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Chicago-area bike trails on a roll


Steve Buchtel, executive director of Trails for Illinois, rides the tiny length of the Cal-Sag bike trail that is currently paved, near Palos Heights. Photo by Lori Rackl / Sun-Times.

Steve Buchtel, executive director of Trails for Illinois, rides the tiny length of the Cal-Sag bike trail that is currently paved, near Palos Heights. Photo by Lori Rackl / Sun-Times.


Ten years ago, a group of people got together in the south suburbs, ordered pizza and talked about creating a bike trail along the banks of the Cal-Sag Channel.

Many meetings and many pizzas later, that trail is about to be built.

Wending its way along the water for 28 miles from Lemont to Burnham, the Cal-Sag Trail will connect 14 communities, giving cyclists and walkers direct access to half a dozen commuter train stations. Like a long, linear puzzle piece, it will hook up with other regional trails, making it possible for pedalers packing plenty of Power Bars to ride a nearly 100-mile loop on protected pathways in the Southland.

“Usually trails this scale, through an area like this, are 20- and 30-year trails,” said Steve Buchtel, executive director of Trails for Illinois. “This trail breaks ground this October, 10 years after that first meeting. That’s pretty exciting.” Please click here to read Lori Rackl’s story in the Sun-Times.

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