Fox river bike trail is one of Aurora’s most revitalizing and rewarding cycling trails. The trail has plenty of artificial and natural obstructions that will put your skills to the test. It’s perfect for experienced bikers and novice cyclists who are eager to graduate to the next level.
This bike trail is ranked among the best, and it’s in the southernmost destination that takes pride in hosting hundreds of cyclists from the neighboring states and abroad. For the best experience, we recommend starting in McHenry County, that’s the northern end of the bike trail or any other location between.
Before we look at some of the things you can do while cycling along the Fox River Bike trail, it’s important to mention that if you start your expedition at McHenry County, the trail is popularly referred to by the local cyclist community as Prairie Trail.
Cycling doesn’t just entail toning the body muscles and revamping your health. It’s best to capture the memorable moments along the way and enjoy the natural terrains. Here are amazing things you can do along the Fox River bike trail.
1. Visit Downtown Aurora
Downtown Aurora is located on the east side and is an excellent cool stop to relax before proceeding with your journey. Walk into the famous Two Brothers Roundhouse to enjoy a cup of warm artisan coffee or a bottle of locally brewed beer. This spot is strategically located close to the River Edge Park. The bike trails snake their way through the park. Slow down to enjoy the concert tunes and artistic performances at the park’s music pavilion. If you got time, join the kayakers for a romantic boat ride across the Fox river with your spouse.
2. Stop By Fabyan Villa Museum
The locals commonly referred to as the Riverbank; this amazing estate used to be Colonel George Fabyan and his wife’s favorite chill spot away from their luxurious home back in Chicago. The museum was originally a farmhouse but was remodeled by Frank Llyod in 1907 to be a villa.
Shortly after, the Fabians purchased the villa alongside the surrounding 300+ acres. Today, it’s a museum that hosts thousands of local and foreign tourists. Enjoy the serene ambiance of the Japanese gardens as you walk around the villa museum. Be sure to ask questions about Fabyan’s s legacy in the 45-minutes public tour.
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3. Red Oak Nature Center
Red Oak Nature Center is a hidden gem that’s ranked among the best nature centers in Illinois. The center is located in Batavia and is perfect for relaxing before continuing your journey. Enjoy the undisturbed river wildlife, take pictures of the migratory birds and enjoy the ecstatic views of the expansive wooden shoreline. The center has a modern observation deck that you can visit to take pictures of birds as they fly from one tree to another. Learn about the natural birds’ world cycles in the exclusive Sense of the Seasons exhibit.
Another highlight that makes Red Oak Nature Center special to nature lovers is the wildlife room structured to be a turtle and fish habitat. The habitat holds 500 gallons of water, and the management team recently introduced new wildlife animals such as frogs, snakes, and salamanders to balance the ecosystem. Be sure to take pictures of the habitat before hopping on your reliable gravel bike again.
4. Kiss the Sky Records
Kiss the Sky is a famous record store that is locally owned and hosts plenty of music events around the year. The shop was opened in 1996 by two friends who had the same passion and aspirations in music.
To access this shop, you need to cycle for two and a half miles north and cross the Fox River western side to reach Batavia’s downtown. The best day to visit is on Saturday as there are often live artist performances that start at 10.00 am till noon.
While there, enjoy a freshly prepared gourmet coffee as you interact with other music enthusiasts. Take your time to browse through the vast library of vinyl housed in the record store. Head over to the Cloud 9 Thrift shop if you love reading books.
If you still have some time to spare, visit the Batavia Depot Museum or the Water Street Studios, which take pride in being one of the best art galleries in the area. Before getting back on the trail, recharge by ordering lunch and sweet ice cream in one of the nearby eateries.
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5. Shop at Geneva’s Historic Downtown
Geneva’s historic downtown is dotted with antique homes with Victorian-style architecture. The historic buildings have stood the test of time and house approximately 140 different specialty shops. Some houses have also been converted to modern eateries and food courts. The unique architecture gives this area a unique vibe that makes the dining experience even more memorable. There are endless local delicacy options served at the eateries, so take this opportunity to enjoy a local recipe.
Yes, the Fox River Bike trail is not the easiest trail out there, but it’s definitely one of the most refreshing and revitalizing trails you should try out this year. Be sure to wear protective clothing to protect yourself from any injuries.