For years there has been a crosswalk at Bender Road near the Des Plaines River Trail which led to a frightening blind curve next to the 294 underpass on Ballard Road. This will no longer be a problem and we will all be able to ride safely from the North Branch Trail in Morton Grove to the Des Plaines River Trail. The new path is also known to the City of Des Plaines as the Ballard Road Sidewalk / Sidepath Project. It is part of the Evanston-Elgin Regional Bicycle Corridor.
The map below shows the most popular route as mapped by the ATA years ago which goes from Austin and Beckwith in Morton Grove to Ballard and Bender in Des Plaines. But I have grown tired of the traffic on Beckwith. I am now riding two blocks south on the much quieter W Church Street.
There is still the issue of the DPRT going north from this point as going over the tracks connecting two sides of the trail is a dangerous trespass across a railroad and the railroad’s property.
I prefer heading down to this part of the Des Plaines River trail from the North Branch Trail near the Chick Evans Golf Course off Beckwith by going west on the bike lane on Beckwith, south for two blocks on Lehigh next to the Metra tracks, going west on Church Street all the way to W Church street by taking a shortcut through Oriole Park, south on N Courtland leading to north on Milwaukee Avenue (traffic can be avoided by using the sidewalk), west on N Maryland Street, continuing west on W Church Street (slight right), south on Bellaire Avenue, and then west on Ballard Rd (where the new trail extension is being built).
Not sure why it says “Sidewalk Closed”. It’s much better than it was, by A LOT.
Due to the railroad crossing between Central and Golf I am posting my preferred route to the northern part of the Des Plaines River Trail from the North Branch Trail. From West Church Street (yes the jackknife detour near Milwaukee is my preferred route) I ride north on Dee, west on Harrison, then north on Potter or Meadow or Lyman, and then west on Central on the shoulder until reaching the trail. Lyman is really too close to the railroad underpass to see traffic passing in both directions.