Hours of operation for various venues may vary from the time of the original post so please check websites or call ahead before venturing out.
Most of the hikes around Chicagoland are beginner-to-moderate level and are on well-maintained trails. However,when you are out hiking, walking, biking, etc. please use common sense and wear proper attire. Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks, don't go off trail and never attempt to touch or feed a wild animal.
Hike along the Marengo Morraine, a 24,000 year old glacial deposit while exploring oak and hickory woodlands.
Have you ever wanted to walk underneath a waterfall? Here's your chance! The Lasalle Canyon hike will take you down the bluffs, along the river, and loop you underneath a waterfall before sending you back the way you came. Stop and have a snack with a breathtaking view of the Illinois River before heading back to your car.
Looking for a long hike rewarding hike? Take a hike on the St. Louis Canyon Trail at Starved Rock! The trail begins at the Visitor's Center and leads you through the woods down into St. Louis Canyon where you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of colorful sandstone walls, a waterfall, and small beachy area for relaxing and breathing in some fresh air.
I've pretty much found the coolest place in Northern Illinois. Matthiessen State Park has only five miles of trails but endless opportunities for exploration! Explore the Upper and Lower Dells, waterfalls, and all the cracks and crevices in between!
Mt. Hoy used to be a landfill in the 1960s and 1970s. Since then it's been reclaimed and the surrounding area offers a lot of recreational opportunities. You can even hike Mt. Hoy, but if you have a super sniffer like me, you might want to stay clear!
Enjoy a walk on the Nature Trail which brings you through the woods, to the dunes and onto Grand Beach where you can relax to the waves of Lake Michigan lapping along the shore, explore the dunes, and catch an amazing sunset.
A 3-mile rustic trail that connects to all of the trails in the North Trail System of Mississippi Palisades State Park. A nice look-out over a wetland area near the Mississippi River.
The nicely shaded Sunset Trail provides prime wildlife viewing opportunities and a good workout while hiking through canyons and along the cliffs of the Palisades. Catch a gorgeous view of the sun setting over the Mississippi River from Lookout Point before you head back down.
Sagawau Canyon, Cook County's only Canyon, is a gorgeous dolomite limestone canyon. It's part of the Sagawau Nature Preserve, and in order to protect the unique geology and ecology found in the canyon, visitors are only allowed in the canyon with a guide. The naturalists are pretty specific about where you can walk and what you can touch. It was a cool experience and a great place for adults and older kids to learn about the history and geology of the area but I'd recommend keeping the toddlers at home for this one.
Enjoy a quick walk or a long, relaxing hike along one of Pilcher Park's many trails. Stop in the Nature Center for a look at some cool amphibians and have a leisurely lunch at the picnic area before heading off for some more adventure!
Check out our National Mammal at the bison field at Fermi Lab!
With 7 miles of trails, including a section of the Danada and Herick Lake Regional Trail - a National Recreational Trail- Herrick Lake Forest Preserve has something for everyone. Hike, bike, horseback ride, fish, boat,cross-country-ski, or snowshoe, your way around before you settle down for a picture-perfect picnic on the lake.
Weston and I check the trail behind the Creek Bend Nature Center and practice getting along with the child carrier.
We check out the Illinois Trail at Starved Rock. An easy hike for beginning to advanced hikers in one of Illinois's most beautiful places.
Tucked back behind the sports complex and community pool at James O'Breen Community Park, in St. Charles, is small slice of native prairie and oak savanna called the Hickory Knolls Natural Area. With a little over 4 miles of trails and the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, it's a great place for you and your little one(s) to see great examples of the diversity of ecosystems found throughout Kane County including woodlands, prairie and grasslands, and wetlands