The Busse Woods Bike Trail, Illinois

The Elk Herd at Busse Woods (off of Arlington Heights road)
The Elk Herd at the start of this Busse Woods Bike Trail photo trip
Bridge Over Salt Creek
One of the Bridges over Salt Creek.
Busse Woods Bike Trail lake view.
Lake view in the distance off the Busse Woods trail.

The Busse Woods Trail (11.2 miles) is located in the Ned Brown Forest Preserve in northwestern Cook county, Illinois. You can actually ride around 20 miles on the Busse Woods trails if you take all of the branches and take the leg that crosses route 290 via the Elk Grove community bridge.

The Busse Woods bicycle trail is a really nice, paved, trail system in the heart of the busy Northwest suburbs (of Chicago). You can get to the trails at numerous forest preserve entrances and locations, many off of Route 72, Higgins Road, or at the Elk Herd off of Arlington Heights road, as I did, in this case (on the beautiful fall day that I took the photos...).

A wide (stitched) view of one of the Busse Woods bike trail bridges.
Here's a wide view of one of the bridges, west of Busse Lake, on the southern end of the path.

There are some very nice features to the Busse Woods trails and a few disadvantages. Some of the nicer features include the elk herd, the beautiful meadows, woods and lakes and the convenient location (for those who live in the northwest suburbs...). The major disadvantage (to me anyway) is, since it is so beautiful, is paved and located in the heart of the suburbs, is that it gets VERY crowded at times (especially on nice weekends). The trail traffic can get pretty heavy with all sorts of people... walkers, runners, familys, roller bladers and of course bikers (of all kinds, from serious to kids to casual)... Another slight disadvantage (but getting better now, it seems) is that these trails do not connect to a lot of other bike trails...

If you can, take the trail at an off time (during the work week, very early in the morning, or on a day that is a little too cold for the woosy riders, etc.) you will be able to enjoy this beautiful trail much more... (unless of course, you like crowds or like to watch the girls on roller blades or something like that...).

There are also some other side attractions such as lots of boaters, fishers, some major kite flyers and I think there is a RC airplane field in one of the groves too... I know there is one in nearby Deer Grove (to the north) and it is fun to watch the flyers do their aerobatics... I'll have to verify if there is a RC airplane field in Busse Woods (if any of you out there can confirm this, please drop me a line...)


There are some great maps (Adobe and html) and some great information at the Busse Woods Trail System page of the Cook County Forest Preserve site.

Just in case they move these pages and maps around, on the internet (it happens sometimes before I get my pages updated) Here is a Photo of the Busse Woods Trail MAP   that I took along the of the Elk Grove community bridge leg.

For a more interactive map of the Busse Woods trail system ~ specifically of the red trail ~ see my GPS ride data and Map of the Busse Woods Red Trail with the New Bridge from May of 2014.

I hope you enjoy the photo tour below. I took a huge number of photos on a beautiful fall day and then went through and trimmed it down to a reasonable number of pictures... I still ended up with quite a few for this particular trail (with links to the enlarged photos too!). I even burned out my camera battery just before I completed the ride... Fortunately I got it all..


Busse Woods Trail Photos

Here's a photo tour of the Busse Woods Bike Trail in Busse Woods Forest Preserve, Cook County Illinois, from October, 2005. I started this ride at the Elk Herd (just off of Arlington Heights Road, north of the Higgins road intersection) and took the main (red) loop, the northern (black) leg, the leg that goes along Beisner road (purple) and the Elk Grove community bridge leg that crosses Route 290. The New Bridge trail update is from May of 2014.

The Busse Woods Trail Photo Tour - Busse Woods Forest Preserve, Cook County Illinois. From October, 2005 and May, 2014.

Busse Woods Trail Photos 1 - From Elk Herd off of Arlington Heights Road
Busse Woods Trail Photos 2 - Along Higgins and over the Salt Creek
Busse Woods Trail Photos 3 - Red Trail along Higgins to Black Trail North
Busse Woods Trail Photos 4 - Between 53/355 and Forest Preserves
Busse Woods Trail Photos 5 - Along Golf Road then back to Red Trail
Busse Woods NEW BRIDGE Photos - The New West Side Bridge
Busse Woods Trail Photos 6 - South of Higgins to Bridge (panoramic photo)
Busse Woods Trail Photos 7 - Boating Center to Bridge
Busse Woods Trail Photos 8 - Purple Path to Alexian Brothers Hospital
Busse Woods Trail Photos 9 - Alexian Brothers to Bridge over 53/355
Busse Woods Trail Photos 10 - Red Trail West to Arlington Heights Road
Busse Woods Trail Photos 11 - Arlington Hts Rd to Bridge and Elk Herd


**** NEW Busse Woods Bike Trail Video ****

I have just completed the Busse Woods Bike Trail video (July, 2009).

Here's the video tour of the Busse Woods Bike Trail starting and ending at the Elk Pasture at Arlington Heights Road and Higgins (route 72). The entire ride was about 16 miles.

The Busse Woods Bike Trail Video Bike Trail Video

Busse Woods Bike Trail Gift Items

See the Busse Woods Bike Trail Gift Items at Bike Trail Gift Items

These items are sure to start up a conversation with fellow cyclists.

The Ride is the Destination