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The Chain O'Lakes Trails

This ride report and photo tour includes the Chain O'Lakes Trail that runs through Grant Woods near Fox Lake as well as the trail that runs through the Chain O'Lakes State Park northwest of Grass Lake.

Chain OLakes Bike Path
A view of the Chain O'Lakes Trail in the northern part of Grant Woods.
Long Lake side trip from COL Bike Path
A view of a side trip to Long Lake just off of the COL Trail.
COL Tunnel under Monaville Road
The tunnel under Monaville Road separating the northern and southern parts of the trail.

Before getting into the first hand ride reports here are some of the details on these two trails. The Chain O'Lakes (COL) Trail that runs through Grant Woods just east of Fox Lake covers approximately 6 miles and the Trail through the COL State Park is only about 3 miles (one way).

The COL Trail in Grant Woods is easily accessible from the forest preserve entrances off of Monaville Road and off of Grand Avenue on the north side of the park. The COL Trail though Grant Woods also continues along Rollins Road and you can easily get to Long Lake (as we did) from Lake Shore Drive just off of the trail.

Both trails are crushed stone and hilly although the COL Trail along Rollins Road is paved.

My Ride(s) on the Chain O'Lakes Trails

Tall Pines along COL TrailI have wanted to explore the COL Trail in Grant Woods for quite a while now but it is a pretty long drive for me for a fairly short trail. So I decided to ride a few of the trails up in the chain of lakes area on the same trip.

I tried to find a way to ride from one trail to the other but was unable to find a route that I liked (avoiding busy and dangerous roads) so we ended up riding the first trail then packing up the bikes and driving to the second trail.

I rode these trails with my recumbent riding friend, Dale in mid-June as a BDRide┬« (aka a BirthDay Ride which has become a tradition on (or near) our birthdays).

I am also familiar with this area since I used to hang out here with some friends a lot when I was younger (just after college) and even rode dirt bikes in this area before I got more into "real" biking :-). I decided to take a side trip through some of the neighborhoods to add some miles a visit my friend's old hood which you will see on the GPS map link that I've included here.

I brought my camera with me for this ride, of course, and have included photos and more first hand information on these trails in the photo tour below.

As for my take on the trails, I liked the COL trail through Grant Woods much better than the trail through Chain O'Lakes State Park. Both trails are fairly short but you can loop around the Grant Woods trails and take some interesting side trips (like our side trip to Long Lake).

Both trails are pretty hilly but there were some killer hills on the trail through COL state park. SInce that trail is so short and hilly I think that it would be a much better walking or hiking trail then a bike trail.


The Chain O'Lakes Trails Maps

I originally found this trail on one of my old paper bike maps but I mostly just used the Google Map of the trail and area to research the trail and other trails in the area, including the state park trail that we rode.

The Chain O'Lakes Trails Interactive GPS Map

I am including the GPS maps of our rides on The Chain O'Lakes Trails so you can easily review the route, map, connecting trails and surrounding area.

If you take the map link to the Garmin site, you can easily zoom-in, zoom-out, move around or switch to the satellite view as you wish.

Here's the GPS Map of the ride above through Grant Woods

Here's the GPS Map of the ride above through Chain O'Lakes State Park

We originally tried to get on the COL Trail in Grant Woods from the park off of Fairfield Road but that didn't work out so we drove to the Monaville Road forest preserve entrance to start our ride. I forgot to reset my GPS so there is a little blip on the map that includes our initial false start.


Chain O'Lakes Trails Trail Photo Tour

Here's the photo tour of the Chain O'Lakes Trail through Grant Woods, near Fox Lake, a side trip to Long Lake and the Bike Path through Chain O'Lakes State Park. This ride was from June, 2014.

Chain O'Lakes Trails Home < you are here

Chain O'Lakes Trails Photos 1 - Northern Grant Woods
Chain O'Lakes Trails Photos 2 - Southern Grant Woods and Long Lake
Chain O'Lakes Trails Photos 3 - Bike Path through COL State Park



Enjoy your ride...