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Level: Easiest
Length: 11 mi (17.7 km)
Surface: Doubletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +67/63 ft
Total: 4 riders
 

Mountain Biking Cap Sauers Holding

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#64 of 108 mountain bike trails in Illinois
#8991 in the world

At 1,520 acres, Cap Sauers Holding encompasses a broad swath of wooded bluffs and ravines, with 11 miles of hiking and biking trails for both nature lovers and active adults to enjoy. Spots within this expansive preserve hold the title for the farthest one can be from a road in Cook County. Hikers can wind their way into the preserve atop an esker--an ancient glacial riverbed--enjoying long views down into the woodlands below.

Enjoying Cap Sauers

Given its large size and diverse landscapes, there are a number of ways to experience Cap Sauers Holding. The yellow and green trail branches of the Sag Valley unpaved trail system are scenic options for jogging or bike riding, leading through grasslands, oak woodlands and wetland areas. Additional trails are accessible on the east side of 104th Avenue near Teason's Woods or Horsetail Lake. Each of these locations has parking lots with maps to navigate nearby trails.

Nature lovers will enjoy complete immersion on the Esker Trail, which leads into the heart of this preserve. A small trailhead leads in through tall grasses, followed by a footpath that quickly moves up along the top of the esker, providing views into the wooded areas below. Deep in the woods, hikers can leave traffic noise behind and listen to birdsong and the wind moving through the trees.

At the top of the Esker Trail, the woodland canopy opens up to reveal the calm and tranquil Visitation Prairie. Here prescribed burns have allowed the native prairie grasses and forbs to maintain a foothold against encroaching brush. Hikers can reconnect to the main gravel trail system from here.

Before you go
  • Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • Restrooms 
Getting there
Coming from the north, take I-55 to Exit 279A southbound on La Grange Road. Follow La Grange Road south for about 8 miles and turn west/right on Route 83. The entrance to the Esker Trail is accessible from a footpath on the south side of Route 83, about ΒΌ mile west of 104th Avenue. A sign explaining restoration efforts marks the entrance to this trail, and a gravel pull-off provides parking. A separate entrance farther west on Route 83 with a sign marked Cap Sauers Holding also leads into the preserve, though not to the Esker Trail. To access the multi-purpose trails on the east end of the preserve, park at Teason's Woods on the southeast corner of Route 83 and 104th Avenue, or farther south on 104th Avenue at Horsetail Lake (just north of McCarthy Road).
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Cap Sauers Holding Trail map

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Michael Pobst (on Mar 4, 2019)
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Reviews

  • triton189
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    Nice 8 mile gravel loop with a few more miles of connectors. Has some good climbs and nice scenery. Trail doesn't get the attention waterfall glen does, you may encounter washed out sections.

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