Just off the Tracks is excited to welcome Guest Author, Greg Borzo for a series of great bike routes off the Metra Lines.
Bike Deer Grove Forest Preserve, by Guest Author, Greg Borzo
Take the Union Pacific/Northwest Line (UP/NW) to some great forest preserve bike trails, such as the Deer Grove Forest Preserve, which is less than two miles from the Palatine Station. From the station, bike north on Smith Road, then east on Dundee Road to the entrance of this beautiful, serene 1,800-acre preserve. Enter at Pepper Tree Drive going north.
The Red Trail is a 3.5-mile loop and the Black Trail adds another 2.5 miles, out and back, for a great ride through rolling forests, ravines, wetlands and open meadows. This is an easy-to-moderate ride, suitable for beginners to experienced riders. For more of a challenge, check out the more than 10 miles of mountain bike trails that crisscross this preserve.
This is a very pleasant ride because it offers a variety of sights and is virtually traffic free. There’s only one cross street to contend with. Allow time to enjoy one of the several picnic spots. There are also restrooms and water fountains.
Use Metra to launch some great bike tours all around Chicagoland. Metra allows bikes on most of its trains, except during rush hour and some busy weekends. There is no additional charge to take your bike along, but be sure to bring along a bungee cord to secure your bike to a railing inside the car. Check www.metrarail.com for details.
Pictures and text by – Greg Borzo, author of Where to Bike Chicago: Best Biking in City and Suburbs (BA Press, 2011).