Sag Valley Trail System

A bend in the Sag Valley Trail at McClaughrey Springs Woods in spring

The Sag Valley Trail Systems’ miles of looping and connecting unpaved trails take visitors to some of the most remote areas of Cook County.

On this page:


Overview & Maps

Sag Valley Trail System

Surface

Unpaved

Estimated Total Length

20.4 miles

Hours

Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts

*Please be a courteous trail user: Follow posted signs and our trail rules and etiquette.

Trail Access

Access the Sag Valley Trail System at any of these forest preserve locations (ordered from East to West). Check out the trail maps listed above to find on-street or bikeway access points.


Sag Valley Equestrian Parking
(part of McGinty Slough)
W 131st St, east of Bell Rd
(near Lemont)

Teason’s Woods
S Willow Springs Rd, south of Calumet Sag Rd/Rte 83
Cook County, IL 60464 (view web map of Teason’s Woods)
(near Palos Park)

Horsetail Lake
104th Ave, north of McCarthy Rd
Cook County, IL 60464 (view web map of Horsetail Lake)
(near Palos Park)

Swallow Cliff Woods-North
Calumet Sag Rd/Rte 83, west of La Grange Rd/96th Ave
(near Palos Park)

Swallow Cliff Woods-South
S La Grange Rd, south of 119th St
(near Palos Park)

Forty Acre Woods
119th St, east of S La Grange Rd
Cook County, IL 60464 (view web map of Forty Acre Woods)
(near Palos Park)

McClaughrey Springs Woods
Kean Ave, north of 119th St
(near Palos Park)

Palos Park Woods-North
Kean Ave, south of Calumet Sag Rd/Rte 83
(near Palos Park)

Palos Park Woods-South
119th St, west of S 86th Ave
(near Palos Park)

Paddock Woods
S 86th St, south of Calumet Sag Rd/Rte 83
Cook County, IL 60464 (view web map of Paddock Woods)
(near Palos Park)

two people running on a foggy day at Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve
Trail runners at Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve.

Recommended Hikes

Introductory

Start and end at Sag Valley Equestrian Parking area

  • Length: 3.4 miles
  • Surface: Unpaved
  • Terrain: Rolling

For your first foray into Sag Valley, consider hiking or biking a combination of the Red Unpaved Trail and Brown Unpaved Loop. Access the Red Unpaved Trail from the southeast corner of the lot at Sag Valley Equestrian Parking area. Take the Red Unpaved Trail north for about 0.5 miles, where it connects to the Brown Trail—mile loop. These mostly mowed trails are also available for equestrian use.

The tranquil, wooded Brown Unpaved Loop is great for viewing birds and other wildlife, including beavers, rabbits, coyotes, turtles and frogs—especially near McGinty Slough.


Sag Valley Equestrian Parking
(part of McGinty Slough)
W 131st St, east of Bell Rd
(near Lemont)

Intermediate

Start and end at Swallow Cliff Woods-South

  • Length: 8.1 miles
  • Surface: Unpaved
  • Terrain: Hilly

For a picturesque tour through Sag Valley that will also provide vigorous exercise, start at the Swallow Cliff Woods-South parking lot. From there you can access the 8.1-mile Yellow Unpaved Loop, a gravel and stone trail that is available for hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing and equestrian use.

Heading west, this trail will take you through the 1,520-acre Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve—the center of this preserve is the most remote place in all of Cook County. It includes stretches of ridges and valleys that wind through peaceful oak woodlands.

Continue along the trail through Teason’s Woods, Swallow Cliff Woods-North (home to the famous Swallow Cliff Stairs), Palos Park Woods, Paddock Woods. You will climb a challenging hill between McClaughrey Springs Woods and Forty Acre Woods, before arriving back at Swallow Cliff Woods-South.


Swallow Cliff Woods-South
S La Grange Rd, south of 119th St
(near Palos Park)