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Level: Intermediate
Length: 7 mi (11.3 km)
Surface: Greenway
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +164/ -149 ft
Total: 43 riders

Mountain Biking Skokie Lagoons

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#25 of 127 mountain bike trails in Illinois
#2,697 in the world

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.

First added by alvin.santoy on Dec 31, 2002. Last updated May 9, 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
From the city take 94 to Willow road exit heading east. Quicly get into left lane the entrance to the preserve is less than half a block up on the left. Or keep going one more block turn left onto forest road go one and one quarter miles to tower road. Turn left for two blocks entrance is on left for equestrian, boat launch and more parking.
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Skokie Lagoons Trail map

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NoLoTeks (on Jun 4, 2023)
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Trail conditions

(on Apr 7, 2020)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Glencoe, Illinois

Intermediate | 7 mi
Beginner | 8 mi
Intermediate | 0 mi

Rider questions

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  • Grunsy152

    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.

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  • cduemig

    (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.

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  • Angela Bray-Searcy

    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.

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  • Mtbert

    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.

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  • heathberg23

    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.

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  • markcelicious

    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!

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  • bzockster

    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

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  • edbartunek

    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.

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  • Aman77

    i learnd every thing i know here. great for beginners or the ocasinnal rider. DO NOT GO AFTER RAINFALL

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