Hiking and Biking in Sycamore IL
The City of Sycamore boasts a beautiful trail system that invites residents to enjoy the outdoors. What could be more pleasant than running, walking or cycling on paths shaded by trees or edged by wild flowers? Trails meandering through the city’s many lovely outdoor settings make it easy to connect with resources in the city and beyond.
The Sycamore Park District, DeKalb County Forest Preserve District and the City of Sycamore have made it a priority to build trails that link residents with schools, parks, restaurants, businesses and other important resources.
“These trails are something the community has wanted us to do,” said Sarah Rex, recreation and marketing manager for the Sycamore Park District. “We did community surveys in 2011 and 2013 and trails were at the top of the list of what people wanted.”
In October 2018 representatives of the park district, Sycamore School District and the city celebrated the completion of a trail that connects Route 23 near the Sycamore Middle School to the Brickville Road parking area, which accesses trails to Leon Larson and Sycamore Lake Parks. The connection was made possible through cooperation of several local entities. Community Unit School District 427 granted the park district an easement to oversee the path’s development, and the city designated a safe crossing at Brickville Road.
The 1-mile asphalt segment adds a safe walking/biking corridor to the middle school and is an integral piece of a larger county-wide plan to connect the Great Western Trail trailhead to Peace Road.
“Another piece falls in place,” said Park Board President Ted Strack of the addition of the trail segment that creates another safe route to walk, run, and bike for adults and children alike. These trails are also an important part of a communitywide desire to foster a healthy community.
“Walking, running and biking are popular forms of recreation and wellness,” Rex said. “Exercise and just being outside is good for people.”
Still more connections are on tap for the future. The park district got word in 2018 that it would receive a nearly $1.7 million state grant to fund 75 percent of the engineering and construction cost for a .8 mile paved trail segment from the new Sycamore Forest Preserve to Page Street in Sycamore. This is the second of three segments that, when completed, will connect Sycamore Forest Preserve to the Brickville Road parking access to Sycamore Lake and Leon Larson Parks by following an old railroad right of way.
The park district plans to submit an application for the third segment, Page Street to Old Mill Park, during the next granting cycle in 2020.
The City of Sycamore has spearheaded construction of some trail connections including one along Airport Road from Route 64 to the entrance of the Sycamore Park District Sports Complex and another along Peace Road in the Sycamore Prairie Business Center. It worked with other organizations, such as ComEd and the DeKalb-Sycamore Area Transportation Study, to fund the trails.
One of the area’s newer trails is the western segment of the Great Western Trail that follows 17 miles of a former railway corridor through DeKalb and Kane counties, between LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve and the city. The Chicago Great Western Railway, on which the new trail was laid, was once called the Corn Belt Route because it connected Chicago, Minneapolis, Omaha and Kansas City.
Terry Hannan, superintendent of the DeKalb Forest Preserve District, said the trail is appreciated by users because it links Sycamore to Kane County and has beautiful native Illinois prairie along the way. The well-maintained path is primarily crushed limestone, but has occasional paved sections on its eastern end.
“It connects communities, schools, residential and business areas, and forest preserves,” Hannan said. “It provides multi-use recreation, promotes healthier lifestyles and connections to nature.”
The trail’s amenities include restrooms, water and a connection to the Randall Road Bike Trail in St. Charles. Part of the trail heads northwest toward Wasco and offers opportunities along the way for food and refreshments.
Whatever changes or growth comes to Sycamore in the future, the trails that have been established will be a lasting part of the community for generations to come.
For bicycles and accessories go to:
Blue Moon Bikes
211 W. State St.
(815) 899‑3100 | bluemoonbikes.com
Sycamore Forest Preserve
955 East State St.
Sycamore Park District
480 South Airport Rd. | Sycamoreparkdistrict.com
Sycamore RV Park
375 E. North Ave., Sycamore | sycamorervresort.com