The overarching goal of the Trail Master Plan (2014) is to improve the user experience and identify opportunities to ensure a safe and easy-to-navigate trail system. This plan is intended to provide baseline information on the current trail system, recommend new policies for managing trails, create a process for assessing requests to improve unrecognized trails and prioritize future capital improvement projects to enhance the system. It also describes the need for further information gathering, as well as, additional staff and volunteers to adequately fund, maintain and police the system as it continues to expand.
The planning process was developed and managed by the Forest Preserves’ Planning and Development Department with assistance from other Preserves departments. An Advisory Committee was formed to support and inform the Trail Master Plan. A survey was also conducted online and on-site at two trail locations to capture suggestions from a sampling of trail users. The first draft was developed in a compressed timeframe from May to September 2013. Additional outreach and review of the draft was completed in the fall of 2013. Because it was not possible to assess all parts of the system during the initial planning period, additional assessment and information gathering continued into 2014.