Situated amidst the urban sprawl of Chicago, Illinois, Forest Glen Trails provides a surprising and welcome sanctuary for local cyclists. With a distance of 2 miles and an intermediate level of difficulty, this network route is a unique opportunity for singletrack riding within the city limits. Though the trail has seen better days, its recent connection to the North Branch Trail suggests promise for future developments.
The trail is accessible at 5426 N Forest Glen Ave, Chicago, IL 60646. Look for the trailhead marked by two cement markers situated to the left of a small brick maintenance building at the northeast part of "Picnic Grove #1." Alternatively, cyclists can jump onto the trail near the Forest Glen Ave Bridge or right after a big bridge over the railroad tracks.
Forest Glen Trails may not boast the polished aesthetics of well-maintained cycling trails, but it packs its own set of unique features:
It is best suited for cyclists looking to customize their experience; riders can create their own loops and challenge themselves or friends to a friendly race. Most sections can be covered in about 20-30 minutes if ridden at a brisk pace.
Local cyclists appreciate Forest Glen for being the "only singletrack within riding distance" and give it a decent rating of 4/5, despite its need for upkeep. They report limited obstacles such as fallen trees and roots, and commendably low amounts of garbage or broken glass. With the Forest Preserve District of Cook County governing trail maintenance, riders hope that an increase in bike traffic will accelerate trail improvements.
Forest Glen Trails earns points for its location and the singletrack experience it offers within an urban setting. While it has its shortcomings and can benefit from some serious grooming, the trail's connection to the more popular North Branch Trail might be the catalyst it needs for revival.For city dwellers seeking an alternative to the standard rails-to-trails paths, Forest Glen is worth exploring. So grab your bike and give it a spin, you may just find your new go-to spot for a quick, local ride.