December 1, 2020

The North River Trail: Foster Avenue

I discovered one of my new favorite parts of the North Branch of the Chicago River. My photos and directions will help you find your way to this bucolic setting which is not clearly marked.

Herewith a guided tour: North of Pulaski on Foster, park at the Irene C. Hernandez Picnic Grove lot (4498 N. Foster Avenue). Head for the bike trail towards the large tree pictured in the photo to the left.

Concrete barriers on either side of the bike path will mark your entrance point. Go to the right of the concrete barriers down a dirt path leading to a graffiti-covered bridge overlooking the North Branch of the Chicago River. You have several trails from which to choose.

A rough stone staircase leads to paths at river level, but there are multiple dirt paths leading to the water on both sides of the river.

We opted to bypass the river paths and went down a straight walkway going east. Two deer, a buck and doe to the left of our path, drew us onto a trail through a wooded glen.(Photo of the buck above.)

Even with fewer leaves now, this was a magical area with sunlight streaming through dense trees and foliage. There were a variety of paths we could have taken, and hope to check out more of these nature trails in the future.

You might encounter families with children and many people walking dogs, so mask-wearing is still advised. For about an hour, we forgot we were in Chicago as we communed with water, trees, foliage and wild life.

This area is part of the 20-mile long North River Trail from Foster Avenue in the city to Glencoe.

We hope to explore several entrance points farther north before the snow falls. Then again, we might just get cross-country skis out!

https://fpdcc.com/places/trails/north-branch-trail-system/

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