Thorn Creek Trail System

a stretch of paved trail on the Thorn Creek Trail System

The Thorn Creek Trail System’s nearly 30 miles of paved and unpaved trails connect multiple forest preserves, winding past lakes, wetlands and woodlands.

On this page:


Overview & Maps

Thorn Creek Trail System

Location: Calumet City, Chicago Heights, Glenwood, Lansing, Lynwood, Park Forest & South Holland

Surface

Paved & Unpaved

Estimated Total Length

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


Schubert’s Woods
(part of Sauk Trail Woods)
Sauk Trail, west of Ashland Ave
Cook County, IL 60475 (view web map of Schubert’s Woods)
(near Steger)

Sauk Trail Woods-South
Forest Preserve Dr, north of W Sauk Trail
South Chicago Heights, IL 60411 (view web map of Sauk Trail Woods-South)

Sauk Trail Woods-Central
Forest Preserve Dr, south of W 26th St
South Chicago Heights, IL 60411 (view web map of Sauk Trail Woods-Central)

Sauk Trail Woods-East
Forest Preserve Dr, south of W 26th St
South Chicago Heights, IL 60411 (view web map of Sauk Trail Woods-East)

Sauk Trail Woods-North
W 26th St, west of Euclid Ave
South Chicago Heights, IL 60411 (view web map of Sauk Trail Woods-North)

Woodrow Wilson Woods
Lincoln Hwy, west of Chicago Rd
Chicago Heights, IL 60411 (view web map of Woodrow Wilson Woods)

Joe Orr Woods
E Joe Orr Rd, east of S Halsted St
Chicago Heights, IL 60411 (view web map of Joe Orr Woods)

Glenwood Woods-North
Glenwood Chicago Heights Rd, west of S William St

Glenwood Woods-South
Glenwood Chicago Heights Rd, west of S William St

Sweet Woods
Cottage Grove Ave, north of Glenwood Lansing Rd
Cook County, IL 60476 (view web map of Sweet Woods)
(near Thornton)

Jurgensen Woods
183rd St, east of Cottage Grove Ave
Cook County, IL 60476 (view web map of Jurgensen Woods)
(near Thornton)

North Creek Meadow
Glenwood Lansing Rd, west of Torrence Ave
Cook County, IL 60411 (view web map of North Creek Meadow)
(near Chicago Heights)

Lansing Woods
186th St, east of Torrence Ave
Cook County, IL 60438 (view web map of Lansing Woods)
(near Lansing)

Recommended Hikes

Introductory

Start and end at the Sauk Trail Woods-Central parking lot

  • Length: 3.5 miles
  • Surface: Paved
  • Terrain: Mostly Flat

If you’re new to the Thorn Creek Trail System, try the 3.5-mile paved Black Paved Loop that winds through Sauk Trail Woods in South Chicago Heights. Here, visitors enjoy hiking, cycling, in-line skating and cross-country skiing in winter.

Begin and finish your journey at the Sauk Trail Woods-Central parking lot off Forest Preserve Drive, where trail information is available. This preserve is a popular stopover for migratory birds in the late fall and early spring. Visitors are treated to colorful displays of wildflowers and a variety of woodland and aquatic plants in spring and summer.


Sauk Trail Woods-Central
Forest Preserve Dr, south of W 26th St
South Chicago Heights, IL 60411 (view web map of Sauk Trail Woods-Central)

Intermediate

Start and end at Joe Orr Woods Parking Lot

  • Length: 7.6 miles
  • Surface: Paved
  • Terrain: Mostly Flat

For those with more time, try a 7.6 mile hike from Joe Orr Woods to Sweet Woods and back on the Red Paved Trail. Portions of the trail parallel and cross Thorn Creek, excellent for migratory bird watching.

Begin at the Joe Orr Woods parking lot and head north on the Red Paved Trail. Turn around once you reach the parking lot at Sweet Woods.


Joe Orr Woods
E Joe Orr Rd, east of S Halsted St
Chicago Heights, IL 60411 (view web map of Joe Orr Woods)

Advanced

Start and end at Joe Orr Woods Parking Lot

  • Length: 18 miles
  • Surface: Paved
  • Terrain: Mostly Flat

For a real workout, hike or bike the paved Red Paved Trail from
Joe Orr Woods north to Lansing Woods and back, 18 miles round-trip.

Begin at the Joe Orr Woods parking lot and head north on the Red Paved Trail. The trail turns south and then east at Sweet Woods, then north near Lansing Woods. Much of this route parallels the scenic Thorn Creek.


Joe Orr Woods
E Joe Orr Rd, east of S Halsted St
Chicago Heights, IL 60411 (view web map of Joe Orr Woods)