Buffalo Creek Preserve & Buffalo Grove

CYCLE CHICAGO, SIGHTSEEING RIDE, BUFFALO CREEK PRESERVE & BUFFALO GROVE This ride links the attractive Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve near Buffalo Grove and Long Grove with a bike path around the neighboring Buffalo Grove Golf Course. Though the 408-acre forest preserve is smaller than most such parks in the region, it’s quite pleasant. The Buffalo Grove Forest Preserve is found in a quiet natural setting and offers a short, easy trail for exploring nature on two wheels. The trail runs through open areas, crosses creeks and encircles a manmade reservoir. Most of this property was once owned by farmers, who initially ran a dairy farm here and then grew wheat, corn and soybeans. Prior to being farmed, the land was a tall-grass prairie, which is now being restored. The Lake County Forest Preserves began acquiring the land in 1978, partly because of its potential for flood control. Subsequently, Buffalo Creek was dammed and a reservoir was created that is used to control the flow of water through Buffalo Creek. The reservoir and adjacent wetlands and prairies, all of which seem to be surrounded by a ring of trees, make for an agreeable variety of vegetation and vistas. The forest preserve notes, “Although the land has been drastically altered, first by farming and later during reservoir construction, a surprising diversity of grassland birds use the preserve, including bobolinks and eastern meadowlarks.” Alas, the crushed limestone trail is not in the best shape. Several sections have ruts and gouges that appear to have been caused by runoff water. In addition, the trails are not marked, and there are few benches or picnic tables at which to relax. Nevertheless, the distance is not great, so stay alert, follow the log and enjoy the natural surroundings. Long Grove Visit nearby Long Grove, just to the north of Buffalo Grove, and taste its famous chocolates. Settled in the 1840s, Long Grove has been able to preserve its “country atmosphere.” Due to strict building ordinances, there are no sidewalks, street lights, neon signs or even curbs throughout the village’s many communities. The locals frown on convenience stores and chain stores, and a new business construction is required to feature an 1880s-style facade. The historic town is something to see, so take a trip back in time. FOOD AND DRINK There’s water available in the preserve but not much else along this ride. ACCESS This ride is not readily accessible by transit. By car, take Lake Cook Road or Mundelein Road (Highway 83) to Arlington Heights Road in Buffalo Grove. The entrance to the forest preserve is on Checker Road about midway between Lake Cook Road and Mundelein Road. Turn west from Arlington Heights Road onto Checker Road and enter the preserve on the south side of the street after about 500 feet.
Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Kid friendly
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
Ride Duration: <1 hr
Fitness Level: Low
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Estimated Distance (Kms): 11.0
First Aid
Bike hire facilities
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle / uber
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