Chicago, IL: Des Plaines River Trail

Explore a handful of landscapes—prairie, wetlands, lakes—along a winding river on this 9.8-mile out-and- back leg of the Des Plaines River Trail.
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Explore a handful of landscapes—prairie, wetlands, lakes—along a winding river on this 9.8-mile out-and- back leg of the Des Plaines River Trail.

Mapped By: Ted Villaire

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.5

Waypoints

DPR001

Location: 42.2690163, -87.9239502

Bear R (N) on Des Plaines River Trail into Old School Forest Preserve

DPR002

Location: 42.2709732, -87.9249191

Continue under St. Mary's Rd. into a mixed grassland (goldenrod, asters, big bluestem prairie grass)

DPR003

Location: 42.2765007, -87.937233

Cross Rockland Rd.

DPR004

Location: 42.2814331, -87.9342804

Continue straight through tunnel under IL 76 @ 4-way

DPR005

Location: 42.2860336, -87.9367142

Minor obstacle course ahead: cross footbridge over Des Plaines River, then duck under train tracks

DPR006

Location: 42.2869148, -87.9368668

Continue L @ 3-way

DPR007

Location: 42.2890816, -87.9405365

Cross Oak Spring Rd. Look L toward Minear Lake, a popular swimming hole with the locals

DPR008

Location: 42.303318, -87.95327

Trail traces Des Plaines River on R. Look L up bluff towards Adler Park

DPR009

Location: 42.3059158, -87.9549026

Carefully cross IL 137 (busy street)

DPR010

Location: 42.3088493, -87.9564133

Cut through rolling prairie and pass ponds formed by abandoned gravel pits

DPR011

Location: 42.3139153, -87.9575348

Straight @ 3-way

DPR012

Location: 42.3151169, -87.9573364

Cross footbridge, then enter Independence Grove Forest Preserve, a 1,114-acre park

DPR013

Location: 42.3169785, -87.9536057

Climb 75 ft. to enjoy views of the preserve's rolling landscape, then backtrack to car