I rode the North Branch Trail and just wanted to let you folks know my thoughts.
Easy to get to
I took Elston to Forest Glen Ave and the entrance is a couple blocks north on the left.
Most of it was through forest preserves so it was an easy and fun ride. All was paved. Good for families and newer riders. Not a ton of road crossing like some sections of the prairie path.
You can get all the way to the Botanic Gardens in Glencoe. It was around 35 miles round trip without the detour I took. The farthest north part is around the Skokie Lagoons (not in Skokie) and is a beautiful ride for this area.
Even with all this rain there was only major flooding in two areas. In Bunker Hill Woods in Niles- I just backtracked and went on the road and turned SW on Harts and picked it up. And in Wilmette between Lake and Happ. I ended up taking Lake/Illinois/Happ and got through.
I haven’t seen good write ups of these so I thought this might help. I’m starting to put them on my website if anyone wants a link. If you know of good guides, let me know.
Let me know if you have any questions or if there is a route you want me to explore next.