co. Hwy. 48 / Midlothian Rd. (Mundelein)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6487069
Trail activites: Bike, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Millennium Trail Description

The Millennium Trail is a planned 35-mile route through Chicago’s northern suburbs that will connect communities and forest preserves in northwestern Lake County. Currently, 28.5 miles of this regional trail network are complete and open for walkers, bicyclists, and cross-country skiers.

The northernmost point of the Millennium Trail is Forest View Park in Lindenhurst. From there, the trail heads south, traveling through the gently rolling hills of McDonald Woods Forest Preserve and into Bonner Heritage Farm, first settled by Scottish immigrants in 1848. The farm is especially popular with children, providing educational programing with barnyard animals, field crops, and gardens. The route continues through Fourth Lake Forest Preserve, with beautiful views of lakes, ponds, and wetlands. This trail segment finishes at Lake County Road 31/ A20.

South of the county road, the trail picks up again, now traveling roughly east-west through the Rollins Savana Forest Preserve, where you’ll enjoy views of wild prairie mixed with shaded patches through tree groves. This segment ends at a busy shopping and dining area near the intersection of N. Baron Boulevard and E. Rollins Road.

West of N. Baron Boulevard and across an active railroad line, a new trail section begins in Gateway Park. After exiting the park, the trail continues southwest, paralleling E. Hawthorne Drive, making its way through the community of Round Lake Beach.

Another trail segment begins in Fairfield Park, known for its disk golf course, and continues just over two miles through the village of Round Lake to end at Litchfield Drive.

Farther south, the largest segment of the Millennium Trail begins at the southeast corner of Marl Flat Forest Preserve with its wildlife-rich wetlands, and winds south and then east through the villages of Volo, Wauconda, and Mundelein. Along the way, the trail runs through Lakewood Forest Preserve, the county’s largest preserve, which offers many recreational opportunities including: a 9-mile equestrian path, picnic areas, fishing, and an exercise area for dogs. In the winter, visitors can also enjoy a sledding hill and an ice skating pond.

Parking and Trail Access

Access the trailhead at the Lakewood Winter Sports Area parking off Fairfield Road just south of Route 176 in Wauconda. Another trailhead (including horse trailer parking) is at Singing Hills Forest Preserve off Fish Lake Road just north of Gilmer Road near Volo.

Access the northern section of trail at Bonner Heritage Farm or McDonald Woods in Lindenhurst.

Millennium Trail Reviews

My first experience of this trail began at Fairfield and 176 in Wauconda. I love it. I love the terrains, variety of surface, the scenery, and the many different directions to choose. It will take me several outings to cover the trails of Millennium, as well as its offshoots.

Recently moved from colorado to wauconda and missed my daily bike rides. Picked up a cheap steel frame hybrid bike, converted to a single speed and this is the go to trail I ride when I dont want to load my bike on the car and drive.. Its about 2.5 miles to trailhead from my front door. Not sure what some commenters on here have expected.. It is a quintessential midwestern park district trail. Mostly flat, wide, crushed rock or paved trail. Scenery is midwestern park district. Not alot of elevation, but again, we live in the flatlands. A bit of variety in the fact that there a few different options in how you can ride these or link these trails together. Not overly crowded (in my experience) with a fair mix of wooded and prarie style scenery. Wanna get out, get exercise, ride your bike and avoid the overly congested roads and awful drivers? This is a nice choice.

We are new to the state and really enjoying all the parks, trails and boating access. We started at the Rollins Forest Preserve and traveled north to Sand Lake Rd. Had we traveled just a bit farther we would have ended up in McDonald Woods FP, which is where we started our day of exploring. Nice scenery even in the neighborhoods. Good birding spots all along the way.

Accordion

I just got back from riding this trail and had a blast. We started in Mundelein, parked at the Golf Course (20800 W Hawley St) which is probably not allowed, but great access to the beginning of the trail. The first 2 miles is along a road but the bike path is wide, then you enter very hilly terrain (for Illinois standards) and it is beautiful. When you cross 176 you will ride through different neighborhoods (about 1/3 of the trail) and the road is pretty flat, until you get to Singing Hills where you ride through pretty nature again. Condition of the trail is excellent. Trail is well marked.

This is a ho-hum trail that I would say is more for the residents of the communities along it's route than for serious trail enthusiasts. If you haven't done it then I would say it's worth doing once, but you probably won't want to do it again.

I started at the northwest (Singing Hills) entry point, once I managed to find it. Gilmer Road does not intersect Rand Rd (US 12) as I expected. Instead, go east about 0.1 miles on Belvidere Rd (Rt 120), then southeast 1.3 miles on Gilmer to S Fish Lake Rd, and north less than 0.1 miles to the Singing Hills parking lot entry on the right. There is plenty of parking there, along with outhouses and a water fountain. The path is crushed limestone for its first almost 9 miles from this end, then asphalt for the remainder of the east portion. Initially, the trail is marked South Millenium Bike Path in this direction (and North going the other way.) Scenery is mostly prairie with houses nearby, and a few short wooded stretches. There are lots of little hills, just long enough to need most of my recumbent mountain bike's gears (BikeE-RX.) Only once was it unclear where to go next. At that corner the path continues at the diagonal corner of a busy intersection with stop lights and crossing buttons. (All the busy crossings have lights and buttons.) Just before reaching N Forest Preserve Rd heading toward the south (Lakewood) entry and parking area, there is construction in progress with the trail temporarily rerouted a few feet and still crushed limestone. After that intersection the trail resumes, but suddenly is blocked for construction again just before the parking lot, with a sign pointing up a mowed grass path to the parking lot. In the south parking lot there are again outhouses and a water fountain. The trail then continues, again by a short grassy detour past construction to what is now labeled East Millenium Bike Path. The only current underpass, below N Fairfield Rd (Co Hwy 49) is paved for a few feet on both ends. (Another underpass is apparently planned as part of the current ongoing construction.) Next, the trail continues to the left, with an optional labeled "One Mile Loop" to the right. They join together again a half mile further, so I took the main path going East and the loop when returning West. (There is a nice 100 foot long wooden bridge on the loop.) After another short wooded section, the only bridge on the main path, a short wooden one, crosses a stream of Davis Lake. After another mile or so, at about the 9.7 mile mark, the path parallels W Hawley St (Co Hwy 70), and abruptly switches to asphalt for the rest of the path. The remainder of the ride passes two golf courses and then abruptly ends at N Midlothian Rd by Mundelein HS. Total round trip distance (with optional access paths skipped) was 24.54 miles. Total ascent and descent was 2.96 miles. Total ride time was just under 2.5 hours (3 hours overall.) I averaged 10 mph, and my maximum was 22.1 mph. This would be a great trail for new riders and trikes, as the path is clean and smooth and wide enough for 2 trikes to pass, and never too far from civilization. I chose not to bring my road bike with its narrow 1 inch tires, but I'm pretty sure it would have done fine, as I often ride it on the similar Des Plaines River Trail (with which I understand this trail is someday to be linked.) Next, I'll upload some photos.

Lake county IL has has the same plan rolled out for it's bike trails...basically wide open and sunny. If you like this approach..it is for you. I personally think the county clearcuts too much. This ride sees lots of ho-hum suburban houses..until you get to Lakewood forest area..then it gets more quaint..forest up close to you while you ride for a short distance. Markers are good for the trail & through out the county on any trail. There is some tough peddling(inclines) to be navigated. Family Fun though.


We rode the trail today from the northern start point near Volo to the end of the trail at route 176. Very good trial with a few hills to get a good sweat going. The trail is almost all crushed stone, with only the road crossings being paved. A few of the hill sections of the trail are rather loose so use caution. Also beware of horse droppings on the trail, it is also popular for horseback riding. There are plenty of benches to stop for a rest, but not a lot places to stop for a snack or drink. Overall a very enjoyable ride, well kept trail, nice scenery (we watched a doe and two fawns cross the trail to feed in a field) good trail for a family ride.

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