Route: Green Bay Trail (IL)

Submitted by ccwalker_uwp on Fri, 11/19/2021 - 08:16pm
Illinois, US
9.29 mi
Vertical Gain
34 ft

Adapted from TrailLink:

The 9-mile Green Bay Trail runs parallel to Chicago's Metra commuter rail line north of the Chicago city limits. Stretching through North Shore towns such as Kenilworth, Winnetka, and Highland Park, the corridor is flanked by restaurants, shops, community parks and beautiful homes.

The Green Bay Trail runs along the east side of Chicago's Metra Union Pacific North line (UP-N commuter rail) almost entirely along the route of the former Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee (CNS&M) interurban electric railroad, from Greenleaf Avenue in downtown Wilmette to the junction of Saint Johns Avenue & Sheridan Road at the southern edge of downtown Highland Park. Here it turns into the Robert McClory Bike Path.

The trail is suitable for all runners and walkers, although the route does use some sidewalks and even a small portion of residential road in Kenilworth. In addition, the surface alternates between asphalt and crushed limestone. This is a true multi-purpose trail. Commuters take the trail to train stations along the way, bikes are allowed on the Metra in limited numbers; children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult when bringing a bicycle, and residents and tourists alike use the trail for exercise and car-free travel between communities. The trail itself is paved and well maintained, accentuating the upscale neighborhoods through which it travels.

By the time you reach the St. John's Avenue trailhead, and northern end of the trail, you will appreciate the many restrooms, public telephones, playgrounds and parks afforded by the proximity of the commuter line. Another bonus of the adjacent rail line: if you are tired after your one-way trip, just hop a Metra train for the return trip.

Terminus descriptions:

  • The northern terminus of this trail is in Highland Park, just north of the intersection of St. Johns Avenue and Sheridan Road (at Ravine Drive), where the trail connects to a parking lot.
  • The southern terminus is in Wilmette, near the intersection of Poplar Drive and Greenleaf Avenue, where the trail connects to another parking lot.
GPS Track


I'm planning on running this route on Thursday, December 2nd, as a one-way, unsupported run. I'm going to start in Highland Park and head south to Wilmette.

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Hi! I’ve been walking and running on this trail my whole life! Can’t wait to set the  unsupported FKT tmr traveling from Wilmette to HP 💪🏻