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.

Directions

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)

Rating

Beginner / Intermediate

Length

4.5 miles

Type

Out-N-Back

Weather

Trail Conditions

Latest Conditions

From Noah Cooperstein on Sat, 11/21/2020 - 8:00am - Silver Lake (Illinois)
Trail was dry as of 11/20/20. New construction at start of trail is nearly complete, expect for small bridge not yet built. Several trees down over length of ride. One section at the very top of the loop is soggy but not impassible.
From jhooton on Tue, 09/29/2020 - 12:17pm - Silver Lake (Illinois)
Silver Lake trail is back open, but the trailhead area is still under construction. The city has said as long as the heavy equipment isn't operating, then the trail can be used. Work is being done M-F during the day.
From jhooton on Mon, 09/14/2020 - 9:15am - Silver Lake (Illinois)
Update: as of 9/14, the trail is still closed and it appears they have quite a bit of work to do yet before it will be reopened. I'll post again when it's open.
From jhooton on Mon, 08/10/2020 - 12:26pm - Silver Lake (Illinois)
The trail is closed and will be for about a month. They are constructing a pond and wetland area near the trail head and and due to construction, the trail is not accessible. I'll post up when it's reopened.
From blusfn3 on Sun, 07/12/2020 - 12:00pm - Silver Lake (Illinois)
All good except for a big mud bog on the lake side of the loop. There was no real option other than going right through it.
From Justin Case on Fri, 04/10/2020 - 10:01am - Silver Lake (Illinois)
Better. Still muddy in low areas but passable.