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Pedal Your Way Through St. Charles With These 5 Bike Routes

St. Charles, Illinois is a paradise for bike riders. With a countless amount of local and regional trails to explore, you'll be left in awe when you discover all the natural beauty that surrounds you. While there are many paths all throughout this city, we wanted to highlight 5 routes that you can take, along with parks and businesses you can stop at along the way, that make for a perfect adventure. Continue reading below to learn more!

Fox River Trail (North)

For your first route, you're going to travel north along on the Fox River on the Fox River Trail. Starting at the St. Charles Municipal Building, you'll want to start by taking the path towards the renowned Pottawatomie Park. Once you reach North Avenue, you'll need to head east until you run into 3rd Avenue, and then take that to Norris Woods, which is an access point to the trail. This path will take you all the way to Algonquin all while providing tremendous views of the water, and taking you through nearby towns in the Fox River Valley. Only a couple miles into the ride is when you'll run into the bike bridge underneath Red Gate Road. It is a blast to ride across, as it gives you a unique view of the river that you normally wouldn't be able to get.

Once you've decided to turn around and head back, make a stop at Pottawatomie Park to cool off at Swanson Pool, spend time underneath the famous pavilion, or grab a cool treat from the refreshment stand. If you've built up a big appetite from the ride, visit Townhouse Books and Cafe for one of their fresh sandwiches, and a side of their homemade veggie chips!

Fox River Trail (South)

You can easily reach the access point to the Fox River Trail traveling south, too! Simply ride south on Riverside Avenue and follow the path along the Fox River. Just like the Fox River Trail going north, you'll get magnificent views of the water, as well as discovering more features and amenities Fox Valley has to offer, as this trail extends all the way to Oswego. You'll also come across two St. Charles parks along the way: Haseltine Park and Langum Park, if you need a quick stop. We also recommend to make a trip to Campbell Creations located right off the bike path. Campbell Creations crafts one-of-a-kind charcuterie boards, perfect for entertaining guests, or even displayed as a beautiful piece of art!

Continue down the path until you're ready to turn around, and then when you're back on Riverside Avenue, visit Flagship on the Fox for a bite to eat and to enjoy all the latest sports action. If it's a drink you're after, Pollyanna Brewing & Distilling is right next door, and you can sip on thirst-quenching beverage while soaking up the sunlight on their outdoor patio.

Great Western Trail

Photo 1 Courtesy of Tap House Grill. Photo 2 Courtesy of the Kane County Forest Preserve District

For your next ride, you're going to want to begin at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve. When you're ready to take off, the trail you'll hop on that crosses over Dean Street and then will lead you west on the Great Western Trail. This section of the Great Western Trail runs all the way from St. Charles to Sycamore and you'll pass right through some unincorporated rural townships along the way. You'll discover a variety of natural features including farmland, wetlands, and even restored prairies, making this a very scenic ride.

Once you've completed your target mileage on this out-and-back trail. Take a very short trip over to the Tap House Grill to refuel. Tap House Grill offers a wide selection of incredible American fare, and numerous craft beers to accompany your meal. Make sure to view their Chalkboard Specials beforehand, as you can take advantage of daily deals on food and/or drinks!

What's Your Favorite Way to Navigate St. Charles?

  • Biking

  • Hiking

  • Boating

  • Kayaking

Mt. St. Mary Park

While this path isn't exactly suitable for experienced riders, Mt. St. Mary Park offers a great loop that is ideal for beginners looking to pick up a new hobby@ First things first, you're going to need to purchase a ride, and fortunately Sammy's Bikes is located right by the park, and their experts can help you select the perfect bike for you. Once you've made your purchase, it's time to begin riding! The park is filled with vibrant flowers in the spring and summer, and with beautiful sculptures scattered throughout the park, a lack of scenery certainly won't be an issue.

After you've finished up your training session, stop by Jalapeno Grille for your reward. This St. Charles staple has fantastic tacos (which are only $1.50 each on Tuesdays from 4pm-8pm), and their sweet horchata will be a refreshing reward for all your practice!

James O. Breen Park to Primrose Farm

Photo 1 Courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of Kane County. Photo 2 Courtesy of Charlie Fox's Pizza

Route number 5 is begin over at James O. Breen Community Park and will head north. You're going to want to take the paved trail that goes along Peck Road that will take you by a couple of small bodies of water and Renaux Manor Park. Continue on this path until you run into the Great Western Trail, but this time, instead of going west, you're going to want to take the path east through the LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve. This path will take you right through, but we encourage you to spend some time exploring LeRoy Oakes, as there are numerous beautiful natural features to admire, and plenty of mowed paths that you can venture down. Once you pass Ferson Creek, you'll keep peddling north until you reach Bolcum Road, and then head west until you've reached your destination: Primrose Farm. Primrose Farm allows for an immersive experience on what farm life is like, with animals and even restored farm buildings for learning! We recommend spending some time here, especially if the kids are with you.

On your way back, stop at Charlie Fox's Pizza (located right past Renaux Manor Park) for a mouthwatering pie. Once you've returned to James O. Breen, if you need to cool off, take a dip in Otter Cove Aquatic Park located there!

Important: Some of these routes may require bikers to ride short distances on roads. It is important to always ride your bike with caution, and to make sure that you always wear a helmet!

Looking for more trails to explore, or want to find additional outdoor activities? Click above to view our outdoors page - a great resource to find ways you can enjoy St. Charles outside, all while soaking up the sun!


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