Red Lines = CTA
PACE Black LInes = Metra Lines
Colored Lines= Subway Lines
Locate what area you are in/where you want to be, and find a CTA/PACE, Metra, or Subway blue check that works for you! From the check you will see the option "View In Google Maps" You are going to want to go ahead and click that. This will take you to google maps, and from there it will give you directions on how to get there. If you change the method of travel from driving to transit, it will give you fast, detailed directions on how to reach the Outerbelt!
20-Day 2023 Outerbelt Trip Itinerary
(8 AM Start at Buckingham Fountain, then each day starts at 9 AM)
1. Tuesday, May 30 Buckingham Fountain – South Shore (10 mi, Lakefront, Camping location by request)
2. Wednesday, May 31 South Shore Park – Big Marsh (~10 mi, Southeast Side, Camping at Big Marsh)
3. Thursday, June 1 Big Marsh - Camp Shabbona Woods (8 mi, Burnham Greenway, Camping TBD)
4. Friday, June 2 Shabbona woods – Glenwood Oaks (~11 mi, North Creek, Camping Izaak Walton Homewood (Shuttle))
5. Saturday, June 3 Glenwood Oaks – Vollmer Road Grove (~12 mi, Camping at Camp Sullivan (shuttle)) – National Trails Day
6. Sunday, June 4 Vollmer Road Grove – Camp Sullivan (~13 mi, Tryner’s Pond, Camping at Camp Sullivan)
7. Monday, June 5 Camp Sullivan – Cal-Sag Trail (~10 mi, Camping at Camp Bullfrog Lake (shuttle))
8. Tuesday, June 6 Cal-Sag Trail – Camp Bullfrog Lake (~10 mi, Camping at Camp Bullfrog Lake)
9. Wednesday, June 7 Camp Bullfrog Lake – Camp Bullfrog Lake (Circuit within Palos Preserves, ~10 mi, Camp at Camp Bullfrog Lake)
10. Thursday, June 8 Camp Bullfrog Lake – Salt Creek Trail/W. Jackson Ave. in LaGrange Park (12 mi, Arie Crown Forest, – close to Oak Brook REI Store) – CAMPING TBD
11. Friday, June 9 Salt Creek Trail/W Jackson Ave.– DesPlaines Ave in Forest Park (10 mi, Miller Meadow, Camping TBD). (Sections 1-11, 126 miles)
12. Saturday, June 10 DesPlaines Ave in Forest Park – Catherine Chevalier Woods (~10 mi, Camping TBD) - Includes Trailside Museum of Natural History
13. Sunday, June 11 Catherine Chevalier Woods – Camp Pine Woods (11 mi, Camping at Camp Dan Beard, shuttle)
14. Monday, June 12 Camp Pine Woods – Camp Dan Beard (6 mi, Camping at Camp Dan Beard)
15. Tuesday, June 13 Camp Dan Beard – Old School Forest Preserve (~12 mi, Camping – Friends of OBA or Camp Dan Beard shuttle)
16. Wednesday, June 14 Old School Forest Preserve – South Park (Lake Forest) (~10 mi, Middlefork Savannah/Open Lands Assn, Camping TBD)
17. Thursday, June 15 South Park – Ravinia – Little House of Glencoe (~8 mi, Chicago Botanic Garden, Camping Little House of Glencoe)
18. Friday, June 16 Little House of Glencoe – Thaddeus “Ted” Lechowicz Woods (~12 mi, North Branch, Camping Friends of the Outerbelt “FOO”)
19. Saturday, June 17 Thaddeus “Ted” Lechowicz Woods – Aragon Ballroom (~10 mi, Albany Park, Camping FOO)
20. Sunday, June 18 Aragon Ballroom – Buckingham Fountain (~10 mi, Lincoln Park Zoo/Finish)
Total = ~220 miles
Board members making some or all of the trip include:
Jay Readey, Community Development Lawyer at Ginsberg Jacobs LLC and Social Entrepreneur;
Benjamin Cox, President of Friends of the Forest Preserves
Lauren Umek, PhD. Conservation Biologist
Ismael Cuevas, Chief of Staff for 10th Ward Alderwoman Susan Garza
Emily Leu, Market Coordinator at Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI)
Stanley Jackson, Entrepreneur and CEO of US Tax Squad
We will be tweeting about how you can come find us on the trail to hike, camp with us or deliver magic along the way. Come Hike the Outerbelt!
Most of the Outerbelt is in the Forest Preserves of Cook County, and our friends there are on top of the state of the law on risks in the preserves. By accessing this site and hiking any trails or in any preserves, you should be aware of the following information, since the Outerbelt by definition and inclination seeks to link together primitive and rustic trails in one ring to connect them all:
The Forest Preserves offers a variety of designated trails, all of which present their own unique challenges and, at times, may be considered dangerous. Some designated trails have paved or graded surfaces and are available for multiple uses. Other designated trails are more primitive/rustic and have a natural unpaved surface. Regardless of the type of trail you fancy, caution and care should be taken before and during use of Forest Preserves trails.
In many cases, the weather and the proximity of trees to the trail can impact the user experience. All designated trails are subject to the effects of weather which can result in dangerous conditions including flooding. In addition, trees in close proximity to designated trails are subjected to many factors such as disease, insects, soil moisture, wind, fire, snow and human activities which can create tree/limb fall hazards. While the Forest Preserves seeks to identify and remove dangers posed by hazardous trees, trees without apparent defects are also subject to failure and tree hazards cannot always be identified and mitigated. Users of all designated trails are urged to be mindful of potential hazards including the fact that trees may fall at any time.
The designated primitive/rustic trails are in a more natural state than the trails with paved or graded surfaces, and are not maintained to the same extent as the paved or graded trails. Accordingly, the designated primitive/rustic trails may have uneven or irregular surfaces and may pose heightened danger or hazard to users. Due to the higher potential for danger or hazardous conditions on or along designated primitive/rustic trails, users of those trails do so at their own risk.
In addition to designated paved, graded, and primitive/rustic trails, there are many non-designated trails throughout the Forest Preserves. Such non-designated trails may occur naturally as deer trails or through human foot traffic over time. The Forest Preserves does not encourage, but generally does not prohibit, the use of non-designated trails. Users of such trails, however, should note that the Forest Preserves does not inspect or maintain non-designated trails. Accordingly, hidden and latent dangers, as well as other hazardous conditions, may be encountered on non-designated trails. Users of non-designated trails do so at their own risk and are encouraged to minimize their use of such trails.
Campsites, insurance and support don’t pay for themselves! Your generous donation will fund our mission and support access to the Outdoors.