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Where and when is the ribbon cutting ceremony (if there is one) for the Grand Opening of the first half of the North Branch Trail extension?

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FOREST GLEN — A two-mile extension of the North Branch Trail is set to open Wednesday, and what the path lacks in distance it more than makes up for in potential.

Winding its way from Caldwell Woods to Forest Glen Avenue, the highly anticipated extension — which has already drawn pre-opening cyclists, joggers and walkersdespite the threat of a $500 fine — paves the way for epic rides from Chicago's lakefront to the Botanic Garden and vice versa (or heck, all the way to Wisconsin and back).

Here's a handy primer on the extension.

What is this extension extending?

The North Branch Trail winds it way through 18 miles of Cook County Forest Preserve land, connecting the Edgebrook neighborhood to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.

When can I officially, without facing a fine, get on the trail?

The ribbon cutting for the trail extension is set for 3 p.m. Wednesday at Thaddeus S. "Ted" Lechowicz Woods, 5901 N. Central Ave.

"3 p.m. Wednesday at Thaddeus S. "Ted" Lechowicz Woods, 5901 N. Central Ave."

Thanks!  That at

This is on the east side of Central, so it doesn't include that part from Devon, going south.  I wonder if the "beg button" crossing Central will have been installed before this Grand Opening.

I haven't been by there is a couple of weeks. Is the traffic light in place at the Golf Course entrance?

The trail is still not showing on Google Maps. Hopefully that happens soon.

Though the satellite image does show the bridge, so that's a pretty recent image. 

Where exactly will the Southern most entrance be?  

The southern most part of the trail Stage 1 will end along Forest Glen Avenue, A little bit south of the Chicago River.  Stage 2 (under construction) will end in the Hernandez Picnic area, after crossing over the Weber Spur Trail.

hmmm..Google Maps has it terminating at Foster, which is also what I heard from others. Is this not correct?

No, that's the next phase of construction. The section in red (in the image above) is what was just completed (or not).

The second phase is well underway, a lot of digging and routing already.  This phase will end just a few feet from Foster Avenue, connecting directly to the path along the river behind Gomper Park.  The Gompers Park path travels behind the swimming pool and ends roughly just before the bridge (not closed and under construction) on Foster Avenue.

The Gompers Park path is very rough and needs a lot of maintenance; hopefully the city and/or the Chicago Park District will be able to get this done.

Gotta love it, the city that works!  Grand opening yesterday and today ~2pm the southern half of the extension was closed with the old signs stating the $500 fine for those violating.  I went around signs and they were hauling in dirt and doing some landscaping still.  One pile of dirt nearly blocked the entire trail. Hope they are done by the weekend!

Guess the FPDCC website has the answer:


September 21, 2016: Stage 1 of the North Branch Southern Extension is now open. Minor work will continue until Spring 2017, which may result in occasional, temporary closures. Upcoming work includes: shoulder seeding, paving repairs to access parking lots, tree trimming, center line and crosswalk striping and tree planting.

The good  news is that this Phase 2 construction will cross up and over the Weber Spur trail, and not try to cross along the river under a bridge that would make it subject to frequent flooding.

The Weber Spur trail is less than a mile from the Elston Bike Lane on the south, and less than a half-mile from the Sauganash Trail on the north, which connects to the trail through Lincolnwood which will eventually connect to the Green Bay Trail in Evanston.


Lots of interconnecting trails will result when all of this work is completed!


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