Local mountain bikers have come up with their own trail names, separate from the official ones on the park district's trail map. This can lead to come confusion when comparing routes online. To make things more difficult, trails sometimes diverge from the official map, particularly around the southern convergence of the Red, Yellow, and Blue Trail
. GPX tracks shown on Adventure Project's sites are accurate, and the wrong course won't take visitors far anyway. It's a small park.
Sundown Lane, the road used to access the park, is lined with a number of private residences. Please keep your speed and noise levels down when visiting.
Canoes and kayaks can take advantage of the small boat launch at the northern parking area.
The marsh and river are home to hoards of mosquitos in the warmer months. Come prepared.
Yellow Trail is most representative of Saw Wee Kee Park's features, touching on just about everything the natural area has to offer.
The well-kept dirt singletrack picks up near the starting point of Blue Trail
on the park's northern side, branching to the right alongside Red Trail
at a signed intersection. Keep left at the fork to stay on course. Yellow Trail gently rolls through much of its journey, and is marginally more technical than the tamer Blue Trail
, but it's all relative -- terrain and elevation challenges aren't really found here. Instead, enjoy the fast, easy route as it passes through shady forests and wetlands.
After a brief wooded section, the path comes to a T junction in an unexpected marsh. With the sun shining overhead and forest all around, it feels like a hidden feature. Turn right as the path briefly joins Green Trail
, and stay right to reenter the trees as Green Trail
continues around the marsh. Pass connectors to Green Trail
(again) and Red Trail
as the route takes visitors through some brief steep portions.
The path then stays mostly straight and flat for a ways until rejoining Green Trail
once more at a four way intersection. Head straight, and follow Yellow Trail in a slow clockwise circle around the mountain bike terrain park to the west as the route closes out its final quarter mile.
Acquired from the State of Illinois in 1963, this former strip mine has been converted into a natural area. Adjacent to the Fox River, the park features shady woodlands and marshy wetlands. Animals typical to the area can be seen -- badgers, cottontail rabbits, deer -- and bald eagles have been spotted. On the less desirable side, the park asks visitors to check their shoes and gear for invasive plant seeds before leaving. Buckthorn, multiflora rose, garlic mustard, and reed canary are all called out by the park district as problematic species.