Palos Forest Preserve

4.03 out of 5
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↑ 900 ft
↓ 900 ft
elevation (ft)

Trail Description
About this trail
Several miles of trails with varying difficulty, tough singletrack, log jumps, steep climbs and downhills. some trails are shared with equestrian riders.
added by Guest
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
Get Directions
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Trail Q&A
Rider Questions


Q: Is this bmx rider friendly? -bigfoot4x4

A: Sure you can ride your bmx but you're going to struggle on the rough climbs. No big jumps here.

Guest answered on September 22, 2016. Did you find this helpful? Yes | No




Q: were is exactly the trail, is there a sign? -aymanabdallah

A: GPS Coordinates: 41.301295, -81.804657

Miguel Basora answered on August 27, 2015. Did you find this helpful? Yes | No


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System Trails (2)
System Trails (2)
Bullfrog Lake Forest Preserve
Spears Woods
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
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Recent Trail Check-ins     (898 total check-ins)
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Photo & Video Gallery (41)
Trail Photos & Videos (41)
Reviews (59)

Granny Gear

May 8, 2019
doug928 Granny Gear  
Review: Are you looking for trails to take a first timer on? Are you looking for trails to test the new mountain bike? Are you used to super technical rocky trail features that test your skills? All of this and more can be found here. From Man-made features, to flow lines, to miles of singletrack. Palos has it all. It's easy to do loops from the different staging areas and get 30 miles or more in, or do an out and back for a short trip on Singletrack. From the old favorites of 3 Ravines, to newer recently built trails, it's easy to spend a weekend or more exploring this system. It's also worth noting that some of trails intersect with a historical marker that is cool to check out - google "Chicago Pile" At the end of the day, lots of very cool eateries are within a short drive from this trail system. So go ride, get miles and smiles and fun in, then check out the local breweries for post ride refreshments.

Similar Trail: Kettle Moraine

Granny Gear

January 25, 2019
Grunsy152 Granny Gear  
Review: The best MTB trails in chicagoland area, be careful of on coming riders. There's enough trails to spend an entire day or even a weekend. Bug spray is a must for sure and it can flood from time to time. If you want to get some solid trails in and your in Northern Illinois or Southern Wisconsin then here or Kettle Moraine is a must.

Granny Gear

December 3, 2017
Noob84 Granny Gear  
Review: First time on this trail today and I love it. A little bit of everything and a lot of fun.


June 24, 2017
Mtbert Gramcounter  
Review: Great trails! Technical and fast. 2 way trails have their obvious problems. It does give you options for routes though and 95% of riders/hikers were communicating well and everyone was friendly.

Granny Gear

December 21, 2016
finerbiner Granny Gear  
Review: A great trail system. Lots of miles and different terrain. XX, dynamite road, three ravines, cemetary hill and stone house are some of the premium rides.

Similar Trail: nothing else in Chi

Granny Gear

November 15, 2016
Ron Thomas Granny Gear  
Review: Around 25 miles of great XC single track. The Cook County Forest Preserve District has partnered with the local IMBA chapter to build and maintain the trails. The results are the longest and best trails in Chicagoland. Get to the Mountainbike Project app for the best descriptions and up to date maps.


November 12, 2016
Review: Hard to ride because of litttle signage. Multi directional trails keeps you on your toes . Lots of berms and other features. The 1.25 hr trip from Kenosha was worth it, should have gave myself more time. I will be back Palos!! I hit XX , Dynamite Road , Three Ravines and the Yellow trail of course. I got a bit lost as to how to get back to the parking lot, fortunately I ran into some awesome locals and they gave me directions :)

Similar Trail: WPP Peoria


November 8, 2016
bomboy Gramcounter  
Review: Great system

Granny Gear

August 14, 2016
johnny90 Granny Gear  
Review: Solid trails...lots of options! ??'?

Granny Gear

August 10, 2016
Justmad Granny Gear  
Review: The trails here are well made and the Cambr organization commits many hours to building and maintaining them. Cambr's promotional efforts, word of mouth and social media over the past 5-10 years have resulted in a significant surge in mountain bikers as well as other trails users, i.e. hikers, runners, and equestrians. New facilities constructed there such as the new camp grounds and Boat House Rentals at Bull Frog and Maple Lakes have also generated significant interest in the area. As a result the trails can be conjested. Trails are non-directional which makes for some precarious encounters between users. Be alert and prepared to stop at a moments notice. Accept the fact that you will have to scrub speed by as much as 80% when hitting blind corners. Also be aware of uneducated riders who have not yet learned, or refuse to employ proper trail etiquette, and do not know how to share non-directional trails. Riding during the week will result in the best riding experience. Weekends have far too many Mtbrs and other trail users which can make for a frustrating, unsafe ride. Also note, that signage is poor and non-bike users do not always realize these trails are frequented by Mountain Bikers. Riders are encouraged to make their presence known so as to not startle other users. As a side note, the Cambr organization is aware of the dangers arising from over crowded trails and suggests that congested trails pose a solid argument to add more singletrack and improve upon the ratio of rider / trail dispersion. Unfortunately the buzz created by new singletrack in the densely populated Chicagoland area defeats this argument as new trail construction increases rider turnout, and not just a little. The downside to Palos is that it does not boast large continuous loops that allow for greater trail user dispersion like other prominent trail systems. And the fact is the Palos Triangle is already too interwoven for a non-directional trail system and additional trails will only bring about more congestion and escalate trail user conflict. Of course on the positive side, new trail construction does boost Cambr membership and does ramp up workday attendance, but the end result is more trail users and disappointing rides. One could conclude that adding new trails at Palos is the equivalent of adding a new "attraction" at Great America. Unfortunately, to sustain the growing number of riders, eliminate user conflict, and reduce the County's exposure to liability, the trails would almost certainly have to be changed to "one-way"...something Cambr and the County would deem a daunting (if not impossible) task. So in the alternative, the easiest, least costly decision for the county to make is to close the trails to the Mountain Bikers altogether. The likelyhood of increased accidents among trail users is inevidible and Cambr should not take this matter lightly. The promotion of Cambr / Palos should be tapered significantly and trail work should be limited to routine trail maintenance alone. It's just common sense. If the Palos riding community doesn't put a stop to this irresponsible "Marketing" of it's trails, the situation at Palos will continue to deteriorate to the point of no return and we will lose this valuable mountain biking resource.

Similar Trail: Saweekee, Ft. Custer, Kickapoo, Kettle Moraine


Granny Gear

April 15, 2019
Fed up Granny Gear  


Granny Gear

January 29, 2019
sbernal1 Granny Gear  
Review: Most of what you say is true. I avoid these trails on weekends. Also the CAMBR Palos Meltdown Race is no longer fun due to the uncontrolled number of rider sign ups.

Palos Forest Preserve MTB Trail 4.03 out of 5 based on 59 ratings. 59 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed
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