Located 15 miles from the Loop, North Branch is a favorite of an employee at Rapid Transit. While the bike map recommends taking the bike lane-lined Elston from the city to the North Branch Trail entry, this rider advises following Milwaukee all the way north to Devon. You can also opt to connect to the trail via Lake Shore Drive at Bryn Mawr.
Clearly marked at the intersection of Caldwell and Devon, the trailhead leads into a thick forest of trees behind the surrounding suburban homes and golf courses. The 20-mile path through the woods is mostly paved, with occasional dirt and cinder along the way, and stretches 5-10 feet wide. Despite the occasional road intersections, the wooded backdrop, wandering deer and dogs give North Branch the feeling of a country venture.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jessica Herman