Land Buy Closes Gap in DPR Trail
July 22, 2014 09:51 AM
At their Tuesday, July 15 meeting, the Lake County Forest Preserves Board of Commissioners approved a small land purchase that will have a mighty impact on the Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway. Cost of the purchase is $50,000 per acre for the proposed 4.4-acre parcel.
The addition to the Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area provides the land needed to build the remaining section of the Des Plaines River Trail (DPRT) and closes the current gap that extends from just south of Riverside Drive and just north of Estonian Lane in Lincolnshire. The land borders the west edge of the river, east of Milwaukee Avenue.
The vision of a countywide trail and greenway that follows the river’s edge has been in the making for 51 years. Completing this small break in the trail would allow it to stretch from Russell Road just south of the Wisconsin border to Lake Cook Road, where it connects to the Cook County Forest Preserve trail system.
"Completing the Des Plaines River Trail has been one of the District’s fundamental goals since the first board,” said Lake County Forest Preserve President Ann Maine. “It was the vision of Forest Preserve founder Ethel Untermyer so this brings her idea full-circle.”
The District’s first land purchase in 1961 was a parcel within the trail corridor, and two years later the District passed an ordinance calling for the creation of a Forest Preserve in and along the Des Plaines River for the purpose of education, pleasure and recreation of the public, connecting that property via forested corridors and pathways.
Currently the trail winds through 12 forest preserves and spans nearly the entire length of Lake County. The DPRT is a key link in a regional network of trails that includes the Millennium Trail and Greenway, Casey Trail & Greenway, Fort Hill Trail, North Shore Bike Path, and the McClory Trail
The missing section of DPRT trail is about three-tenths of a mile and would extend the trail from its current 31.1 miles to 31.4 miles.
The land transaction is contingent on a final closing in approximately 60-90 days. Once the land ownership is transferred, trail engineering and permitting will start. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2015 and be complete in summer 2015. Until trail construction is complete, the public is asked to refrain from entering the property since it will not be safe for access until all improvements have been made.
About the Lake County Forest Preserves
As principal guardian of Lake County’s open space and natural areas since 1958, we manage more than 30,100 acres of land and offer innovative educational, recreational and cultural opportunities.
Visitors of all ages can enjoy over 182 miles of trails for a variety of outdoor recreation uses, ponds and lakes for fishing, public golf courses, historical and cultural venues, public access to Lake Michigan and the Fox River, and award-winning nature and history education programs and events.
For a program calendar or additional information about your Lake County Forest Preserves, call 847-367-6640 and request a free copy of our Horizons quarterly newsletter.