Saw Wee Kee Park is open during daylight hours only.
Need to Know
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.
Eminently flat, occasionally bumpy, and set away from the rest of the Saw Wee Kee's trails, Orange Trail feels almost like an afterthought. Its entrance can be found on Blue Trail
, a stone's throw from the start of Red Trail
and Yellow Trail
Like the path from which it came, Orange Trail is a dirt singletrack, relatively smooth at the start but with some bumpy rock sections similar to the baby head portion at the beginning of Blue Trail
. Without any other obstacles or genuine elevation change, there's no particular reason to recommend taking it one direction or the other.
As it stands, this makes for a quiet half mile, and can be easily tacked on to a longer visit to the area if a little extra mileage is desired. A connector leading back to Blue Trail
splits off from Orange Trail's far east side, but as it is not depicted on the official park district map, its status is in question (and is not currently depicted here).
Flora & Fauna
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.
Shared By: Brendan Ross