Naperville, IL (About 50 Minutes west of Chicago)Trail Review
For western suburbanites, Knoch Knolls is a quick way to get on singletrack. At about 5.5 miles long and with only mild elevation change, it isn't much but there is some twisty trails that offers a nice change from your regular riding routine. The trails are set up roughly in four loops (some with tails) that attract hikers and dog-walkers too. There are some small widetrack loops in the center as well. From DuPage County Park, you enter halfway into the eastern loop. From the Knoch Knolls lot, you enter at the middle of the park, with the better singletrack to your left.
The eastern two loops feature tight and twisty singletrack. Log ride-overs appear occasionally as trees fall over the trail, though the city park staff eventually clear away these and any other obstacles. The two western loops are flat, straight trails ringing an open field. But they both have a little singletrack near them that makes doing the flat run worth it.
The eastern loop has its northern end by the river and the other near the baseball diamonds. At this second terminus, you'll find a wide intersection. Ignoring the trail to the ballfields, follow to the left on the widetrack for a few feet and you'll see the start of the second singletrack loop on your right. Or, you can continue on, riding on small woodchips to the open, flat fields.
The western area lets you get a little distance without any obstacles, so it's good for beginners, as well as experienced riders wanting a faster pace. There is a nice little piece of singletrack on the south edge of the park, which follows the river and sometimes gets submerged or soggy when the river overflows its banks. It takes you from the woodchip-covered widetrack behind the ballfields to the two flat loops. If you get to the straight path leading to the western tip, stay on it, heading away from the tip. You'll shortly find one more easy, but nice singletrack trail winding through the trees on your left. In the early spring, this area bursts into color from the flowering ground cover.
Knoch Knolls is not dedicated to being a riding destination—many users are locals: kids, families, walkers, etc— but the park is still a good place to improve your handling skills. The many tight turns and short visiblity make you a better and more alert rider for other trails. And if country scenery matters to you then you'll find plenty to love here.Trail Map
This is also a GPS overlay of the DORC course
. There are more fire road trails than this shows.More Info
This park is controlled by the Naperville Park District. The two eastern singletrack trails here are not official trails, though the city is not actively considering their closure. Having said that, they do not tolerate any efforts to add berms, jumps, stunts, or other made-made elements. As with the other parks in Chicago, this one's proximity to a large population encourages its use by low-skilled riders. And the liability from that is too costly for land managers to ignore.
Bicycles Etc. helps to run a multi-lap solo race series at Knoch Knolls called the DORC Races (Dupage Off Road Challenge). It lets you test yourself against your riding peers without travelling far.Naperville Park District Web Site.Getting ThereMap link
! From Chicago, take I-55 past I-355 to Weber Road. Go north a few miles, til you pass Boughton Rd. You have two parking choices:
1. At Royce Road, you'll see the DuPage County Park on your left (tennis courts, ball fields...). Turn in here and park by the treeline ahead of you. Ride west along the treeline and you'll quickly see a trail on your right into the woods.
2. If weekend sports events fill up that lot, drive on to Washington St and take a left. Go over the river and take a left at the next light onto Ring Road. Turn left again at the next street, Knoch Knoll Dr. Go one mile until you see the entrance to the park on the left. Park at the end of the lot. Take the bridge over the river and explore!