Palos Park could be considered the preferred child of the Chicago-area trail systems. It gets the most attention and is the one people will most likely talk about. By comparison, Saw Wee Kee is more like the wild child. The terrain is more untamed and throws more at you per mile than its big brother. While the roughly seven miles of trail might seem small compared to what Palos offers, you'll find that you work a lot harder to cover that distance than you would at Palos.
The reason: Saw Wee Kee Park is teeming with dirt mounds! Once upon a time, the park was a strip mine and piles or rows of mined earth were deposited around the property. That has turned out to be an exceptional gift for mountain bikers and most of the trails course around and over the lumpy and long-since reforested terrain, making for a truly unique riding experience for this area.
Local riders compare the park to an amusement park, and have named many trails after roller coasters: Vertical Velocity
.... These trails offer short but sometimes steep climbs, lots of low rollers, quick turns, and winding descents. Overall elevation change here is minor, but the frequent climbs over the mounds give your legs a good workout nonetheless.
This is not purely a playground for those with well-developed leg muscles. There are trails for less-experienced riders too, like Cotton Candy
. And all riders can try the roller coasters trails, if they don't mind dismounting from time to time.
This trail system is a bit of a maze and no matter what you do, you'll have fun. The general route involves a leg to the SW, following Bobcat
, Concession Stand
, Cat's Tail
, Jack Rabbit
, Devil's Dip
, and Cotton Candy
Once you retrace your steps back toward the parking lot, hang a right on the Fire Road
to start leg 2. This leg uses CAMBr Freeway
, Concession Stand
, Vertical Velocity
, Coney Island
, and Screamer
. Again, follow Vertical Velocity
back toward the parking lot and get ready for the final leg of the ride.
Leg 3 follows Wildcat
, CAMBr Freeway
, Kentucky Rumbler
, and Anaconda