The Deer Grove Bicycle Trails

Deer Grove East
Paved bike paths, in the spring
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Deer Grove West
Paved bike paths, in the spring

Deer Grove Forest Preserve, in Illinois (Palatine and Barrington) actually has quite a few paved and off the road (unpaved) bike trails. They say that the Deer Grove Bicycle Trail is 7.5m. This is referring to the paved paths, but there is also the huge unpaved, mountain hiking/biking system of trails!

There are actually two major sections of the Deer Grove Forest Preserve, Deer Grove East and Deer Grove West (East and West of Quentin road) with paved and unpaved trails on each side.

Deer Grove Unpaved "Mountain" Bike Trails

Note: See the Unpaved Trail Upgrade (below) for the latest updates.

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An entrance to the "yellow" trail (Deer Grove west unpaved trail system in the fall).

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Crossing downed trees in the Deer Grove west unpaved trail system.

One of my favorite features of the Deer Grove trails are the unpaved (off the road) mountain biking sections within the Forest Preserve. These are some pretty rugged trails. Some are no more than hiking paths, with ravines, fallen trees and branches to deal with and others are abandoned forest preserve roads. There are also some pretty extreme ravines for the more advanced riders!

The abandoned forest preserve roads were paved at one time but are now cracked and overgrown. Although you can still make out the original forest preserve road and the abandoned pullover places are still there, it looks like the forest preserve version of ghost towns.

They have restricted bike use of some sections of the trail system now, but there are still a quite a few good trails that go pretty deep into the woods and not all of the off road trails prohibit bikes. Many of the off road trails still prohibit bicycles when the paths are wet and/or soft, which is a good idea anyway...

Beware: If you come across one of the dreaded "bike prohibited" off road trails and it is just too good to pass up, they do have forest preserve cops that patrol these areas and you could end up having to deal with them...The basin area, at the end of the Deer Grove West Forest Preserve road, is closed now and there is a huge sign explaining how bikers (as well as others, I believe) are destroying the terrain. I would not even consider this area and I understand that you can end up with a $75 ticket and court hearing... Don't worry though, there are still plenty of great unpaved "mountain" trails open for bikers...

Deer Grove Paved Bicycle Trails

OK, back to the paved sections... The main paved bicycle path in Deer Grove is in Deer Grove East (east of Quentin and west of Hicks Road (North of Dundee)). There is a 2.9 mile loop in this section that can make for a nice workout. It does get a little bit crowded at times (on weekends in the nicer weather) but it is very scenic with some limited low grade hills. There are also some cut offs into the more wooded areas and to the off road (hiking) paths too.

The main loop also goes around a RC controlled model airplane field. These little model airplanes, with all of there fancy flying and aerobatics can be very entertaining on your ride!

If you take the wooded cut off (next to the posted map on the west end) you can cross over Quentin (careful at the crossing) into Deer Grove West and connect to the Palatine Trail for an additional 4.8 miles.

Basic Bike Trail Information

Distance: Paved section (total) - 7.5 miles... The "yellow" trail (longest DG West unpaved loop) 5.4 miles... The "brown" trail (Main DG East unpaved loop) 2.6 miles... The Deer Grove East paved loop is 2.9 miles.
Surface: Paved and Unpaved (mountain biking / hiking), low grade hills
Connecting Trails: You can connect to the Palatine Trail (4.8m) at Dundee and Quentin.

Deer Grove Bike Trail Maps

There are some maps (PDF) and some great information at the Deer Grove Trail System page of the Cook County Forest Preserve site.

I recently rode the paved trails from Dundee Road (where the trail intersects with the Palatine Trail) on the black trail, across Quentin and around the loop (red trail) in Deer Grove east and had my Bike GPS with me.

The interactive maps are nice since you can resize them to zoom in for detailed information, zoom out for the bigger picture or even use the satellite view to see exactly a specific area is actually like. Here is the interactive GPS map of this part of the Deer Grove Trail System:

Deer Grove Bike Trail Maps (Red and Black Trails)Deer Grove GPS Map, Red and black trails
© Copyright Garmin and Microsoft.
(click on map to see full map/ride details)


Deer Grove Bike Path Photos

Here's a photo tour of the paved Deer Grove bicycle trails from the wooded cut off into Deer Grove West to the 2.9 mile loop in Deer Grove East. These pictures are from early May so the trees are not in full bloom, but you can see the shady areas better...

The photo tour of Deer Grove Bike Paths (paved, May 2003).

Deer Grove Bike Path Photos 1 - Northwest of Quentin and Dundee
Deer Grove Bike Path Photos 2 - West of Quentin
Deer Grove Bike Path Photos 3 - East of Quentin to 3 Mile Loop
Deer Grove Bike Path Photos 4 - Three Mile Loop east of Quentin


Deer Grove Bike Path Photos

This just in! Well, I finally got around to photographing the Deer Grove West unpaved "mountain" bike trails! These photos will be quite a contrast from the original paved trail photos, since these were taken in the fall (instead of the spring as the original paved photos were)... Anyway, I managed to get quite a few photos of the "yellow" and "orange" trails on the west side...

The photo tour of Deer Grove West unpaved "mountain" bike trails (October 2004).

Deer Grove Mountain Trail Photos 1 - Yellow and Black Trail Intersection
Deer Grove Mountain Trail Photos 3 - Rugged Unpaved Sections
Deer Grove Mountain Trail Photos 3 - When it was a Dirt Trail
Deer Grove Mountain Trail Photos 4 - To Hillside Road in Barrington
Deer Grove Mountain Trail Photos 5 -Scenes from the Orange Trail

Unpaved Trail Upgrade

OK, here's the latest news on the Deer Grove Mountain trails, as of October 2006... All of the unpaved trails have been "upgraded" to crushed stone!!! I am not really sure if I consider this an improvement, but it has been done...

SEE > Deer Grove Mountain Trail Upgrade


The Palatine and Deer Grove Bike Trail Videos
July 2009

The Palatine and Deer Grove Bike Trail Videos Bike Trail Video

This video starts at the beginning of the Palatine Trail at Winston and Anderson Streets in Palatine and meets up with the Deer Grove trail at Dundee and Quentin Roads then follows the Deer Grove East bike trail around the 2.9 mile loop. From July, 2009

(as usual, I will try to get photos of the sections that I have missed (Deer Grove East unpaved mostly, when I get a chance...)