About Bicycles Online > Bicycle Touring and Trails > Old Plank Road Trail

The Old Plank Road Bike Trail

The Old Plank Road Trail (OPRT) connects a number of south western Chicago suburbs and runs from just east of Joliet to Chicago Heights where it now connects to the Thorn Creek Trail. The entire trail is paved, runs east and west and is mostly straight and flat.

Old Plank Road Trail near Mokena
We started our ride heading east just out of Mokena and just west of Frankfort.
Unique looking bike trail bridge with pointy suspension
The trail goes over Route 45 on this unique looking bridge with the pointy suspension attachment.
Bike trail bridge in Hickory Creek Preserve
If you want more hills and curves you can take the OPRT into Hickory Creek Preserve, shown above..

Although the Old Plank Road Trail is mostly straight and flat, if you are looking for hills and curves there are no shortage of them on the Hickory Creek Preserve Trail that connects to the OPRT just west of S. Owens Road.

The OPRT goes through Park Forest, Matteson Frankfort, New Lenox and a the outskirts of few other towns. The part that goes through Frankfort is nice and there are quite a few shops and restaurants right off the trail.

Although the trail does cross a number of busy roads, there were bridges over many of them and only a few roads where you needed to stop to cross. Overall this is actually a very nice trail.

Our Ride on the Old Plank Road Trail

We started our ride near Mokena, just west of Frankfort and headed east. Our ride was 44 miles round trip which included a ride through the Hickory Creek Preserve (see the GPS and Google map links below for details). We just parked in a shopping center parking lot by a Meijer store near Mokena.

We went to what was the eastern end of the trail at the time (October of 2015) at Western Avenue. They were just finishing the extension of the trail which now continues from that point and connects to the Thorn Creek Trail so you can extend your ride even more now. There are some photos of the trail extension as it was under construction in the photo pages below.

After we turned around at Western Avenue we headed west. We stopped for a few photos as we crossed Butterfield Creek ~ just west of where you go under Interstate 57. They call this a creek but it looked more like a lake to me. You can check out the photos, including some wide angle shots, in the pages below to see for yourself.

Continuing west we rode past our starting point and took the Hickory Creek Trail through the preserve. After that we continued west through New Lenox and just a little east of Joliet then turned around to head back to Mokena.

I had heard of this trail before but was not really expecting it to be a great ride. I was actually a little surprised at how nice the trail was and this turned out being a really nice trail and a good ride.


The Old Plank Road Trail Maps

My friend, Dale, actually chose this trail so I did not do much research on it until after our ride. If you have seen the other more recent trail pages on this site you know that my favorite way to check out trails these days is by using Google Maps "Bicycling" option.

You can zoom in or out to whatever level you like and if you want to check out a specific area in detail you can use the Street View in most places.

Here's a Google Maps link to the Old Plank Road Trail and surrounding area.

And I also had my GPS bike computer with me, of course, so here is the GPS Map of Our Ride through the GarminConnect site.


The Photo Tour below includes the details of our ride and plenty of first-hand ride information to go along with the photos of the Old Plank Road Trail.



Old Plank Road Trail Photo Tour

Here's the photo tour of the Old Plank Road Bike Trail from New Lenox (just east of Joliet) to Park Forest (just west of Chicago Heights). This ride was from October, 2015.

Old Plank Road Trail Home < you are here

Old Plank Road Trail Photos 1 - Mokena to Western Ave
Old Plank Road Trail Photos 2 - Park Forest to Butterfield Creek
Old Plank Road Trail Photos 3 - Hickory Creek Preserve


Photos on this page © Copyright Dale Kiffel.