Capital Improvement Plan

North Branch Trail during fall at Miami Woods

Trail Capital Improvement Plan

Trails are one of the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s greatest assets and an important “front door” to the preserves for many people. The Trail Capital Improvement Plan is intended to provide a framework for making sure that our trails are always in good condition, evaluating and prioritizing upgrades to our current system, identifying critical gaps in our trail system, and prioritizing new trail construction to inform the annually updated 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan. The Trail Capital Improvement Plan will use the Forest Preserves’ Trail Master Plan, which sets policy, to relate to these short-term capital needs. It will also serve as a companion to the Cook County Bike Plan.

Download Trail Capital Improvement Plan Presentation (PDF).

Attend a feedback session on July 13 or July 14, 2021.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is a five‐year projection of planned capital improvements to the Forest Preserves’ buildings, trails and infrastructure.

The $107 million 5-year plan for 2021 to 2025 includes roughly $28 million in projected spending in 2021 and $58 million in deferred maintenance over the next four years to repair or replace roofs, mechanical systems, stairs, dams and more. The most urgent of these needs include repairing the Swallow Cliff limestone stairs, repairing five picnic shelters and repaving access roads and trails at up to 30 locations. Limited capital funds will also support new exhibits at Sand Ridge Nature Center and new signs at a few locations.

Roughly $56 million in additional new amenities that could benefit County residents, but will require new grant funding or partner support, are also included in this report in a separate table. Capital needs continue to outpace available funding. Roughly $6.8 million in new Construction & Development Funding is proposed in 2021.

Requests for New or Improved Facilities, Amenities & Infrastructure

Learn about the process for requesting new or improved buildings, trails, recreation facilities or infrastructure and make specific requests.