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 began a collaborative process in 2017 to identify improvements to Dan Ryan Woods and the Major Taylor Trail corridor. Through stakeholder interviews and community meetings, the Forest Preserves has developed a master plan outlining community-supported improvement projects. We’ll keep this page updated with the latest project information. Please contact planning@cookcountyil.gov with any questions.

On this page:

Latest Updates

Phase 1 engineering is complete. The Forest Preserves has started Phase 2 engineering (the preparation of construction documents) and is anticipating construction to start in 2022 for the following improvements:

  • 87th St Extension to Longwood Dr and Stone Aqueduct Trail: A new trail connection is proposed on the south side of 87th St at the Damen Ave/Beverly Blvd intersection extending west to vacated Longwood Dr. This would provide a new bike/pedestrian connection to Longwood Dr and a pedestrian connection to the stone aqueduct and the underpass at 87th St.
  • 91st St Improvements: The Major Taylor Trail currently stops at Hermitage Avenue near the Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery. Proposed improvements include extending the trail around the corner to 91st St within the Forest Preserves and new painted road markings to better direct trail users to the continuation of the trail on the east side of the Metra railroad tracks.
  • Connection to Beverly Ave / 94th St: A new short trail connection would be built between the Major Taylor Trail and the cul-de-sac at Beverly Ave near 94th St to provide improved access from this gathering spot for group bike ride events.
  • New Mile Marker and Information Signs: New signs with a new Major Taylor Trail logo is planned to be installed by the Forest Preserves and other agencies at every half mile along the trail and at key intersections.

In addition to the above trail improvements, the Forest Preserves is leading an initiative to improve wayfinding on this multi-jurisdictional trail system by creating consistent map and trail signage to be used on trail segments managed by the Forest Preserves, City of Chicago and Chicago Park District. It is anticipated this signage will be installed by end of August 2021.

December 2020 Project Materials & Maps:

Improvements Timeline


A former maintenance building near 87th St and Western Ave was transformed into a public visitor center where residents can pick up maps, learn about programs or reserve a picnic shelter. 


Landscape improvements and a new concrete path connection from the historic stone aqueduct to the 87th St underpass opened.

The Forest Preserves held a project kick-off meeting on April 27, 2017, with a follow-up public meeting on August 27, 2017 to gather feedback on community-supported improvement projects and develop a site master plan to guide future improvements.


New fitness stairs and nature play area near the visitor center opened at the end of 2018.

The Forest Preserves released the Dan Ryan Woods / Major Taylor Trail Corridor Plan in January 2018 and received an Invest in Cook grant to fund a Phase 1 engineering study in collaboration with Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways.


The Forest Preserves will complete the Phase 1 engineering study after receiving public comment on proposed trail improvements.


Anticipated Phase 2 engineering, including the preparation of construction documents and agreements.


Anticipated construction starting in spring 2022 and ending in summer 2022.

Project Materials