1. Fairfield Road/Route 176, through summer 2014
The Millennium Trail and Lakewood are benefitting from a major Lake County Division of Transportation road widening project at the intersection of Fairfield Road and Route 176 in Wauconda. Work will extend into 2014. View project updates.
During construction, access to Lakewood, the Lake County Discovery Museum, the Dog Exercise Area and all adjacent trails will remain open though minor interruptions may occur. Be alert to signage that may direct to alternative preserve entrances. View project map.
2. Grand Avenue underpass, through summer 2013
Work on a new underpass at Grand Avenue west of Route 45 is underway. During construction, the section of Fourth Lake and Millennium Trail between Rollins Rd and Grand Ave will be closed to public access and will open when the underpass is complete. The section of Fourth Lake and Millennium Trail north of Grand Ave will remain open with parking available at the Operations and Public Safety Facility. View project map. Read more.
3. New trail section: Marl Flat
Construction is underway to extend the Millennium Trail north through Marl Flat Forest Preserve. Improvements include a new 0.60-mile section of trail, and a parking lot, toilets and information kiosk at Marl Flat. Completion is expected in summer 2014. This project is funded in part by the federal Recreational Trails Program administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The first section of the planned 35-mile Millennium Trail to connect central, western and northern Lake County communities and forest preserves opened in fall 2002 at Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda.
Today, more than 21 miles are complete and open to hikers, bicyclists and cross-country skiers. A 9.25-mile section from Lakewood north to Singing Hills Forest Preserve is open to equestrians. The trail surface is mainly gravel from Lakewood north to Singing Hills. North of Singing Hills, the trail surface is mainly asphalt with a few gravel sections.
Trail sections currently open include from Hawley and Route 176 in Mundelein west and north through Lakewood and Singing Hills to Marl Flat Forest Preserve in Volo; from Litchfield Drive to Fairfield Road in Round Lake; along the Round Lake Bike Path; from Hook Drive east through Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve in Grayslake; and from Bonner Heritage Farm to McDonald Woods Forest Preserve in Lindenhurst.
Planned Trail Route
Elsewhere, lands are being purchased that will build the route for the trail as it winds its way through western and northern Lake County, connecting neighboring communities and forest preserves along the way. It will eventually link to the northern section of the Des Plaines River Trail (DPRT) in Wadsworth.
North Shore Bike Path
You can use the North Shore Bike Path to connect to the Millennium Trail and DPRT. From Gilmer Road going east, the Millennium Trail links to the roughly 11-mile North Shore Bike Path along the edge of Hawley Street. From here, it winds east through the streets of Mundelein and follows an old railroad bed through Libertyville where it connects to the DPRT. It continues east through Lake Bluff where it meets the 20-mile McClory Trail at Sheridan Road. The North Shore Bike Path and the McClory Trail are managed by the Lake County Department of Transportation and are open to hikers, bicyclists and cross-country skiers.
Fort Hill Trail
A 2-mile stretch of the Fort Hill Trail connects the Ray Lake, Lakewood and Millennium Trail systems. A trailhead parking area and trail tunnel at Gilmer Road offers Fort Hill Trail users a safe connection between Lakewood and Ray Lake. Preserve trails at Ray Lake are open to equestrians.