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Level: Intermediate
Length: 4.5 mi (7.2 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +139/ -122 ft
Total: 30 riders

Mountain Biking Silver Lake

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#34 of 127 mountain bike trails in Illinois
#3,727 in the world

This probably isn't a trail you'd want to have as a frequent destination, mainly due to the lack of mileage, but if you're looking for a little change of scenery, on a fun trail in a nice setting, do a couple of laps here, head over to the nearby SIUE trails (around 15 miles away, west on 143), and you can certainly have an entertaining day. Because of its frequent crossing of low drainage areas into the lake, and the all-dirt surface, it should be avoided after rain. Otherwise, the trail is well maintained. One other thing to note is that while the trail is within Silver Lake Park, there is no swimming allowed in the lake.

First added by stylo_joe on Feb 22, 2007. Last updated Jul 27, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
This trail, one of the lesser known ones in the area, is located near Highland, Illinois- about 35 miles NE of downtown St. Louis. The trail itself isn't very long. Only 4.5 miles out-and-back, but it includes a lot of fun little features along the way. It's tight and twisty, even more so than the SIUE trails, and there are many wooden bridges, including one that's a good 40 ft. in length, so there are plenty of chances to test your bike-handling skills. It follows the contours of Silver Lake, and then has a surprisingly exciting loop with some short climbs and fast descents, which puts you within earshot of I-70 before rejoining the main trail. (pasted from gorctrails.com)
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Silver Lake Trail map

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dohdoubled (on May 10, 2020)
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Dry (on Apr 21, 2020)
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  • crawdaddy

    I nice trail for the beginner mountain biker. Nice hardwood wooded area has some neat bridges to cross over but be careful some are a little rocky. Beautiful environment, some parts of the trail you can get glimpses of the sun glistening off the lake lake it is also a great area to fish they stock the lake with trout in October. So I kinda get a mini vacation when I go out. I mt. bike ???????????a few trails get the adrenaline pumping and then come back load up the bike in the truck and cast out a couple lines ????and relax for the rest of the day! Can't beat that!! ????

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  • Bubblehead10MM   ✓ supporter

    Silver lake is a little ruff, and slightly over grown, and broken down, could sure use some bridge replacing and tree cutting. Besides that: still an interesting ride. Lots to keep you on your toes. One of the first bridges (one in good shape) had a tree in it's air space. watch that if you have wide bars. I rode the loop end loop both ways. steep climb near start of loop going ccw, So I'm around the same place as the other reviewers. do stop buy some time, but would drive very far to get there. do take gloves and arm/leg protection, lots of thorny vines.

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  • Justin Matthew

    Fun trail, with some neat bridge crossing but it is very short. 4.5 miles is short but hit it twice and you have a great ride

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  • oldiebutnewbie

    A trail that I would guess wasn't built with mountain biking in mind--though it's short steep climbs, unusual for the area, make things interesting. Too bad it's in such terrible shape with it's broken bridges and trees down.

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  • tracybaird

    This is a beautiful trail, but more to ride for the scenery than the challenge.

    Every time I wanted to get any speed up, I had to stop as the trail is shared by families. It wraps completely around the edge of a lake. In many part on the edge.
    There are some good climbs, twists and creeks, but again you have to go slow. Toddlers, joggers, twists, blind curves - SLOW.

    Absolutely beautiful though.

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  • duathletett

    Trail is tight single track with a lot of ups and downs. I find it to be a great a beginners trail since it is some what simple to navigate but has a bit of terrain difficulty (roots, few logs, small bumpy stuff, etc) Good trail to get a small taste of off road trail riding. Have to say the bridges though may scare some new riders navigating over them since they have no guard rails and usually come after a descent. But overall not a bad trail.

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  • stylo_joe

    My 7 yr old son would like to say that these trails are really difficult because of all the big scary roots that bounce you around. Seriously, erosion over the last 3 years has changed the terrain a little and it is not as smooth as they used to be.

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