The somewhat unfortunately named Salt Creek begins in Chicago’s far northwest suburbs and meanders through forest preserves, golf courses, and backyards until it meets the Des Plaines River in the west suburbs near Ogden and 1st Avenues.
The Salt Creek Trail is a mixed-use recreational path that follows the eponymous waterway for 27 miles, including an asphalt-paved stretch through beautiful woods the last six or seven of those miles.
The trail comes within a half-mile of my house so I bike it often. I have a rather basic hybrid bicycle – a Trek 700 – that allows me to get off the pavement when the mood strikes. The woods around the trail offer lots of opportunities to do that, including this beginner-level single track in Bemis Woods near Wolf Road and 31st Street (photo right).