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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Bikeways and Trails

 

About Bikeways

DuPage County has been planning, managing, and expanding bicycle/pedestrian improvements for over fifty years. These efforts include constructing new trails, linking bicycle facilities to the transit system, interagency cooperation to plan regional trails, and promoting bicycling as a viable alternative transportation mode.

The County collaborates with various public agencies and residents to plan and construct crucial trail connections.  We create partnerships to fill missing gaps in the regional trail system, plan new regional networks, and connect people to their favorite destinations.

Navigating the Trails

Planning a trip?  Looking for parking?  Need a restroom?  Try the DuPage Trails app!  New in summer 2017, the Trails app is a web-based mapping application that provides users with critical information about the County's regional trail system.  The app is compatible with personal computers and mobile devices, and features a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to use for everyone.  Click here to learn more.  Or, try the Trails app yourself!

Want a paper map?  Here's how you can obtain one:

  • In-person: visit the Division of Transportation from Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, to pick up a hard copy
  • Snail mail: email the County's trails coordinator at TrailPathCoordinator@dupageco.org with your name and address to have a hard copy mailed to you
  • Can't wait?: view an electronic map of the DuPage County Trail System and print it at home

Rails-to-Trails: Illinois Prairie Path & Great Western Trail

Spanning 52 miles of recreational trails, the Illinois Prairie Path and the Great Western Trail are considered the "spine" of the County's trail network.  Approximately 40 miles of trails comprise the DuPage County section of the Illinois Prairie Path, which is located along the right-of-way of the former Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin Railway.  The Great Western Trail is located within the twelve miles of right-of-way that belonged to the former Chicago and Great Western Railroad.  Representing some of the most celebrated rails-to-trails paths in the United States, both trails are surfaced with fine, crushed limestone that is easy on the knees and bicycle-friendly.  On average, the paths are 10 feet in width to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and horseback riders year-round.  Motorized vehicles are prohibited.

Together, the Illinois Prairie Path and Great Western Trail link forest preserves, municipal parks, and recreational trails in DuPage, Cook, and Kane counties.  From the Cook / DuPage County Line, the Illinois Prairie Path extends 5 miles east to the Forest Park CTA station.  At the DuPage / Kane County Line, branches of the Illinois Prairie Path continue westward to Elgin, Geneva, Batavia, and Aurora, connecting to the Fox River Trail.

The Illinois Prairie Path was one of the nation’s first rails-to-trail conversions.  This trail is supported by the tireless work and dedication of volunteers, advocates, and residents who live in the surrounding communities.  To find out how you can be a part of the Illinois Prairie Path, follow the link below:

Personal Safety

DuPage County trails provide a pleasant environment for walking, running, biking, and equestrians that are used by thousands of people annually. However, users should take some small steps to make their visits to DuPage County's trails as safe as possible. Please click on the links below for some personal safety tips.

Bicycle Security

To prevent theft, unattended bicycles should be locked securely to fixed objects.  All Metra stations and most downtown areas have an ample supply of bicycle racks. You should always use the best, most secure lock you can afford and take extra time to secure it, at a minimum, through the frame of your bicycle.

Healthy Roads Policy Amendment

In 2004, the County adopted the DuPage County Healthy Roads Initiative.  The policy was an important directive for the County, making a formal statement that recognizes the need for non-motorized transportation and its ability to reduce congestion, benefit air quality, and promote healthy living.  The policy promotes community and public involvement in the planning process and requires measures to minimize negative environmental impacts of roadway projects.

In 2008, the County Board amended the Healthy Roads Initiative to expand opportunities to provide on-road bicycle accommodations on County highways.  The policy endows the Division of Transportation with the authority to examine low-cost improvements to allow for bicycle facilities, such as restriping existing roadways to provide a safe route for bicyclists.

Annual Trail Reports

The presentations below were given at the annual meeting of the Illinois Prairie Path Not-for-Profit Corporation (IPPc).  The presentations provide a snapshot of trail improvements and programs that were accomplished each year, as well as planned short-term projects that may be undertaken by the DuPage County Division of Transportation.