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Forest Preserves of Cook County Celebrates National Trails Day

Friday, June 03, 2016
Special to suffredin.org

Forest Preserves of Cook County Celebrates National Trails Day

with Annual Share the Trail Event

The Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) is home to more than 300 miles of paved and unpaved trails used for walking, running, hiking, biking and even horseback riding.

“Trails are one of the Forest Preserves’ most popular and highest rated amenities among visitors,” said FPCC General Superintendent Arnold Randall.

To recognize National Trails Day, the FPCC is promoting the Share the Trail campaign—which teaches users about etiquette and safety—as well as the Trail Watch volunteer program.

Trail users can look for Forest Preserves staff along these trails on Saturday, June 4, to receive various giveaways such as bike bells and helmets as well as other important informational brochures about Forest Preserve events:

·Dan Ryan Woods Trail near the Bike and Roll Kiosk – 8:30 am to 1 pm

·Kickapoo Woods Trail near the parking lot off S Halsted St – 8:30 am to 1 pm

·Thorn Creek Trail at Plank Rd Trail connection – 8:30 am to 1 pm

·Orland Trail, near the parking lot off 167th St – 8:30 am to 1 pm

·Palos Tail System at the mountain bike staging area, and at Swallow Cliff – 8:30 am to 2 pm (and at Camp Bullfrog Lake from 3 to 7 pm)

·Calumet-Sag Trail at Sag Quarry – 8 am to 12:30 pm

·North Branch Trail at Bunker Hill and Skokie Lagoons Tower Road Boat Launch – 8:30 am to 2 pm

·Busse Woods Trail System near the elk pasture – 8:30 am to 1 pm

·Deer Grove Trail at Deer Grove East entrance – 8 am to 12:30 pm

·Poplar Creek Trail at Carl Hansen Woods, near the entrance at South Illinois Rt 59 – 8:30 am to 1 pm

·Paul Douglas Forest Preserve Trail near entrance at West Central Rd– 8 am to 12:30 pm

·26th Street Woods Trail, Grove#1, in the Ostrander Ave Turnabout – 8:30 am to 1 pm

Forest Preserves staff will also be celebrating Share the Trail Day at River Trail Nature Center from 9:30 am to 1 pm, Camp Dan Beard from 2 to 4 pm, and at Crabtree Nature Center’s Explore the Forest: 100 Years and Growing! event on Sunday, June 5 from 12 to 4 pm.

After visiting one of the North Branch Trail locations and picking up a Share the Trail brochure, trail users can continue north to Chicago Botanic Garden for World Environment Day. Trail visitors who stop by the FPCC’s table at World Environment Day and show staff the Share the Trail brochure will receive a free gift.

Since the release of its Recreational Master Plan in 2013, the Forest Preserves has been building trails at a rapid pace, with 16 percent of the entire system being built in the last two years. With 150.3 miles of paved trails, 24.3 of those miles have been built since 2014.

Forest Preserves Zone

Trail Miles since 2014

Central

1.94

North

2.51

South

4.88

Southwest

14.99

Grand Total

24.32

Recent trail projects include the west segment of the Cal-Sag Trail, the Thorn Creek Trail extension and the North Branch Trail extension.

The west segment of the Cal–Sag Trail project constructed 13.3 miles of paved trail. Once the eastern segment is complete, the Cal-Sag Trail will be the primary east-west multi-purpose trail in the south suburbs, linking the Centennial and I&M Canal trails in the west to the Burnham Greenway and Chicago Lakefront trails in the east.

The Thorn Creek Trail extension connected three separate portions of the existing Thorn Creek Trail System, and now links the Thorn Creek Trail to the Old Plank Road Trail and the Burnham Greenway Trail.

At 20 miles in length, the North Branch Bicycle Trail is the Forest Preserves’ longest linear trail system. The existing trail begins at Devon and Caldwell Avenues in Chicago and runs north, ending in Glencoe at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The southern extension is adding 3.1 miles on the south end, from Devon and Caldwell to Irene Hernandez Woods at Foster and Kostner Avenues, and will provide a connection to the City of Chicago’s Lakefront Trail via on-street bike lanes.

“Our trails help connect the residents of Cook County to the Preserves by increasing transportation options, creating links between the Preserves themselves, improving residents’ health through the use of natural spaces, and improving the region’s economic vitality,” explained Randall.

To learn more about Share the Trail, check out the Forest Preserves’ comprehensive brochure and interactive digital adventure, found at fpdcc.com/stt, which includes information such as best practices, tips and guidelines for all trail users.

###



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