Dan Ryan Woods Major Taylor Trail Corridor Improvements

a trail marker with a picnic grove and the Major Taylor Trail in the background

The Forest Preserves is completing a corridor master plan for the Major Taylor Trail along Dan Ryan Woods. The project kick-off meeting was April 26, 2017 and a follow-up session took place August 27, 2017 at the Dan Ryan Woods 100th Anniversary Celebration. The master plan was completed in January 2018 and the Forest Preserves successfully applied for an Invest in Cook grant to fund a Phase 1 Engineering Study for the section of the Major Taylor Trail from Dan Ryan Woods through the 95th Street crossing. Started in fall 2018 in collaboration with Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways, the study will take 18-24 months and will identify specific improvements for the trail, including crossing improvements, amenities to consider and a project budget.

We’ll keep this page updated with the latest project information. Please contact planning@cookcountyil.gov with any questions.

Dan Ryan Woods Major Taylor Trail Corridor Final Draft Report

The process by which the corridor plan was developed was collaborative, including stakeholder interviews, community meetings, a project website and other outreach methods. A public outreach summary is described in the appendix. Key recommendations from outreach activities are highlighted in the “Outreach Snapshots” throughout the document. These items summarize the feedback provided during the outreach process.

Please note: this PDF is 16.6MB.

April 26 Community Meeting Summary

This kick-off meeting for the corridor study of the Major Taylor Trail along Dan Ryan Woods featured discussions on opportunities to enhance trail connections, increase safety and identify trail amenities. The project boundaries are Dawes Park to the north and 91st Street to the south.

Dan Ryan-Major Taylor Corridor meeting materials:

 Media coverage:

2017 Improvements

New outdoor recreation improvements are coming soon to Dan Ryan Woods, one of the most heavily used sites in the entire forest preserve system. A nature-inspired play area and interpretive signs will begin construction in late summer 2017. New stone fitness stairs inspired by the ones at Swallow Cliff will begin construction in fall 2017 on the sledding hill. Enhancements to the existing historic stone aqueduct pathway south of 87th Street are expected to be completed by fall 2017. The cost of these improvements is estimated at roughly $1 million.

The improvements will complement the recent investment in a renovated Visitors Center at the northeast corner of 87th St. & Western Ave. where the public can obtain picnic permits and get information on programs and activities at the preserve.