Salt Creek Greenway Trail

The Salt Creek Greenway Trail is a nearly 25 mile-long, regional pedestrian/bicycle trail that extends from Busse Forest in Elk Grove Village to the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield through 12 communities with a combined population of 300,000 residents. It serves as a key link in the development of a 210-mile integrated trail network in northeast Illinois that includes the Illinois Prairie Path and the Great Western Trail, among others. It also provides connections throughout the region to recreational and cultural facilities, destinations, shopping and commercial facilities, employment and economic centers and mass transit hubs.

Location

The Salt Creek Greenway Trail generally runs parallel to the creek and can be accessed in Elmhurst from Eldridge Park, the Illinois Prairie Path, along St. Charles Road just west of Route 83 and from the intersection of Thomas Street and Monterey Avenue in the Pick Subdivision.

Trail Closing

Due to its proximity to the creek, at times certain sections of the trail can become submerged after heavy rains or melting snow that cause high water levels. When this occurs, portions of the trail that pass under St. Charles Road and Roosevelt Road are closed for safety purposes.

Salt Creek Greenway Underpass Water Level Status

To find out if the Salt Creek Greenway Trail underpasses are flooded please click on this link to the USGS Real-Time Water Table Data. At the Roosevelt Road underpass, you will find water on the path when the gage reads greater than 6.9 feet. At the St. Charles Road underpass there will be water on the path when the gage reads greater than 8.5 feet. At the North Avenue underpass there will be water on the path when the gage reads greater than 8 feet.

The History

First mentioned in Elmhurst Park District planning documents in 1964, the reality of a regional Salt Creek Greenway Trail first advanced at a series of meetings beginning in 1994. The Elmhurst Park District’s Board of Commissioners then approved an intergovernmental agreement to build the regional trail in April 1997. In total, elected officials and staff from nearly a dozen agencies saw the possibilities of a north-south regional trail that could serve walkers, joggers, bike riders and runners from northern DuPage County all the way to Cook County along one of the region’s truly underutilized resources – Salt Creek. This concept and its reconnection to nature, either on bikes or foot, were “green” before its time.

Partner Agencies

The Elmhurst Park District is proud to have worked with, and thanks its partner agencies for their committed efforts: the forest preserve districts of Cook and DuPage counties, the Addison Park District, and the Villages of Addison, Oak Brook, Villa Park, Itasca, Wood Dale, and Lyons.

Funding

The project was financed through a combination of grant dollars and local agency contributions. Grant programs from the Illinois Department of Transportation through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and from the DuPage Mayors and Managers Transportation Control Measures (TCM) Program funded 80% of the total project cost of $9,000,000. The remaining 20 percent, or $1.8 million, was paid for by the local partner agencies.The overall cost for the Elmhurst Park District segment of the trail was more than $2,700,000, but the actual cost to the District was just over $500,000, with the remaining $2,200,000 coming from the grant funds.

Trail Construction

In accordance with grant requirements, the trail was built to national bicycle trail standards developed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. These standards address all bicycle trail design considerations, including: separation between bike paths and roadways, width and clearance, design speed, grade and alignment, sight distance, intersections, signs and marking, drainage, pavement structure, and types of use.

Links to Other Trail Systems

The Salt Creek Greenway Trail is a key link in the development of a 210-mile integrated trail network in northeast Illinois because it connects two systems, the Illinois Prairie Path (59 miles) and the Centennial Trail (20 miles) which run roughly parallel to each other. The 210-mile system also includes the I&M Canal (9 miles), Fox River Trail system (56 miles), the Great Western Trail (12 miles), the Busse Woods Trail (11 miles) and the Village of Oak Brook trail system (11 miles). With the development of the Salt Creek Greenway Trail, residents of significant portions of DuPage and Cook counties are now able to access this network.