Great Western Trail
Click here to view a map of this trail
Click here to view a map of the horseback riding area
This trail is 14 miles of an abandoned railway from St. Charles to the DeKalb County Line. Bicycling, hiking, and snowmobiling when there is 4" of snow on trail. Shelters and rest areas along trails.
The open space development of the Great Western right-of-way presents a different concept in land enjoyment. The Trail's flora and fauna can also be appreciated close-up; but it is most suitable for viewing it's several thousand acres of scenery during one healthy walk or bike ride.
The Great Western Trail crosses small streams and wetlands where duck, coot and the Great Blue Heron nest and raise their young. Shrubs, including Dogwood, Blackberry and Hazelnut mingle with the few remaining patches of native prairie. It is a place of quiet beauty, a linear wildlife refuge, and truly one of the finer experiences available in Kane County.
The Trail, approximately 17 miles from the trailhead to Sycamore, is limestone and allows a smooth riding surface.
Horseback riding is allowed on the trail adjacent to the Great Western Trail only.
This trail includes a horseback riding area. Most horse trails are natural surface, mowed grass paths. Limestone screenings trails and asphalt bike trails are available in some of the preserves. These are multi-use trails shared with runners, bicyclists, dog walkers etc. Horse riders are required to stay on designated, forest preserve-maintained trails. Trail riding is not allowed in restricted natural areas, Illinois Nature Preserves, picnic areas or in farmed areas. To prevent trail damage during wet weather, trails may be temporarily closed. Individual forest preserves will post a sign at the entrance when horse trails are closed. Call the District at 630-232-5980 to check on trail closings.