Visitors to some parts of the Cook County Forest Preserves will now be able to rent bikes to ride on the park trails through a new bike sharing program launching this month.
The bikes, which will be available in five locations in the north suburbs and at Dan Ryan Woods on the Southwest Side, are available for use when the forest preserve is open.
A Family Fun Center at Dan Ryan Woods is already open and offers regular bikes, quad-cycles, baby seats and kids’ wagons, according to a forest preserve release.
The locations along the North Branch Trail are at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Tower Road, Harms Woods, Caldwell Woods and Bunker Hill. All will feature unmanned kiosks and are slated to open in the next 10 to 14 days.
The kiosks will have up to ten bikes that can be rented at $7 per hour or $28 per day with credit cards, the release said.
The bikes will be available April 1 to Oct. 31.
The program is run by Bike and Roll Chicago and is not affiliated with the city’s Divvy bike share.
Unlike Divvy bikes, the forest preserve bikes must be returned to the same station where they were rented.
The county will receive $1,500 per station per year from Bike and Roll, in addition to five percent of the company’s gross sales in the forest preserve, the release said.
“The North Branch bike trail is one of the most frequented trails we have, and Dan Ryan is such a popular spot in Chicago,” said forest preserve spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis.
The county has signed on for three years of the program so far, she said.
“Our hope is to see how it goes and expand it,” she added.
Bike and Roll has a three-year deal to operate the bike-sharing stations in Cook County Forest Preserve areas. | Forest Preserve Photo