Map of the Des Plaines River Trail, IL


Des Plaines River Trail

Des Plains River Trail, Illinois map area

Des Plaines River Trail


60 miles


paved / unpaved / natural


Newport Township, Wadsworth, Gurnee, Gages Lake, Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods, Wheeling, Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Park Ridge, River Grove


river greenbelt, forest preserves, local parks


North Shore Bike Path
Skokie Valley Bike Path
Robert McClory Bike Path


Regional Trails

The Des Plaines River Trail is a 60-mile long trail system located in Lake and Cook Counties in Northeast Illinois. The trail has paved sections, improved unpaved sections and sections where is essentially a footpath.

The route spans from the Van Patten Woods Forest Preserve just south of the border with Wisconsin to the Jerome Huppert Woods on W. North Avenue in the community of River Grove to the north of Chicago. The trail travels through the natural areas along the Des Plaines River that takes a north to south direction through this part of Illinois. Much of the route is located in the suburban areas north of Chicago, but the trail wanders through thick forests and across wetlands. The trail connects numerous parks and forest preserves. 


The Des Plaines River Trail is open for non-motorized use such as hiking, bike riding and equestrian use in some sections. Snowmobiles are allowed in some sections during snowy months. there are numerous parking areas along the route of the trail for those that want to travel specific sections of the trail. The conditions vary and some stretches can get quite muddy during the spring thaw or rainy periods. Some portions of the route require that trail users travel along side roads to get to the next section of separate trail. There is a multitude of access paths for reaching the trail and the trail also intersects with several other local trail systems along the way.


The Des Plaines River Trail passes through the following communities in Northern Illinois:

Newport Township Riverwoods
Wadsworth Wheeling
Gurnee Mount Prospect
Gages Lake Des Plaines
Libertyville Park Ridge
Vernon Hills River Grove
Lincolnshire River Forest
Points of Interest

The Des Plaines River Trail passes through or nearby to the following forest preserves, natural areas, parks and woods (from north to south):

Van Patten Woods Forest Preserve Lake County Forest Preserve
Spring Lake Forest Preserve Potawatomi Woods
Wadsworth Prairie Nature Preserve Dam No. 1 Woods
County forest Preserve Allison Woods
Viking Park Lake Avenue Woods
Esper Petersen Park Beck Lake
Gowe Park Kloempken Preserve
Lake County Forest Preserve Big Bend Lake
Adler Memorial Park Northwestern Woods
Minear Park Campground Road Woods
MacArthur Woods Forest Preserve Chippewa Woods
Captain Daniel Wright Woods Dam No. 4 South Woods
Half Day Forest Preserve Catherine Chevailier Woods
Ryerson Conservation Area Shiller Woods
Old School Forest Preserve Jerome Huppert Woods
Nearby Trails

The Des Plaines River Trail connects to trails in the numerous parks and preserves along the route. Trail users can also connect to other regional recreational trails in this area.

North Shore Bike Path: The Des Plaines River Trail intersects the North Shore Bike Path at East Park Avenue in Libertyville. By travelling east along the North Shore Bike Path trail users can connect to Skokie Valley Bike Path and the Rovert McClory Bike Path.

End Points

The north end of the Des Plaines River Trail is located off of Russel Road, at 0.6 miles from Interstate 94/41 in Newport Township.

The south end is located at Jerome Rupert Woods off of W. North Avenue in River Grove, Illinois.


Following are links to official off-site resources to find out more details about the Des Plaines River Trail in Northern Illinois.