The Chainlink

I have heard there are plans to pave the Des Plaines River Trail completely. Not sure how true this is, but I would imagine the CX and Mountain Bike Community would be unhappy. Although I am a roadie, we have the North Branch Trail and like every road, so frankly I think it's wrong to pave the trail.

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I also think it is wrong to do so. I grew up liking that train very much! Back in 1993, when I got my first mountain bike, I'd ride from Old School to Daniel Wright and back and forth to make up 30 miles, then I'd ride home. I spent many nights biking that trail alone, and then found joy also riding it on the snow, crossing under Rt 60 when it was flooded. 

Leave it unpaved - it feels more natural that way. 

Paving would be good for about a year or two, then it would settle, tree roots would lift it, and cracks would appear. Maintenance would of course be expensive and therefore deferred. Think of the north sections of the McClory trail in Lake Bluff and the poor condition it's in.

Are we talking Cook county or Lake county sections? The Cook county trail is notional at best in many places. Lake county uses crushed limestone which is pretty good under most circumstances, and Lake co. is pretty good with keeping it groomed. i would like to see the Cook Co. segment properly limestoned, but doubt that Cook could keep it ridable.

Asphalt paving would only be as good as its maintenance programme. It's expensive and messy to lay down. It would be a costly mistake.

Agreed.  I really wish Cook County would keep its end of the Des Plaines Trail in much the same condition as Lake County.  I ride the DPRT as far as Wadsworth from Des Plaines on 700 X 38C tires and this works well at a fairly quick pace.  Also, if you look closely while you're on the trail you will see areas where there have been previous efforts to pave the trail with asphalt which has completely failed over the years.

I'd like to see that section from E Park Avenue north Russell Road paved!  It's a great path going up to Wisconsin that I've ridden several times.

What is the condition of the trail right now?  I tried riding it about a month ago and it was super flooded..I imagine it still is.  Would like to ride it this weekend.  Let me know if you guys know if it's still flooded.

It rained a lot yesterday.  The storm surge comes a little later.  No rain forecasted until Sunday means the trail is muddy on Saturday but mostly rideable.  The river is probably cresting a little above the trail right now but will recede by Saturday.  I’m happy to join you for a 60 mile loop using the NBT,SVT and DPRT.  It’s all trails and residential streets.

This is the repeat I want to do on Saturday. Part of it is on the DPRT. Crossing fingers the floodwaters have receded then. 

When you bike down Lake-Cook, Waukegan, and Deerfield Road are you on a trail or on the road?  Those are typically pretty busy roads.

Deerfield, road.

Waukegan, road.

Lake Cook up to 41, sidewalk. 

Those roads were part of my daily route for two years when I worked in Lincolnshire. 

I'd like it paved, with consideration given to keeping the existing stretches that CX/Mountain bikers use as is if another pathway is available for paving. I'm sure space is an issue, but in certain stretches (I'm thinking of the parts around Irving Park Rd that are always flooded) it looks like there'd be plenty of room for a paved path through the preserve while maintaining the current path as well.

I assume by IPP, you mean the Illinois Prairie Path? Myself, I'd lean towards paving the DPRT, but that is just me.

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