Beautiful Bike Rides in Chicago and the Suburbs

Take in sights of the city and sweet spring views on these great biking trails for kids around Chicago and the suburbs.

When the weather gets nice, everyone in Chicagoland is ready to get outdoors and get some energy out. What better way to do it than by hitting a local bike trail? 

Whether your kid is an expert on a mountain bike or still riding the Radio Flyer three-wheeler, there are great trails in and around Chicago to take in the smells of spring and the sights of the city. Note: Unless noted that rentals are available, all of these locations are BYOB — Bring Your Own Bike. 

Looking for more kid-friendly activities? Check out our summer fun family guide!

Morton Arboretum

A great place to ease through a few trails and get close up with nature is in Lisle, where Morton Arboretum’s flowers, trees, birds and natural beauty shine. 

The 606

Connecting six neighborhood parks, The 606 is the perfect trail for beginners or a family looking for long distances. You can stop at any of the parks and learn something new from their educational programming, check out public art installations or just explore Chicago.

Lakefront Trail

For a perfect ride on a perfect spring day, see the Chicago skyline from the Lakefront Trail. Separate lanes for bikes and pedestrians allow enough space for all trail enjoyers, which means even novice bikers can enjoy the busy trail.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Bikes are encouraged around the outer trail of the garden, through the prairies and past the aquatic garden. Watch for summer dates when the garden opens paths usually closed to bicycles and holds festivities for two-wheeled enthusiasts.

The Cal-Sag Trail

At 26 miles from start to finish, bikers can up their mileage by stopping at any of the five connecting public trails along the route. As the trail winds through communities in the South Suburbs, this is best traversed with experienced bikers who pass a road rules test.

Old Plank Road Trail

  • Route: Park Road (Joliet Township) to Western Avenue (Park Forest)
  • Best for: Late elementary and older
  • Cost: Free

Traversing 22 miles through seven communities, the trail runs parallel to Route 30 through the far South Suburbs. For families who want to travel even farther, a new addition allows bikers to connect to the Thorn Creek Trail system, adding Chicago Heights and its trails to the map.

Fox River Trail

  • Route: Fox River from Algonquin to Oswego
  • Best for: Early elementary and older at parks, middle school and older for entire trail
  • Cost: Free

To go from top to bottom is more than 44 miles of former railroad trails that follow along the Fox River. The beauty of the area is unmatched, as families can travel through towns in Kane and Kendall counties, stopping where they choose along the way at libraries, farmers markets and even for lunch.

Meacham Grove Forest Preserve

The 2 1/2 miles of trail welcomes bikers and hikers. Bring a picnic to eat or a fishing pole to fish at Maple Lake (16 and older must have a fishing license).

Salt Creek Trail

Beginning in Brookfield Woods and stretching over 16 miles west to Bemis Woods in Western Springs, the paved Salt Creek Trail is fun trail for biking and exploration. Roll behind houses that border the creek; many neighboring residents have cute backyards that add to the trail’s scenery. This trail is best for older kids who can be trusted with road safety best practices due to its many intersections that cross car traffic.

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