3 Days | 30 Miles | in Outdoors & Regional, From Local Experts
On the western outskirts of Chicago, between the cities of Elgin and Aurora, is a scenic stretch of Fox River that might be one of the best-kept secrets in Illinois. Days spent biking Fox River Trails just got easier thanks to the Fox Valley Bike Share, a new transportation program connecting these historic river cities and their neighboring communities. Find out how you can get the most out of your visit, no matter how you get around.
Make sure to check with attractions ahead of time for up-to-date operating hours, travel policies and health and safety information.
Begin your journey in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois. Check in to the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Aurora-Naperville, just steps away from Two Brothers Roundhouse and the Metra BNSF line out of Chicago. Pick up a sleek set of wheels from the Fox Valley Bike Share and cruise down to Montgomery, where you can sample outstanding pastries and confections at Atrevete with scenic views of the Fox River.
Bike back up to Aurora and visit boutique shops like Wyckwood House, enjoy gourmet flavors at Charlie’s Creamery inspired by Aurora’s rich multicultural heritage, and get a taste of the local music scene at The Venue, a new concert hall with outdoor seating in the heart of downtown Aurora.
Travel north on the eastern segment of the Fox River Trail, and soak in picturesque views at Red Oak Nature Center. Just a few miles north is the charming riverside town of Batavia, home to Water Street Studios, an art gallery featuring both local and international talent. Nearby, Hearth & Hammer General offers an inside look at how its artisan candles are made, along with locally sourced souvenirs, crafts, and apparel. Stop in town for a bite to eat and fuel up for your journey north to Elgin.
Once you enter South Elgin you’ll find SEBA Park. Outfitted with picnic tables, grills, and a large playground, this is a great place to stop and stretch your legs while enjoying the scenic views of the Fox River. Not far from SEBA Park sits the Fox River Trolley Museum. Here you’ll find trolleys and train cars dating back to the 1890s! This historical stop is perfect for train and history buffs alike. Take in this unique sight before continuing to Elgin and checking in to the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Northwest Elgin.
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When riding through the Elgin area, there are a number of attractions to visit along the way. Right off the trail sits the Grand Victoria Casino, where you can take in entertainment and enjoy some food. You can also stop by Escapade 360 and try your hand at a uniquely themed escape room, located just steps from the bike trail. Gail Borden Public Library is one of the largest libraries in the state! Stop by for a great photo op with their expansive windows featuring sprawling views over the Fox River.
After stopping in Elgin, continue on the trail and soon you’ll see Van’s Frozen Custard and Burgers. An incredible mom-and-pop restaurant with classic American fare like burgers, sandwiches, and custard that was voted one of the best places for a frozen treat in the Elgin area! Pick up souvenirs or an after-dinner snack at Around the Corner Candy. This cute boutique features all kinds of candies in a classic vintage storefront.
Finish the day off right with a cold one at Black and Gray Brewing Co., featuring delicious craft brews in a range of signature styles, from local favorites to small batch rarities.