Silver Lake

Silver Lake

This trail, one of the lesser known ones in the area, is located near Highland, Illinois- about 35 miles NE of downtown St. Louis. It was built by the City of Highland, which also maintains it. The trail itself isn't very long. Only 4.5 miles out-and-back, but it includes a lot of fun little features along the way. It's tight and twisty, even more so than the SIUE trails, and there are many wooden bridges, including one that's a good 40 ft. in length, so there are plenty of chances to test your bike-handling skills. It follows the contours of Silver Lake, and then has a surprisingly exciting loop with some short climbs and fast descents, which puts you within earshot of I-70 before rejoining the main trail.

This probably isn't a trail you'd want to have as a frequent destination, mainly due to the lack of mileage, but if you're looking for a little change of scenery, on a fun trail in a nice setting, do a couple of laps here, head over to the nearby SIUE trails (around 15 miles away, west on 143), and you can certainly have an entertaining day. Because of its frequent crossing of low drainage areas into the lake, and the all-dirt surface,  it should be avoided after rain. Otherwise, the trail is well maintained. One other thing to note is that while the trail is within Silver Lake Park, there is no swimming allowed in the lake.


Interstate 70 to Exit 24 for IL 143. Go east for approximately 3 miles and cross Silver Lake. At the top of the hill is a microwave tower. Turn left into Silver Lake Park. You can either park in one of the parking spots at the front of the park and lengthen your ride by about 1 mile on the pavement, or drive all the way back to where the trailhead begins at the end of the road near the climbing wall.

Trail Information

Trail Steward(s)


Beginner / Intermediate


4.5 miles




Trail Conditions

Latest Conditions

From Justin Case on Fri, 04/10/2020 - 10:01am - Silver Lake (Illinois)
Better. Still muddy in low areas but passable.
From monyroeroe on Fri, 03/27/2020 - 5:00pm - Silver Lake (Illinois)
Very muddy. Will be awhile.
From jhooton on Sat, 02/29/2020 - 7:38pm - Silver Lake (Illinois)
I walked the trail this morning while it was frozen and the trail is trashed from people hiking/walking when it was entirely too muddy. Until it dries out, or is frozen the trail will be red.
From jhooton on Sat, 01/04/2020 - 5:03pm - Silver Lake (Illinois)
The trail still has a lot of muddy spots.
From jhooton on Sat, 12/28/2019 - 10:01am - Silver Lake (Illinois)
The trail is not drying very well. There are a lot of soft muddy spots. With the rain coming today it probably won't be ridable until it's frozen.
From jhooton on Wed, 12/04/2019 - 7:50pm - Silver Lake (Illinois)
The trail is still really soft in many spots. Plus the trail is closed for IL shotgun deer season Dec 5-8.