Let’s Hike the Des Plaines River Trail at Half Day Woods 5.5 or 12 Miles
This is a nice hike through several forest preserves all along the Lake County section of the Des Plaines River Trail. No Pavement
Saturday, March 15th. This will be a good hike for either beginners or for more seasoned hikers. We will try and scoot along between 3 and 3.5 miles per hour. We will be hiking part of the Lake County south section of the Des Plaines River Trail near Lincolnshire, IL. Along with the DPRT we will be hiking the yellow and pink trail loops in the Half Day Forest Preserve and Captain Daniel Wright woods.
The DPRT is a beautiful and rural trail though it threads through some densely populated cities. Cook and Lake counties have created an amazing string of forest preserves flanking the Des Plaines river and chained them together with the River Trail which you can follow from North Ave in the city all of the way to the Wisconsin border.
The trail is mostly through a canopy of forest naturally home to lots of wildlife. I hiked this section recently and was lucky enough to see several coyotes, deer and water fowl all in the wild. The river views are remarkable. You may want to bring a camera.
A little history of the area:
Many people mistakenly believe that Half Day road, and the Half Day area, get their name from being geographically a “half day’s” carriage ride from Chicago. Others attribute the name to Chief Aptakisic, of the Pottawatomi tribe, whose name means "sun at its meridian" or "half day." In reality, most historians believe the name originated with Pottawatomi Chief Halfda who granted Captain Daniel Wright, the area’s original non-native inhabitant, the right to live on land near the modern day preserve. Sadly, within a year of Wright moving into the area, the Treaty of Chicago was signed effectively taking the Pottawatomi land and resulting in the forced migration of the tribe. There is more info in the links below.
We will meet at the first parking lot just as you enter the Half Day Forest Preserve off of Milwaukee Ave. Let’s meet at 8:45 and at 9:00 AM we will head out on the hike.
We will first hike north on the DPRT, cross the Des Plaines River walking bridge and take the yellow trail loop clockwise. Eventually we will hit the short white trail connector taking us east to the central pink loop. After completing the pink loop we will connect with the red trail and head west back the DPRT and the parking lot. For those that want to stop at 5.5 miles, this will end the hike.
For those, like me, that like a little more distance, we will head south on the DPRT for 3 miles or so to Cubby Bear where we might grab a quick bite before returning north on the DPRT for a total of 12 miles.
Half Day Forest Preserve
619 S Milwaukee Ave
Lincolnshire/Vernon Hills, IL 60061,
the Kennedy Expressway north (I-90/94) take either the Eden’s expressway (I-94) or alternatively take I-294 north to (I-94) and take the Half Day road exit. Go west (left) on Half Day road until you hit Milwaukee Ave. Go north (right) on Milwaukee a short distance and enter into the Half Day Forest Preserve on the right. We will meet in the first parking lot.
More information on the Des Plaines River Trail and Captain Daniel Wright woods:
Lake County Des Plaines River Trail Map click here.
Information on Captain Daniel Wright woods click here.
Information and map of Half Day Forest Preserve click here.
I hope you can make the hike; I had fun exploring this hike. I think you will like it,