Ride 17: Poplar Creek Trail

  Biking Illinois: 60 Great Road Trips and Trail Rides  

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Hoffman Estates, IL                   August 23, 2005

My fondest memories of Poplar Creek have nothing to do with biking or water. When I was a teenager, Poplar Creek Music Theater was the most popular outdoor concert venue in the Chicago area. I saw Tom Petty, John Fogerty, Steve Miller, Bob Dylan, and others there. Alas, the theater was torn down for an office park a year or two after I graduated from high school.

I first became aware of the Poplar Creek Trail when I was a runner. A friend lived near the trail around the time it was completed (late 1990s), and she talked about running here all the time. An aunt and uncle also live nearby, but  I didn't make it to this trail until I was working on Biking Illinois, long after knee trouble ended my running days.

Although I had planned to include this trail  from the start, it was one of the last that I rode. After completing the Hills and Valleys ride in the morning, I stopped here on the way home. A few storm clouds threatened occasionally, but they  didn't rain on me.

In some  ways,  this loop is  similar to Busse Woods. That said, the Poplar Creek Trail offers a few unique sights. For example, look at the lions cast into this concrete bridge on the parallel equestrian trail. There must be a story there, but I never found out what it was.

The trail runs in and out of trees.

 

I don't think I've ever seen this before -- a reverse jet trail through a cloud.

Yes, there are still corn fields in Cook County, but I'm afraid this must be one of the last.

Be careful on trails that have these obsolete and dangerous low barriers. A few  cyclists have severely injured themselves hitting them.

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