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Bluff View Trail
On January 23, 2020, there was an Open House at City Hall to review and discuss a proposal from the Gateway Off-Road Cyclists (GORC) for improvements within Bluff View Park and Trail to install a flow trail, pump track, and other improvements for mountain biking users. This proposal would allow a dedicated downhill trail for mountain bikers, in a portion of the park, to reduce conflict with other trail users. Additionally, a skills area is proposed near the parking lot to allow bicyclists of all ages to improve their abilities. The proposal from GORC includes the installation of these features at no cost to the City, including ongoing maintenance. The proposal does not include any changes to existing trails, park hours, or other rules. More information can be found via the links below:
The Bluff View Trail begins at Bluff View Park (1900 Old State Road), but can be accessed from several locations. The main access, as stated, is at Bluff View Park, but the Bluff View Trail can also be accessed from the Rock Hollow Trail (two locations along Rock Hollow) and the Al Foster Memorial Trail (.35 miles from the Al Foster Memorial Trail).
A round trip journey from Bluff View Park, on the Bluff View Trail System, is approximately 12.7 miles. Once a familiarity is learned, the Bluff View Trail System offers many options of varying distances.
The Bluff View Trail System is a natural surface single track type trail for hikers, runners, mountain bike enthusiasts, and equestrians. At the present time, it is referred to as the Bluff View Trail System since the entire trail consists of “sections”. While it is one continuous trail, discussions are underway regarding the naming (or other means of identification) of each trail section to more easily address emergency response situations that may occur. For example, the section of trail from the Bluff View Park to the Al Foster Memorial Trail is commonly referred to as the Bluff View Trail. There is a section that takes users to the Rock Hollow Trail sometimes referred to as the Connector Trail. The Connector Trail takes users to the large portion of the Bluff View Trail System, which makes a loop around the Rock Hollow Trail. Mountain bikers have named sections of trail on their own.
The trail is challenging, which means it is not a walk on a paved asphalt trail or a smooth chat trail. But, the views encountered on the Bluff View Trail System are nothing less than awesome, especially the view ten (10) minutes from the parking lot at Bluff View Park. The trail changes dramatically with the seasons and wildlife abounds! While the different seasons offer different thrills, the spring season is particularly stunning with a variety of wild flowers that will keep photographers busy for hours! There are numerous landmarks on the Bluff View Trail System, which include Sperm Whale Rock, a couple of water falls (in season), the Lombard Street Switch Backs, and the Cedar Jungle.
It is highly advised to take water with you for any section of the Bluff View Trail, especially during the summer months. Bug spray is recommended. Trail runners, hikers, mountain bike riders and equestrians will likely be encountered! Proper trail etiquette is necessary, along with common courtesy for your fellow outdoor enthusiasts.
Parking for the Bluff View Trail is available at Bluff View Park (1900 Old State Road, the Al Foster Memorial Trailhead (225 Grand), or Ridge Meadows Elementary School (777 Ridge Road). Horse trailer parking is available at Bluff View Park only.
Parking, restrooms, trash receptacles, picnic tables, and pavilions are available at the Al Foster Memorial Trailhead. Parking, parking for horse trailers, picnic tables, trash receptacles, restrooms, and equestrian mounts are available at Bluff View Park. Parking and trash receptacles are available at Ridge Meadows Elementary School. Please note, potable water is not available at any of these areas.
Hours of operation are from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (daily).
Al Foster Memorial Trailhead
Al Foster Memorial Trailhead is located near the intersection of Grand Avenue and Washington Avenue in the Glencoe Community. This trailhead includes restrooms, trash receptacles, picnic tables, and pavilions. Click here for a location map. Please note, potable water is not available.
Glencoe City Park
Glencoe City Park is located 0.2 miles north of the Al Foster Memorial Trailhead. This park includes a playground facility, picnic tables, restrooms, trash receptacles, and parking. Please note, potable water is not available.
Bluff View Park
Bluff View Park is located at 1900 Old State Road. This park offers parking for vehicles and horse trailers, trash receptacles, picnic tables, restrooms, equestrian mounts, and a hitching post.
WF&P Miniature Railroad
WF&P Miniature Railroad is located in close proximity to the Al Foster Memorial Trailhead and Trail. This railroad system is a great way to experience and explore the area trail system.
In addition to the 12.7 miles of the Bluff View Trail System, users have access to the Al Foster Memorial Trail (5 miles in length), The Rock Hollow Trail (2.3 miles in length), and the Hamilton-Carr Trail (1.7 miles in length). These trails offer a connection to many miles of natural surface single track trails which can ultimately take users to Castlewood State Park.