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Let’s Hike the Des Plaines River Trail at Half Day Woods 5.5 or 12 Miles

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,

Directions: From
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,

 

Lyle


 

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  • Jonathan B.

    Great job Lyle, Next hike I won't get lost even before I get there. Almost went home because of the frustration. But very glad i caught up to some good people and had the chance to release the stress.

    1 · March 16, 2014

  • Therese R.

    Thank you Lyle. Great hike, great day!

    1 · March 16, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Fantastic hike Lyle! Looking forward to the next one. Great to meet you all!

    2 · March 16, 2014

  • Denice S.

    Looks like a good turnout. Hope to participate in the next local hike.

    1 · March 16, 2014

  • Kevin

    Lyle, thanks for a great hike. I enjoyed meeting other hikers. I am looking forward to your next hike.

    2 · March 16, 2014

  • Lyle W.

    Now only 846 miles left on my 2014 Goal!

    4 · March 15, 2014

  • Lyle W.

    What a great day!!! The weather was perfect. The trail was just a little slick especially in the morning. Big thanks for the 30+ hikers that joined us today to keep me on my exercise routine and a big shout-out to Therese, Nuni, Nicole, Larry and Roger for doing the whole 12.04 miles with me. You guy's finished in great form!

    4 · March 15, 2014

  • Larry

    Great and fun hike. Glad to meet more happy hikers. Thanks Lyle and for the onion rings too! Good job!

    3 · March 15, 2014

  • Liz

    Lyle, thanks so much again. Loved it!!

    3 · March 15, 2014

  • Darrel

    Great group and hike -- made even more enjoyable due to warm temps and bright sunshine!! Glad I brought Ice Trekkers as trails were still slippery.

    2 · March 15, 2014

  • Jin L

    Hi Lyle, thanks for organize a great day of hike as always. I blame my camera for slow me down. :-) I am looking forward to your next hike.

    4 · March 15, 2014

  • Nuni

    I want to give a big thank you to Lyle. Lyle thank you for organizing the event, for always responding to all questions and comments, for looking after those that fall behind during the hikes, for makes copies of the maps, for organizing the lunches/breakfasts. Thanks. Nice seeing everyone.

    4 · March 15, 2014

  • Nicole

    Beautiful day, wonderful walk. Thank you, Lyle.

    4 · March 15, 2014

  • Claudette

    Jin, I can't email you but can you please msg me so I can talk to you about your camera's lens cover? Thanks!

    March 15, 2014

  • Claudette

    Great hike, Lyle. Thanks for organizing it. The maps proved useful to us who were slower than the group, who wanted to more than savor every step.

    3 · March 15, 2014

  • Roger A

    Thanks Lyle. Another great hike. Thank you

    2 · March 15, 2014

  • Anthony

    I did as much as I wanted to do without busting my butt, but I did bust my butt in the parking lot. Hate that ice. Hope you all had a safe hike. See you when it thaws.

    1 · March 15, 2014

  • Denice S.

    Sorry, won't make it. Needed to catch up on all the sleep I missed this week. Plus the cold temps were very unappealing.

    March 15, 2014

  • Debbie

    Sorry-I need to cancel--not feeling well today. Have fun everyone and hope to catch you next time.

    March 15, 2014

  • Lyle W.

    Gigi, as for shoes, I would opt for whichever have the best tread. The chunkier the better. As for a snack, a piece of fruit, trail mix, etc. my personal favorite is Frito Lay Munchies Flaming Hot Peanuts.

    March 14, 2014

  • Cathie

    Still a maybe...trails might be too icy for me :(

    March 14, 2014

  • Pam

    I might not make it tomorrow - it's been a tough week at work and I have a feeling I'm gonna want to sleep in. Besides, it's a 36-mile drive for me. I'd like to see more of these events start a little later in the day....

    1 · March 14, 2014

  • Gigi

    Saw the question on hiking boots. I have hiking shoes and was wondering if you thought the trail would be very muddy. Also, what would you recommend for snacks...

    March 14, 2014

  • Rafael R.

    anyone going from the south suburbs (orland) that i can ride with? will spot $ for gas

    March 11, 2014

    • Rafael R.

      That should work, where's a good spot to meet at

      March 14, 2014

  • Lyle W.

    Roger! Glad to see the return of the British Contingent!

    March 14, 2014

  • Becky

    I am new to this group and was really looking forward to going on the hike this weekend. Unfortunately, I am going to have to work. Hopefully, I can make the next one.

    March 13, 2014

    • Lyle W.

      Work is so overrated. Hiking and Nature are much more fun. See you next time.

      3 · March 14, 2014

  • Sally O.

    Could we hike this area on a Sunday morning sometime. Some of us work Saturdays.

    March 14, 2014

    • Lyle W.

      Awesome idea! Kevin is always looking for new leaders! I do have a hike Sunday at Swallow Cliff too and you are welcome to join us.

      March 14, 2014

  • Liz

    All you hikers, dont forget to hydrate today/tonite after all that pub crawling. Standard hiking protocol to hydrate the day before.

    2 · March 14, 2014

  • Le

    Anyone driving from Logan Square area and still have a spot?

    March 10, 2014

    • Therese R.

      Liz, I'm not that quick I'll be in back with you.

      1 · March 11, 2014

    • Silvia I.

      Liz, do you have a spot, i am a slower hiker also

      March 14, 2014

  • Silvia I.

    Anyone driving from downtown or lincoln park area and still have a spot

    March 14, 2014

  • Michael

    Anyone driving from Palatine, Barrington area would like to share a ride?

    March 13, 2014

  • Lyle W.

    Driving from the loop if anyone needs a ride. I will be doing the full 12 miles though.

    March 6, 2014

    • Shan

      Liz, any chance you have space for one more person from the loop? Thanks a lot!

      March 12, 2014

    • Liz

      Shan, yes, sent you a message. I have hiked the 10, 11 miles before, I am just not fast. I always finish. This time, I am doing the 5.5.

      1 · March 12, 2014

  • Oscar

    Is anyone driving from Oak Park area??

    March 10, 2014

    • Liz

      I live just north of oak park, but usually dont finish the hike with you guys. So a ride there is ok.

      March 10, 2014

    • Lyle W.

      Oscar, if you ride out w Liz, I can drop you off back at OP on the way home.

      March 11, 2014

  • Destiny T W.

    I am a novice hiker and I am not sure I can hike 12 miles. Will the group be taking the same route back so I can catch up with them on the way back?

    March 10, 2014

    • Liz

      not to worry, there will be people like me who will do the 6 and loop back.

      1 · March 11, 2014

    • Lyle W.

      The first 5.5 miles is a big loop and ends up right back at the parking lot. The next 6.5 or so is simply hiking south on the DPRT turning around at the end and hiking back, again ending back at the parking lot.

      March 11, 2014

  • Lyle W.

    Any chance someone could give Rae and Heidi a ride from the end of the first part of the hike back downtown? I can get them to the beginning of the hike but I am hiking the full 12.

    March 9, 2014

    • Liz

      I have Rae, So we have plans already I'm also taking Le

      1 · March 11, 2014

  • Jim

    Rae, you're sending me emails that I can't respond to. Adjust your settings so you can receive emails.

    March 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      That's weird..others have been able to reply to me..will try again. If not, all good

      March 10, 2014

  • Lyle W.

    Ironically, we last did this hike on December 8th. I still remember how we started with a dry trail and with an hour left the first snow of the season started to fall. Three months later that base layer of snow is still on the ground.

    4 · March 5, 2014

    • Jim

      I'm driving and live near the addison brown line stop. email me directly if you'd like a ride.

      1 · March 9, 2014

    • Jim

      Rae, you need to adjust your settings so you can receive emails.

      March 10, 2014

  • Frank S.

    Sorry I have to cancel, I forgot that I will be spending the day at the Good Food Festival and Conference
    Please see: http://goodfoodfestivals.com/

    March 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi! I am new to Chicago and was wondering if anyone who is doing the 5.5 mile is driving from downtown? Would greatly appreciate a lift!

    March 7, 2014

  • rita r

    Lyle, I read somewhere that Cubby Bear North had closed down in January. Plenty of dining options on the west side of Milwaukee Av.

    March 5, 2014

    • Lyle W.

      You are right! Parking lot is empty. I'll change the description. Hike is still on, just we will skip the cubby bear portion.

      March 5, 2014

    • Tom O.

      Yep, Cubby Bear Closed. Walker Brothers near, Kona Grill, Philly G's -not sure at noon.

      March 5, 2014

  • Gigi

    Would like to give this a go. What is this park like - hilly, gravel path or dirt, grass? Trying to figure out if my foot ware would work.

    March 5, 2014

    • Lyle W.

      Mostly not paved. Very flat. Crushed limestone trail. Since it is not yet July the trail will likely still be snow covered

      March 5, 2014

  • Aram D.

    Anybody heading from around downtown Chicago or Hyde Park?

    March 5, 2014

57 went

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