In our most recent newsletter, we told you about Chicago’s Pivot to the River and the many projects recently completed and in the works that aim to capitalize on riverfront real estate. On the far northwest side, this river focus has manifested itself as the North Branch trail extension, which will extend hiking and biking trails along the North Branch of the Chicago River so that the popular lakefront trails downtown are eventually connected all the way to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.
According to DNAinfo, this first phase of that trail extension, which extends the existing trail from Devon and Caldwell Avenues to the Forest Glen Avenue Metra stop on the Milwaukee District North Line is expected to officially open on September 21 but may be open to hikers and bikers a little ahead of the scheduled dedication. The full three-mile trail extension has been under way since 2008, but it has suffered several setbacks due to budgetary concerns. There is no word yet on a planned date for completion of the second stage of the project, and until that stage is completed, the trail will remain unconnected to the Lake Path system.
DNAinfo also reports that the North Branch trail extension, once completed, “could connect to a trail being built along a defunct railway known as the Weber Spur. That project is in the initial stages.” The Weber Spur would run from Portage Park through Jefferson Park, cutting across the Forest Preserve and then continuing into Sauganash.
*Photo courtesy of Flickr user Brad Hagan.
File: North Branch trail extension