North Branch Trail

The North Branch Trail is a Class I bicycle trail located in northwestern Cook County, Illinois. The trail starts at the corner of Caldwell and Devon Avenues in Chicago, and from there it continues north approximately 20 miles (32 km) to Lake County. The trail follows a path along the North Branch of the Chicago River and the Skokie Lagoons.

Along the path, riders will find themselves passing through city streets and into quiet forests where the sounds of the city quickly fade away. Because the area is located within a forest preserve, many generations of wildlife have lived and died with limited but safe contact with humans. As a result, it is not uncommon to find animals such as deer who have no fear of humans and may even stop and examine you as much as you examine them. The trail adjoins an equestrian facility at Golf and Harms Rds.

Parking and access to the trail is available in many locations, including Harms Woods in Skokie and the Tower Road boat launch.

The trail splits at Tower Road, looping around the Skokie Lagoons. This offers an excellent tour of this locally famous conservation effort performed during the depths of the depression. A commemorative plaque can be found honoring the Civilian Conservation Corps work, just east of the Edens Expressway and north of Willow Rd.

Ending at Dundee Rd, riders can proceed northward to the Chicago Botanic Garden via the south service entrance. Traversing the Gardens and exiting the north entrance allows a brief portage east on Lake-Cook Rd to the Green Bay Trail. Portaging west will connect to the southern end of the Skokie Valley Bike Path.

Read more about North Branch Trail:  History

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