Major Taylor Trail

A person running on the Major Taylor Trail

The Major Taylor Trail runs from Dan Ryan Woods south to Whistler Woods and includes paved segments, off-street paved segments managed by the Chicago Park District, and on-street segments.

On this page:


Overview & Maps

Major Taylor Trail

Surface

Paved

Estimated Total Length

8.1 miles

Hours

Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts

*Please be a courteous trail user: Follow posted signs and our trail rules and etiquette.

Dan Ryan Woods Major Taylor Trail Corridor Improvements

The Forest Preserves is completing a corridor master plan for the Major Taylor Trail along Dan Ryan Woods. View plans, progress and sign up for updates.


Trail Access

Access the Major Taylor Trail at any of these locations (ordered from North to South). Check out the trail maps above to find on-street or bikeway access points.


Dan Ryan Woods-North
W 83rd St, east of S Western Ave

Dan Ryan Woods-Central
S Western Ave, south of W 83rd St

*Access via Dan Ryan Woods Black Paved Loop


Dan Ryan Woods-91st Street
W 91st St & S Hermitage Ave

Whistler Woods
Forest View Ave, east of S Harlem Ave
Riverdale, IL 60827 (view web map of Whistler Woods)

black and white photo of Major Taylor
Marshall “Major” Taylor.

About Marshall “Major” Taylor

The Major Taylor Trail is named for Marshall “Major” Taylor, who was an African-American bicycle racer and civil rights advocate. Taylor, born in Indianapolis in 1878, began building his skills as a cyclist at a young age while delivering newspapers and later performing bicycle tricks at a local bike shop. While Taylor performed the bicycle tricks, he wore a soldier’s uniform, which resulted in his nickname “Major.”

In addition to being a skilled performer, Major Taylor proved to be a dominant racer, as well. According to Andrew Ritchie’s “Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer,” Taylor was one of the first African-American athletes to become a world champion in any sport. He was known for many years as the fastest bicycle rider in the world.

Sources:

  • “Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer” – Andrew Richie (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996)
  • Who is Major Taylor?” – Major Taylor Cycling Club of Chicago