Homepage - Winter
Jump to Content
 
 

Lake County Forest Preserves | Preservation, Restoration, Education and Recreation

Your Preserves

Print This Page
 
WA OR CA ID NV UT MT WY CO AZ NM TX OK KS NE SD ND MN IA MO AR LA MS AL GA FL TN KY IL WI MI MI IN OH SC NC VA WV MD DE PA NJ NY CT RI MA VT NH ME

Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway



Address

15601 West Russell Road
Wadsworth, IL 60083

Hours

6:30 am–sunset, daily.

Maps

Trail Map
Directions

Activities

Biking
Canoeing/Kayaking
Fishing
Hiking
Horseback Riding
Snowmobiling
Cross-Country Skiing

Amenities

Public Parking
Toilets
Trails
Horse Trailer Parking

Related Sites

Captain Daniel Wright Woods
Captain Daniel Wright Woods Canoe Launch
Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area
Half Day
Independence Grove
Independence Grove Canoe Launch
Lake Carina
Oak Spring Road Canoe Launch
Old School
Sedge Meadow
Van Patten Woods
Van Patten Woods Canoe Launch
Sedge Meadow Canoe Launch

Related Documents

Countywide Map and Guide

Before heading out, click the button below to check the current status (open/closed) of trails and underpasses.

Check Status of Trail

The Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway protects land along more than 76 percent of the river in Lake County, providing wildlife habitat, natural flood protection and outdoor recreation opportunities.

The gravel trail spans nearly the entire length of Lake County for 31.4 miles as it winds through 12 forest preserves. It is open for hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and snowmobiling (between Russell Road and Wadsworth Road only). Please keep dogs leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them. Learn about our off-leash Dog Parks (permit required).

The trail follows the river's edge from Russell Road in Wadsworth south to Lake Cook Road where it connects to the Cook County Forest Preserve trail system. Bridges and underpasses from Wadsworth Road south make it possible to travel without crossing any major roads. 


Explore by Canoe

The trail isn't the only way to explore this river valley. The river itself offers an entirely different set of views and experiences, best explored by canoe. We offer six launch sites along the river to drop in a canoe or kayak. All launch areas provide river access, shoreline fishing and parking. Some also have trail connections.

Learn how to safely canoe or kayak through our classes taught by American Canoe Association-certified instructors. Check our paddling page to find a paddling program or class, or search our calendar for canoe, kayak or paddling classes. Group instruction is also available.

History

Preservation of the Greenway has been a key priority since our agency's founding. With the river serving as a backbone and thousands of acres of contiguous, lush open space, this Greenway is a treasure of your forest preserve system.

In the mid-1970s, the vision for a trail along the Greenway began to crystallize. Over the next three decades the Des Plaines River Trail grew, section by section. In October 2015, the trail was complete.

The Natural Scene

As you travel through this river valley, look for changes in the landscape. In northern Lake County, the valley is wide and the river meanders. Open areas such as prairies and savannas are common. In southern Lake County, the valley is narrow and the river runs a straighter course. Woodlands are more common.

The river and its seasonal rising and falling help determine which plants and animals live here. Beaver, herons and turtles are a few of the native animals adapted to river life. Oaks, hickories and maples are some of the common trees. Learn more »

A Fire-Blocking River

Notice that to the west of the river, prairies and savannas are common, while on the eastern bank of the river, you'll find maple woodlands. This is due to the river itself, blocking ancient wildfires that raged from the west. Maples cannot withstand fire, but the oaks of a savanna can. Keep this in mind when searching for good autumn color, and head to the maples at Captain Daniel Wright Woods.

Nature's Highway

When 12 forest preserves lie along a continuous path within a river valley, many good things happen for nature. Animals and plants, through their seed and pollen, are not cut off from each other and are less restricted in their movement. For such things as tiny frogs, rare butterflies and delicate wildflowers, which stay strong only through a genetic mix with other groups of their kin, the Greenway is a gift.

At Work 24/7

Flood protection is a key natural benefit, with lowlands poised to safely reduce damage from heavy rains and snowmelt entering the river. The Greenway not only stores water, it cleanses it too. Cleaner air and higher property values are two other Greenway rewards worth noting.

Location

The Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway parallels its namesake river through Lake County.

Mile marker 0 is located in Van Patten Woods in Wadsworth at the Russell Road parking lot. Trails runs nearly the entire length of Lake County for 31.4 miles and winds through 12 forest preserves.

Many preserves along the Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway provide trail access and parking.

PHOTOS

 
  • DPRT01
  • DPRT02
  • DPRT03
  • DPRT05

Travel the trail mile-by-mile

Our LakeCountyNature.com blog authors created a special year-long documentary in 2015 that highlighted the Des Plaines River Trail. They hiked the entire trail in anticipation of its completion. After each hike, they shared their experience. Read blog entries.


Watch Our Video


Google Street View

Use Google Map's Street View to get a 360-degree look at the trail.

DPRT_Google_Street_View

News

close (X)