Skokie Lagoons

3.78 out of 5
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↑ 500 ft
↓ 500 ft
elevation (ft)

Trail Description
About this trail
Lots of pavement around the lagoons connecting the rest of the Forest preserves of Lake and Cook Counties. Many places to go off trail and get some easy to medium mountain biking in. Equestrian path and boat launch facilities. Great mountain biking about half hour from the city.

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Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Trail Q&A
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Recommended Trails
Recommended Trails
Palos Forest Preserve
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
what's this?
Recent Trail Check-ins     (43 total check-ins)
  1chitowntech   on Sep 2, 2019
  laxplyr85   on Aug 15, 2019
  1chitowntech   on Jun 29, 2019
  laxplyr85   on Jun 13, 2019
  laxplyr85   on Jun 10, 2019
Photo & Video Gallery (3)
Trail Photos & Videos (3)
Reviews (11)

Granny Gear

January 25, 2019
Grunsy152 Granny Gear  
Review: I grew up riding my bike to these "trails" hat is unmarked off the paved path. You can really have fun, try your best to hop over he branches and trees that fall. Gets flooded often so please don' be the guy(or girl) to ruin the trail. Also don't leave garbage everywhere. Also watch out for angry cult like high schoolers doing weird ceremonies in here.

Granny Gear

July 28, 2017
cduemig Granny Gear  
Review: (My first trail) Surprising to find such isolated trails very close to Chicago. Trails are not maintained with several spots I had to carry to bike around downed trees and brush. Not much elevation change but several dips and quick steep climbs. Gets wet in places so wait several days after rain.

Bunny Hop

June 6, 2015
Review: the paved trail is alright but I had a great time getting lost on the island. IT IS easy..LOL never trust a deer path. Had to walk around some areas that were flooded.


May 24, 2014
Mtbert Gramcounter  
Review: Checked in with the forest preserve police, these are legal. leave no trace and they will remain legal. Check for signs by the trail head between Dundee and tower road just in case. Nice trails,pretty flat. Easy to get lost, especially when coming across flooded parts, which tend to dictate your route. Entire system takes a while to dry so give it a few days to a week to dry after heavy rain. From my experiences, If you notice the ground becoming softer and more saturated, and the forest opening up, turn around. It usually only gets worse and the trails aren't worth riding. An abundance of deer tracks/feces is a good sign your heading the wrong way as the deer tend to hang out in the lower, marshy areas.


December 24, 2013
Review: The island is where you want to be unless you like paved roads. Look for the small dirt path that leads you in or be brave and carry your bike over the 6" wide concrete "bridge" - just don't fall in! There's a huge hill towards the center of the island that has trails down to the remainder of the island. You'll find lots of obstacles and jumps to hone your skills on. Some were out of my league but I am by no means an expert or daredevil.


August 31, 2012
Review: Last time we were there, we couldn't find the exit and kept going around in circles until dark time. But it was a good, short ride nonetheless.

You should have a local rider show you where the real good stuff are!

Granny Gear

October 13, 2009
bzockster Granny Gear  
Review: If you chose to bike the island complex of Skokie lagoons, the only entrance is an earthen dike that is accessed from a gravel path branching off the east loop of the paved bike trail (about 1/3 mile south of Dundee Rd). Be warned that since this is the only access to the island, if you get disoriented (the trail is not marked), you might have difficultly getting out. Several bikers needed to call for rescue precisely because of this. This nearly happened to me, but fortunately I came across an experienced rider who guided me out. I recommend checking a Google satellite map to get a general overview of the layout if you're planning to bike the Lagoons. The Forest Preserve maps do not show the island access. * Review edited 10/13/2009* Review edited 10/13/2009* Review edited 10/13/2009* Review edited 10/13/2009* Review edited 10/13/2009* Review edited 10/13/2009* Review edited 10/13/2009* Review edited 10/13/2009

* Review edited 10/13/2009

Granny Gear

October 5, 2006
edbartunek Granny Gear  
Review: Be carefull out there! Unless the trail is specifically marked (4x4x8 directional post and confidence markers along the route) the trail you are riding is not a legal trail. Verify accepted activities listed on the signage located at the entrance of the preserve. You are subjecting yourself to arrest/ticket and fine AND becoming a responsible party when it comes to future decisions by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County in regard to this trail and the status of legitimate mountain biking throughout the entire county. PLEASE CHECK TO BE CERTRAIN IT IS LEGAL -- STAY OFF.

Similar Trail: The trails in Palos and Deer Grove.

Granny Gear

April 27, 2006
Aman77 Granny Gear  
Review: i learnd every thing i know here. great for beginners or the ocasinnal rider. DO NOT GO AFTER RAINFALL

Similar Trail: Chicago N.Branch single track

October 14, 2004
Review: if you're sharp you can find a small -8 ft wide- land bridge that leads into the string of islands in the center of the lagoons. thats all the beta ill give and if you leave garbage ill be there to rip your lungs out

Similar Trail: desplaines off of oakton and west of the 294 expressway

Skokie Lagoons MTB Trail 3.78 out of 5 based on 11 ratings. 11 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
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