5 family-friendly trails to bike this fall

The arrival of fall brings us gorgeous autumnal colors. Whether you walk down the street or drive to a distant location, finding ways to view the breathtaking beauty of fall can be just as fun as actually experiencing it. In an effort to streamline your color viewing, check out these Chicagoland locations for bicycling through the beauty of fall.


The 606


The 606 has updated the Bloomingdale Trail and connects to six neighborhood parks, providing art installations, educational programming and other amenities. This opportunity to explore Chicago while biking, running or strolling lets you experience the city in a way you never thought possible. Add to that the trees changing colors in the fall and this new route will give you the full experience. You can find everything you need within these beautiful city blocks, giving new meaning to the fall experience.


Bloomingdale Trail between Ashland and Ridgeway


Morton Arboretum


The Morton Arboretum is the perfect place to catch the fall colors of the season. You can bike nine miles of paved roads that wind through a number of beautiful tree collections. There are also bike racks available should you want to store your bike while you explore on foot. No bike handy? A variety of bikes, carts and wagons are available for rent through mid-October Be sure to call ahead to ensure rental. Bring the kids to explore the Children’s Garden and make it a family day! Trails are open from 7 a.m. to sunset.


4100 IL-53, Lisle


Chicago Botanic Garden


The Chicago Botanic Garden is an expansive area of lush greens, trees and beautiful foliage. Bikers can enjoy a one-mile link trail between the Green Bay Trail and the North Branch Trail of the gardens. This pass goes through the Garden’s McDonald Woods and Turnbull Woods, which are part of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. This accessible trail allows bikers to access the gardens and enjoy the beautiful changing colors of the season. There are also conveniently located bike racks near the parking lots for storage. Trails are open from 8 a.m. to sunset.


1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe


The Cal-Sag Trail


The Cal-Sag Trail is 26 miles long and connects five regional multi-use trails throughout the area, resulting in a trail system that covers 100 miles. Bikers and hikers can explore to their hearts’ content. The trail links four marinas and six nature and forest preserves. In addition to fall foliage, trail users will see barges, ships, bridges, factories, dams, flowers and wildlife. Connecting 14 communities, the Cal-Sag Trail is a beautiful way to explore the suburbs and nature on bike.


Located across the South Suburbs


Old Plank Road Trail


Old Plank Road Trail is a 22-mile-long paved rail-trail that connects the towns of Joliet, New Lenox, Frankfort, Matteson, Richton Park, Park Forest and Chicago Heights. This rustic trail is the perfect place to enjoy with family for a day out on the trails with your bikes, walking or with a wagon. The expansive trail showcases nature while also giving the opportunity for exercise and family togetherness.


Located across the Far South Suburbs


This article was originally published on Sept. 3, 2015. It has been updated with the most recent information.


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