Nearly all the Chicago Aurora and Elgin right of way is part is the Illinois Prairie Path, which is a non-profit organization which developed the right of way into trails.

By exploring these trails, one can get a sense of the character of this old interurban line, and occasionally see an old station or other artifact from a bygone era.

Detailed street maps are recommended to aid in locating these trails. These trails can be explored either on foot or by bicycle. With a bicycle, many of the trail segments are suitable for one day round trips. Bicycles are permitted on Metra trains and CTA rapid transit trains during off peak hours, except during certain festival periods. And all Pace and CTA buses are now equipped with bicycle racks.

For walkers, public transportation can be used to reach most of these trail segments. Most trail segments can be walked by riding a Metra train or a bus to one point on a trail, walking one way, and boarding a train or a bus at another location. One can thus avoid backtracking on a walk.

Transit Access

Information on public transit access to various segments of the Illinois Prairie Path.


Prior to 1924, the Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railroad also owned an interurban line along the Fox River between Aurora and Elgin. The line was sold in 1924 to the Aurora Elgin and Fox River Electric Co. A trail now exists along the Fox River over the entire distance between Aurora and Elgin, but only the trail segment between St. Charles and South Elgin actually follows the AE&FRE right of way.

St. Charles to South Elgin

Photos along the right of way.