It is springtime in Chicago and a great time to do some hiking in the area. One of my favorite places to visit in the Spring to see waterfalls is Starved Rock.
If you visit here after periods of heavy rain (like we are having now) you will see some pretty awesome waterfalls. I have spent 8 hours or more in a day hiking through Starved Rock – there are 13 miles of hiking trails. The views here are pretty wonderful! You can hike the trails on your own or the park offers some guided tours. You can also stay on site if you want to spend a few days here and hike different portions of the trail.
I have also spent some time hiking the WaterFall Glen Park.
This is a loop trail located in Darien, IL and offers 11 miles of hiking trails (we did a little over the 11 miles because somehow we got a little lost and couldn’t find our car!). On these trails you will share with cyclists, horseback riders and runners. It offers some beautiful views and a small waterfall!
Here’s the link to the Cook County Forest Preserve trails:
The Busse Forest Trail is a paved trail that will lead you past some deer and areas to picnic and canoe. It is a total of 12.6 miles – when we hiked it we did the 7 mile loop in the middle. This is a very easy trail for anyone to be able to do.
The North Branch Trail is a great trail (especially for biking). It is 33.5 miles long and takes you to the Chicago Botanic Gardens. I have biked this trail many times but only one time making it all the way to the Gardens – what an awesome bike ride. As you make your way through this trail on your way to the Gardens you will weave your way through walkers and runners and also see family picnics in the forest preserves. This is a very busy trail but well worth the trip.
The Palos Trail is a total length of 38.9 miles. We only hiked a small loop in there of just over 4 miles. This trail is a little more challenging as it is unpaved throughout the whole system. This is a good hiking trail and because it is broken into a few smaller loops it is pretty easy to navigate.
The Sag Valley Trail is a total length of 20.3 Miles. The centerpiece of this trail is the 8.1 mile loop that brings you past the Swallow Cliff Stairs (http://fpdcc.com/swallow-cliff/) and the Caps Sauer Holding Nature Preserve (http://fpdcc.com/cap-sauers-holding/). This is the hike we did and we loved it – especially the Swallow Cliff Stairs – 168 limestone steps. Brings you up top to a beautiful view.
That is a list of trails that i have personally hiked and enjoyed. There are still so many more in the area to try out. I know one for sure i would like to try is the Lake Geneva Shore Path. This is 26 miles around Lake Geneva and brings you right past some of the beautiful homes that line the lake shore. https://www.visitlakegeneva.com/things-to-do/outdoors/shore-path/
The Indiana Dunes Hiking Trails is also a trail i would like to try out. Looks to have some beautiful views and a great workout! https://www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit/hiking.htm
Lets not forget the 606 Trail in the heart of the city of Chicago. https://www.the606.org/
These are elevated train tracks that were converted into a park and trail system to connect the Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods. This is a paved path for bikers, walkers and runners that provides easy access to the city’s restaurants and bars. Any day of the week you will find an abundance of people in the city enjoying this path.
The next 6 months here in Illinois are some great times to enjoy hiking and biking on all the trails in the area. It’s also a great time to head down to the lakeshore in Chicago and enjoy the trails either by bike or by foot. Or to just sit by the water and take in the beautiful sites and do a bit of people watching.
There are so many things to do in the Chicagoland area over the summer months. There are neighborhood festivals every weekend and outdoor concerts and 5ks and marathons everywhere you turn. Over the next few months we will spend some time talking about the different activities and giving you some fun ideas for things to do. And as always if you have any ideas gives us a shout out and let us know!