Ride 19: Des Plaines River Trail

  Biking Illinois: 60 Great Road Trips and Trail Rides 

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Libertyville, IL         May 6, 2005

The DPRT is one of my favorite trails. It's scenic, often wooded, and quite long. Aside from a short gap (the county is negotiating with landowners), you can ride the entire distance across Lake County parallel to -- though not always within sight of -- the Des Plaines River on a well-maintained, crushed limestone trail. If you don't mind dirt, you can go even further south, well into Cook County. I chose the section between Old School Forest Preserve and Wright Woods Forest Preserve for the book because each preserve has a loop trail. That way it isn't just an out-and-back ride. It's only 13.5 miles, but the DPRT is usually easy to follow if you want to explore and add some distance.

This was my first day out with my new Canon G6 camera, a replacement for the Canon G2 that I damaged at the beginning of my Hillsboro-Roubaix ride. Unfortunately, I made a few mistakes with the settings so some pictures didn't come out very well. I got enough to give a taste of the trail, though.

Here's the starting point for the ride.

When I got onto the DPRT, I took a picture of my bike leaning against a map of Old School Forest Preserve.

   

I don't always see horses along the DPRT, but today I did.

This is the DPRT between Old School and MacArthur Woods. There is little shade on this segment.

   

I'm catching up to the equestrians I saw earlier. Note the, uh, fresh evidence in the foreground.

   

This is the trail in MacArthur Woods, which would be shady if I had ridden a month or two later.

   

This is the bridge across the river near IL 60.

These dam pictures were taken from another bridge further south that crosses back over the river.

   

Here's the map of Wright Woods Forest Preserve with a photo of the trail there.

   

Then I must have accidentally changed something on the camera because the photos I took on the way back to Old School didn't turn out.

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