Bicycling encourages health and wellness, fosters energy conservation, and reduces auto emissions. No matter how you choose to tour the Arboretum, please respect the enjoyment and safety of other visitors.
The Arboretum follows the Illinois Bicycle Rules of the Road published by the Secretary of State's office; copies are available on request at the Visitor Center.
Please follow these bicycling guidelines:
- Cyclists entering the Arboretum grounds must stop at the Gatehouse to pay admission or have their membership credentials checked.
Obey all rules of the road, comply with all signs and posted speed limits, and yield to pedestrians.
- Bicycle users must ride in the the direction of car traffic. Please ride in single-file and stay to the right; most Arboretum roads are one-way.
- Wear your bicycle helmet. It is an essential element of bicycle safety.
- Bike on paved roads only, marked with bicycle icons, to help us protect our plant collections and natural areas.
- Bicycles are not allowed on paved walking paths, wood-chipped trails, service roads, off-road "cross-country," or in Arbor Court adjacent to the Visitor Center.
- No peletons or racing permitted.
- Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Note that the Arboretum's hilly course, including several steep grades, may be too challenging for young or inexperienced riders.
- Stroller caddies are allowed.
- Store bikes only in provided racks.
- Dangerous weather or poor pavement conditions may result in road closures for bicycles.
- Cyclists unable to complete their intended route may walk bikes against the traffic, if necessary, to return to their starting point.
- Rollerblading and skateboarding are not permitted.
- In case of emergencies, call Arboretum security.
For your convenience and safety, use the bike racks the Arboretum provides. Do not attach, lock, or lean bikes on trees, other plants, or structures. Bike racks are available:
- Near the Gatehouses at the main entrance
- At the Visitor Center
- At the Thornhill Education Center
- At the Prairie and Big Rock Visitor Stations
No trail riding or jogging
Why are the hiking trails restricted to walkers only?
- Biking and jogging on the trails are disruptive to visitors' contemplative studies of trees, birds, and the natural environment.
- The hiking trails are too narrow to accommodate multiple purposes.
- Biking off-road leads to trail erosion and tree root damage.
Meet the bike patrol
A group of dedicated, trained Arboretum volunteers will periodically patrol the grounds to assist cyclists and monitor compliance with biking guidelines. How you'll recognize them, and how they can help:
- They wear safety vests and helmets
- They are trained in first aid
- They are equipped with cell phones and/or radios
- Interested in joining? Visit our Current Volunteer Opportunities page.