North Shore Channel Trail

Illinois

North Shore Channel Trail Facts

States: Illinois
Counties: Cook
Length: 6.7 miles
Trail end points: Greenbay Rd. and Ronan Park at W. Ainslie St.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete, Dirt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6490234
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Mountain Biking, Walking

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Support Rails-to-Trails Conservancy for #GivingTuesday!

On #GivingTuesday, support Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and help us build more trails across America!

North Shore Channel Trail Description

The North Shore Channel Trail extends from the junction of Green Bay Road and McCormick Boulevard in northern Evanston to the junction of Lawrence Avenue and Francisco Avenue in Chicago. All but the last 0.25 mile runs alongside the North Shore Channel, a drainage and aeration canal built in 1909; the last 0.25 mile follows the North Branch of the Chicago River.
For most of the way, a trail occupies both sides of the North Shore Channel.

The trail on the west side is crushed limestone from Green Bay Road to Golf Road/Emerson Street and asphalt to Lincoln Avenue then again to halfway between Bryn Mawr and Foster avenues. Users will find a narrow dirt path to Foster Avenue before having to use Albany Avenue to Carmen Avenue. The trail becomes asphalt again to Lawrence. All street crossings are at grade and all crossings north of Lincoln Av have traffic lights.

The east side trail is asphalt from Green Bay Road to Lyons Street (halfway between Emerson St and Church St). Then use McDaniels Avenue to Dempster Street, cutting through the playground on the west side of the grade school at McDaniels or using the alley on the east side. Dempster to Main is asphalt, Main to halfway between Main and Oakton is gravel (not crushed limestone), then asphalt the rest of the way to Oakton. One block north of Oakton you'll find a dog park; also nearby is a dock from which you can launch canoes.

The segment from Oakton to Howard is industrial and a fence prevents you from crossing under the Skokie Swift El tracks. From Howard to Lincoln you can ride down Kedzie Avenue, and from Touhy to Thillens Little League stadium one block north of Devon you'll find some fun dirt paths through the trees, if you're into mountain biking.

From Lincoln to Lawrence the North Shore Channel Trail is asphalt, with the last one block on Francisco Avenue. All street crossings north of Howard are at grade level without traffic lights. From Howard to Devon there are traffic lights at the major cross streets. South of Devon, the trail goes underneath all cross streets except Argyle.

If you want an all-asphalt route with a minimum of street crossings and a maximum of traffic lighted street crossings, use the east side trail from Green Bay to Emerson, the west side trail from Emerson/Golf to Lincoln, and then the east side trail from Lincoln to Lawrence.


Parking and Trail Access

North Shore Channel Trail Reviews

Great Urban bike ride. Start out in a park in North Shore suburbs and goes into the north side of the city. Ride is in a park alongside the Water Reclamation canal. Goes along this very long sculpture garden to start. Wonderful sculptures. Take your time and enjoy the art or bike for exercise. Kind of cool as it zigs and zags. Pretty many road crossings, but well marked with lights. You end up going through a more urban park setting, and stop on Lawrence not far from Wrigleyville.

The northern portion of the trail that goes through the Evanston Arboretum and past the Ecology Center up to Green Bay Road is now paved with asphalt and is nice and smooth as of early 2016. So now the entire length from Green Bay Rd south to Devon Ave is Ashely or cement.

Accordion

This is a nice urban trail.

The only negatives maybe the many zig zag turns and road crossings.

It's like one long park. It comes in handy for commuting.

The surface is in pretty good condition. Though, there are a few buckles along the Skokie part of the trail.

Trail is paved, nicely landscaped, with sculpture park a good part of the way. Only drawback is many traffic lights along the way.

Easy to connect to Green Bay Trail: take Prairie Avenue (just before Green Bay Rd) to Central, cross RR track underpass at Green Bay to Poplar Drive, which runs right into Green Bay Trail at Wilmette Avenue.

i bike this trail at least once every month during summer (maybe up to three times a month). i live it, it has amazing views!

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Union Pacific Recreation Path

Illinois - 1 miles

The Union Pacific Recreation Path offers a short route through the Village of Lincolnwood's east side between Devon and Touhy avenues. Following the...

Valley Line Trail

Illinois - 1.1 miles

Just 1 mile long, the Valley Line Trail—also known as the Sauganash Trail—extends between Bryn Mawr Avenue and Devon Avenue in the Chicago...

Lincolnwood Valley Line Trail

Illinois - 1.3 miles

The Lincolnwood Valley Line Trail connects the existing Valley Line Trail (Sauganash Trail) to the Skokie Valley Trail in Cook County.  Like the...

Accordion

North Branch Trail

Illinois - 19.7 miles

The North Branch Trail follows the North Branch of the Chicago River nearly 20 miles through Cook County. The trail was originally a dirt path often...

Skokie Valley Trail (Cook County)

Illinois - 2 miles

The Skokie Valley Trail in Cook County parallels active train tracks in the Village of Skokie, providing easy access to both the Oakton–Skokie and...

Chicago Lakefront Trail

Illinois - 19 miles

The Chicago Lakefront Trail is aptly named; it spans 19 miles along the shore of Lake Michigan, going right through downtown Chicago and passing many...

North Branch Riverwalk

Illinois - 0.6 miles

The North Branch Riverwalk is a 0.6 mile biking and walking trail located on Chicago's northside along the North Branch of the Chicago River, nestled...

Bloomingdale Trail (The 606)

Illinois - 2.7 miles

The Bloomingdale Trail, part of “The 606” park system, is a 3-mile, elevated rail-trail on Chicago’s northwest side. Built on a former rail line, the...

Green Bay Trail

Illinois - 8.9 miles

The 9-mile Green Bay Trail runs parallel to Chicago's Metra commuter rail line north of the Chicago city limits. Stretching through North Shore towns...

Des Plaines River Trail

Illinois - 56.2 miles

The Des Plaines River Trail runs alongside the Des Plaines River for just over 56 miles, protecting watershed habitat and forestland through much of...

Techny Trail

Illinois - 3 miles

The Techny Trail links downtown Glenview, a charming village northwest of Chicago, with the Techny Basin, a scenic wetlands area adjacent to the West...

East Northbrook Trail

Illinois - 1.1 miles

The East Northbrook Trail is a 1-mile route through a wooded corridor adjacent to an out-of-service rail corridor in the Village of Northbrook. The...

Download the TrailLink mobile app and take TrailLink with you!
Support Trails and Pick Your FREE Guidebook + Trail Kit Today!
Support Rails-to-Trails Conservancy for #GivingTuesday!

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews
OR

Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!
OR