Ride 29: Lap Around the Lab

  Biking Illinois: 60 Great Road Trips and Trail Rides  

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Darien, IL                   June 30, 2005

Waterfall Glen is one of the premier forest preserves in Chicagoland if not the entire state. I had run here before, but this was my first visit on two wheels. After riding the Tinley Creek trail system 15  miles to the southeast and driving through miserable midday traffic, I got to Waterfall Glen around 1 PM. To complicate matters, I had been called about a freelance copywriting assignment during the Tinley Creek ride, so I was anxious to get home to work on that. But first I had to do the loop around Argonne National Laboratory at Waterfall Glen. Since I was in a hurry,  I didn't take as many pictures as I probably should have.

Here is a typical trail view. The path is crushed limestone with many hills and curves, few of them steep or sharp. Although a mountain bike would be better than a typical road bike, my touring bike with its 700x35 tires was fine.

The path runs beside a railroad  at the southwest corner of the loop.

This is Poverty Prairie, named for its poverty oat grass.

The remains of Lincoln Park Nursery are visible from the trail on the south side of the preserve.



I was thankful for the shade since the day had become hot.

Sawmill Creek was shallow when I visited, but it may have been because of the drought.

This looks like a fairly new wood-decked bridge over the creek. I was surprised to see such low railings, which serve little purpose. At least it would be a short fall.  Considering how popular this trail is, I also found it curious that the forest preserve district didn't install a wider bridge. Those who like to get wet can opt for the old path to the south.


A spur off the main loop leads down a steep but rideable hill to a man-made waterfall.


Another creek crossing is negotiated by using the shoulder of Cass Avenue. The trail continues into the trees on the other side of the bridge.  Yes, that's my bike lying in the grass.


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