Discover 36 miles of outdoor adventure in Northern Illinois
Pedal through nature preserves and quaint towns along Illinois’ scenic Fox River. The Fox River Bike Trail stretches for more than 36 scenic miles northwest of Chicago. Serious cyclists and beginners hit the trail for a great workout, hikers come for a power walk and cross-country skiers carve out a path in winter.
The trail travels along the routes of historic railroad lines and crosses six bridges along the way. The trail changes surfaces between concrete, asphalt and crushed stone on its way through charming towns such as Carpentersville, Elgin and West Dundee. Stop along the way at local diners, or pack a lunch and take a break at picnic spots. Signage along the trail lets riders opt for the auxiliary trail that detours through neighborhoods and Main Streets.
The Fox River Bike Trail maps are available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format here and online through the Kane County Forest Preserve District.
While immersed in the Fox River Valley’s natural beauty, consider a pit stop at these outdoor recreation areas along the way.
Ease off the pedals and enjoy first-rate fishing along the Fox River. Visitors find many public spots to fish for bass, catfish and walleye. One favorite fishing hole, the Carpentersville Dam, has become legendary among anglers who have pulled record-breaking walleye and smallmouth bass from the waters. Fishing is a big deal along the Fox River. If the mood strikes, you’ll find plenty of tackle shops along the way.
Take a break in West Dundee and experience Voyageur’s Landing Forest Preserve. Canoes and kayaks are welcomed to glide across the water. Back on ground, stride over 14 acres of native flowers, rest at the picnic groves and watch boats of all shapes and sizes hit the water from the boat launch.
Hit the brakes and discover nature hands-on at Hawthorne Hill Nature Center in Elgin. Let the little ones get their hands dirty and watch birds soar while summer amphibians slink about. Trek through fields of wildflowers down to the meadow and pond. A wood-chipped trail brings nature front and center. Finish off with a quick bite at one of the picnic spots throughout the interpretive center. Get the lay of the land to find more outdoor fun in the communities in the area.
Request a visitors guide to find accommodations and more fun things to do on your getaway to Chicagoland's Northern Fox River Valley.