MTB Project Logo

blue Palos Tour

  4.3 ( 33 ) Favorite

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

Trail

15.0 mile 24.2 kilometer loop
100% Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 764' 233 m
Descent: -765' -233 m
High: 736' 224 m
Low: 601' 183 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 12% (7°)

Dogs

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Leslie Kehmeier

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

Weather

Getting forecast...

Current trail conditions

Minor Issues 32 days ago See History

Biked this trail?

Add details to help others plan their adventure.

The granddaddy of Chicago trail systems; plenty of fun and flow mixed with some techy challenges.

Leslie Kehmeier

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Wear a helmet, yield the trail appropriately, and don't ride wet trails.

Overview

Palos is the granddaddy of the trail systems available in Chicago. It is the largest trail system and therefore gets the most use. In all, there are some fifty miles of singletrack and widetrack trails to explore, though the legal singletrack is congregated in the western half. The area has hills, rolling widetrack, tight twisty singletrack, climbs, fast descents, and plenty more to keep you satisfied for hours.

Description

Start at Maple Lake East parking area and head out on Maple Lake East on an easy downhill roll with views of Maple Lake.

Continue on Hickory Smoked for some winding, wooded singletrack near Maple Lake. This part of the route features an armored water crossing as well as a challenging root system that can be bypassed or attacked with gusto for those seeking some challenge. At the end of this trail, stay right on the road for a short bit and then turn left on Bullwhip.

Bullwhip starts with several wide switchback climbs and a single armored hump. From there, the trail transitions to tight turns followed by a short downhill run toward the parking lot at Pulaski Woods South. Continue straight across a dirt road to a short climb with some waterbars and berms, more climbing, before coming to an intersection with Palos Yellow Multitrack (East). Stay Right here and then make a quick left onto Pipeline.

Pipeline is an easy and smooth east-west route that will take you to the west side of Palos. Continue straight through the 4-way intersection with Ho Chi Minh and then left at the Pipeline North intersection. The trail eventually reaches its end at Dynamite Road where you'll turn left.

Pedal Dynamite Road past Psycho Path, staying left at the intersection with Three Ravines. This section is fairly smooth and not technical. Below Three Ravines the trail drops into a fun and techy downhill with lots of rocks and roots.

Cross Dynamite Road to get to XX/Canal Access from 104th Ave. Drop in and then turn right on the XX Extension. This part of the ride is an out-and-back with a short loop at the end. This is also one of the more scenic and challenging parts of Palos and should not be missed. Enjoy narrow trail with whoops followed by limestone rock gardens. The far end has a short loop with a short steep descent and climb.

When you get back to the XX/Canal Access from 104th Ave connector, head back the way you came on Dynamite Road. When you top out on the climb, turn right onto Three Ravines.

Three Ravines is exactly as the name implies, three ravine crossings - each one very different in approach and execution. Three Ravines runs predominantly downhill from the middle of Dynamite Road to a three-way intersection with Ho Chi Minh and One Day. Since the trails can be ridden in either direction, it's wise to announce your presence entering each ravine to alert any oncoming riders.

After you've whooped it up on Three Ravines, continue on One Day. Enjoy fast and smooth singletrack with bermed switchbacks. On the eastern end of the trail, you'll pass on old homestead. Just before the intersection with Gravity Cavity, you'll cross a small creek.

At the intersection, jump on Stonehouse and enjoy some more fun and flow. This part of the route also winds through some of the most scenic areas of Palos. Along the way, you'll ride across several armored creek crossings and an old CCC shelter.

A series of switchbacks followed by a couple of creek crossings brings you to Burrito Hill. Stay left here and pedal over to the Palos Yellow Multitrack (East).

Turn left here and follow this wider, crushed limestone trail west to the intersection with Bullwhip and Pipeline. Stay right and finish the Palos tour, retracing your steps back to the Maple Lake East parking area.

Contacts

Rate This Featured Ride

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Ride

Check In

Check-Ins

May 5, 2019
Tommy Grill
Apr 21, 2019
Adam Frost
Great place to ride. Good mix of singletrack and doubletrack. Can get a lot of miles without going over the same route twice 20mi
Dec 25, 2018
Samuel Castelan
Nov 20, 2018
Jeff Carter
26.9mi — 3h 28m
Oct 21, 2018
Ray Wijangco
W/ Max
Oct 16, 2018
lukasz drogowski
Sep 30, 2018
Aaron Ebbinghouse
Got betting at maintaining momentum this eComm time around. 13mi
Sep 23, 2018
Andy Eccles
3PM. Quite a few people out on the trails. It's two-way, so have to take care with tight passing spots. Beautiful afternoon ride. Mosquitoes in force! 11mi — 1h 20m

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 33 votes

#299

Overall
  4.3 from 33 votes
5 Star
52%
4 Star
36%
3 Star
3%
2 Star
9%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#1

in Illinois

#299

Overall
270 Views Last Month
12,174 Since Oct 28, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
16%
35%
39%
10%
0%

MTB Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Mountain Bike

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter