The Chainlink

Bike Path Will Link Edgewater to Joliet, and Nearly All of It Is Off-Road

CHICAGO — By next year, you'll be able to bike from Edgewater to Joliet — and nearly all of it off-road.

The Lakefront Trail now stretches about 18 miles from Hollywood Avenue and Lake Shore Drive on the north lakefront through Downtown and down to the South Shore Cultural Center. An approximately 6-mile trail of on-street bike lanes along U.S. 41 ends at the Burnham Greenway Trail at Wolf Lake in Hegewisch on the Southeast Side.

But plans next year call for the Burnham Greenway Trail to be extended into south suburban Burnham. There, the paved, off-road trail will link into a 74-mile path through the south and southwest suburbs that now runs approximately from Calumet City to the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien.

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Why didn't this happen when I was young?!

Because if you were halfway to Joliet your mother wouldn't have been able to call to you out the front door when it was time for dinner. :-)

I don't think they are just limiting the use of this trail for the "young".  :)

Years ago I don't think there was much interest in running nor distance cycling.  And a lot of these trails were active railways at the time.

Once in Joliet, it's not hard to pick up the I&M Canal Trail, which is a mostly limestone trail that runs WSW to Starved Rock SP. 

Not hard... until the end of a long day on the return trip, when you realize you have to climb that bluff...

Did this actually happen? I can't seem to figure out what the route would be and google isn't helping. Most links are from this article in 2015. 

Not sure. If you bring up a Google Map centered on Burnham, IL with bike routes displayed:,+IL/@41.6267454,-87.61845...

I think you'll see mostly green to Burnham except for Hegewisch, then another gap between Lansing and Brownell Woods. That long east-west stretch (Chicago Heights -> Matteson -> Frankfort -> Joliet) looks a bit too straight to all be off-streets. It seems to be the Illinois Hwy which might be pretty busy (I certainly don't know the area). Still, I don't see a "greener" east-west route there which isn't frequently interrupted.

Thanks for the tip!

I am actually planning this from the beginning of the Lakefront Trail and I don't even understand how to get from there to Burnham......The recommended route is via S Archer to the I & M Canal or through Oak Park. 

Getting from the end of LFT to the SouthWorks area via South Shore Drive and South Lake Shore Drive is straightforward. You more-or-less follow the path through Calumet Park, exiting the park on E. 190th. Despite appearances to the contrary, the route between Indianapolis Blvd and the Skyway is off-street. I believe there are signs guiding you to the Beniac Greenway. That will take you south to about Hegewisch. Perhaps someone else can recommend a route through Hegewisch and Burnham to the Burnham Greenway. It's been a few years since I passed that way (and then I turned east, headed to Michiana). I don't recall the route.

"E 190th" -> "E 100th"

A route to Brownwell Woods:

The long east-west stretch from Chicago Heights to Joliet is the 22-mile-long Old Plank Road Trail.  Dont forget to stop for gelato in downtown Frankfort.



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