Map of the Prairie Trail


Prairie Trail

Prairie Trail Illinois map area

Prairie Trail


26 miles


paved / unpaved


Genoa City, Richmond, Ringwood, McCullom Lake, McHenry, Algonquin


conservation areas, preserves, woodlands, Illinois countryside, farmland, local parks, schools, residential neighborhoods


Hebron Trail
Fox River Trail


McHenry County
Regional Trails

The Prairie Trail is a 26-mile long paved and unpaved pathway that extends the south side of Genoa City on the border with Wisconsin to Algonquin in Northeastern Illinois. The trail was constructed along the railroad right-of-way of the former Chicago & Northwestern rail line that runs in a north-to-south direction on the western outskirts of the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area.

The Prairie Trail goes through the beautiful countryside of Northeastern Illinois. The tree lined trail has a route that goes through open farm land, through thickly forested stretches, over creeks and through several towns and cities.


The Praiie Trail is unpaved in the north 18 miles but has pavement for the southerly portion. The trail is open for non-motorized uses such as bike riding and walking. Horseback riding is allowed in the sections with the gravel surface.

There is a 0.9-mile long gap in the Prairie Trail in the City of Crystal Lake where trail users will need to travel along the local streets to get to the next separate section of the trail.


The Prairie Trail goes through or nearby to the following communities: Genoa City, Richmond, Ringwood, McCullom Lake, McHenry and Algonquin.

Points of Interest

The Prairie Trail goes through or passes close by to, the following parks, schools and other points of interest:

North Branch Conservation Area Sternes Wood Park
Nippersink Middle School Veteran Acres Park
Richmond-Burton High School Ridgefield Trace
Glacial Park Nature Preserve Diverse City Prairie
Ringwood School Primary Center Larsen Prairie
Whispering Oaks Park Crystal Lake Park and Nature Center
Cold Springs Park Crystal Lake CTA Station UP-NW
Stevens Wood Park Three Oaks Recreation Area
Petersen Park Eastview Elementary School
Whispering Oaks Park Algonquin Middle School
Nearby Trails

The Prairie Trail connects with other trails in the area, such as the Hebron Trail and the Fox River Trail.

Hebron Trail: this is a 6.6-mile long unpaved trail that intersects the Prairie Trail near its north end to the northwest of Richmond.

Fox River Trail: this trail meets the Praire Trail at its south end at Souwanas Trail in Algonquin.

End Points

The north end of the Prairie Trail is located just south of Genoa City, Wisconsin at the end of Grove Avenue. The Hebron Trail intersects the Prairie Trail just south of the Wisconsin border and heads to the community of Hebron, 7 miles to the west.

The south end of the Praire Trail is located at W. County Line Road, 0.5 miles west of Sandbloom Road in Algonquin. This is the location of the north end of the Fox River Trail.


Following are links to official off-site resources to find out more details about the Prairie Trail in Northeastern Illinois.