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Skokie Valley Trail extension underway

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Gaps in the Skokie Valley Trail have long been a frustration of people who bike and walk in the North Suburbs. The multi-use path is envisioned to eventually run from Wisconsin to Chicago, but lack of funding has left the trail segmented. 

Fans of the trail will rejoice to learn that conversations around bridging the gap and extending the trail are currently underway.

Two major developments are being discussed. One is the proposal to build a biking and walking bridge over the busy and congested Lake Cook Road. The other is an extension of the trail from Lake Cook Road to Voltz Road through Northbrook.

This is a huge opportunity to improve trail connectivity, providing safer and more accessible options for people who bike and walk in the North Suburbs.

The projects would lengthen the Lake County section of the trail from Rockland Road in Lake Bluff all the way to Voltz Road in Cook County. Plans to join this section of the trail to the segment in Skokie are less certain, but that remains a longer-term goal of the counties and municipalities involved in the process.

Two recent public meetings to discuss the projects were attended by dozens of supportive community members who showed great interest in moving the developments forward. 

The first meeting, hosted by the Lake County Division of Transportation, focused on the Lake Cook Road bridge plans. Construction on the bridge is scheduled for 2018 and should be completed quickly because the materials are prefabricated

The public meeting on December 14 focused on the southern extension through Northbrook, which includes the creation of a new trail segment from Lake Cook Road to Dundee Road.

The existing path from Dundee Road to Voltz Road will be updated and widened. Attendees viewed project location maps of the proposed trail extension and provided feedback on the development concepts. This map details the different design segments of the trail and features opportunities for improved connections to other nearby trails, including the Green Bay Trail and North Branch Trail.

Active Trans is a major proponent of stronger trail connectivity that strengthens the biking and walking network by improving safety and accessibility for trail users of all ages and abilities. 

If you couldn’t make it to the two community meetings but are interested in providing feedback on the project, contact Jim Baxa at

To learn more, visit the project website and check out our In Your Community North Suburbs page