two people riding horses at Spring Lake

Explore the woodlands and grasslands of the Forest Preserves on horseback—enjoy over 200 miles of unpaved trails, ample horse trailer parking and a full service equestrian center.

On this page:

Trail Information

Horse riders can enjoy miles of trails throughout the Forest Preserves. Horse trailer parking is available at select locations.

Licenses & Tags

All rider’s utilizing trails, driveways and paths within Forest Preserves of Cook County must possess a Rider’s License and all horses must possess the appropriate Forest Preserves Horse Tag.

The Horse Tag must be affixed to the left-hand side of the bridle or the saddle and be clearly visible. Failure to follow these rules could result in revocation of Rider’s License.

Annual Package

An Annual Package includes one Rider’s License and one Horse Tag. Additional Horse Tags may be purchased after purchasing the Annual Package.

The Annual Package may be purchased online, by mail or in person at Forest Preserves General Headquarters for $35 for Cook County residents and $50 for non-residents.

The Horse Tag and Rider’s License are mailed to the address on the application. Licenses and Tags expire on June 30 of each year.

Annual Rider’s License

This package is for customers that don’t need a Horse Tag, but still plan to ride a horse on Forest Preserves trails throughout the year.

The Annual Package may be purchased online, by mail or in person at Forest Preserves General Headquarters for $5 for both residents and non-residents.

The Rider’s License is mailed to the address on the application. Licenses and Tags expire on June 30 of each year.

Day Pass

Riders with a Day Pass are not required to purchase an annual Horse Tag or Rider’s License if they are riding for one day only. The Day Pass is valid on date of purchase and expires at the end of the following day. Passes must be carried at all times while riding on Forest Preserves trails.

The Day Pass may be purchased online or in person at Forest Preserves General Headquarters for $5 for both residents and non-residents.

Stable Rider License Books

For the convenience of our customers, the Forest Preserves sells books of rider’s licenses to stable owners. Stables, in turn, can sell these licenses to individual equestrians utilizing Forest Preserves trails. However, tags for horses personally owned by customers must be purchased directly through the Forest Preserves.

Horse Trailer Parking

Big Bend Lake
Bender Rd, south of Golf Rd
Des Plaines, IL 60016 (view web map of Big Bend Lake)

Bode East
(part of Arthur L. Janura Preserve)
E Bode Rd, west of S Barrington Rd
Hoffman Estates, IL 60107 (view web map of Bode East)

Calvin R. Sutker Grove
(part of Harms Woods)
Woods Dr, north of Golf Rd

Camp Kiwanis Equestrian Staging Area
Willow Springs Rd, south of 95th St
(near Willow Springs)

Country Lane Woods
95th St, east of Flavin Rd/Willow Springs Rd
Cook County, IL 60480 (view web map of Country Lane Woods)
(near Willow Springs)

Dam No. 1 Woods-East
Dundee Rd, east of Milwaukee Ave

Dan McMahon Woods
107th St, west of 96th Ave
Cook County, IL 60480 (view web map of Dan McMahon Woods)
(near Willow Springs)

Deer Grove
N Quentin Rd, north of W Dundee Rd
Cook County, IL 60074 (view web map of Deer Grove)
(near Palatine)

Horse trailer parking at Picnic Grove #1 only.

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)

Glen Grove Equestrian Center
9453 Harms Rd

Hidden Pond Woods-East
S Kean Ave, north of W 95th St
(near Willow Springs)

Hidden Pond Woods-West
96th Ave, north of W 95th St
(near Willow Springs)

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

Linne Woods
W Dempster St, east of Lehigh Ave
Morton Grove, IL 60053 (view web map of Linne Woods)

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

Poplar Creek Equestrian Parking
(part of Arthur L. Janura Preserve)
Schaumburg Rd, east of W Irving Park Rd
(near Elgin)

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

Spring Lake Equestrian Parking
Bateman Rd, north of Algonquin Rd

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

indoor horse riding facility at Glen Grove Equestrian Center

Glen Grove Equestrian Center

This vendor-operated equestrian center offers boarding facilities, indoor and outdoor riding areas, retail concessions, riding lessons and pony rides. The facility is open year-round. Visit their website for more information.

Glen Grove Equestrian Center
9453 Harms Rd

Trail Rules & Etiquette

  • Trail users are asked to be polite and courteous to fellow patrons.
  • Off-trail riding is prohibited.
  • Trail users must ride or walk on the right side of the trail.
  • Trail users must give an audible warning before passing others. Announce yourself and slow down to pass.
  • Patrons must obey all signs.
  • Speeding is not allowed.
  • Dogs must be leashed and in control on right side of trail.
  • Helmets are recommended for all riders, and required for riders 14 and under.
  • Bicyclists and horses must ride single-file.
  • Stop only on shoulder of the trail.
  • Ride at a responsible, controlled speed. No racing is allowed.
  • Trail use involves risk, please review our Trail Risk Statement.


  • Walk horses between stable and trail.
  • Slow to a walk or slow trot when meeting other riders, hikers or bicyclists.
  • Do not race horses—always keep horses under control.
  • Stallions are not permitted on trails.
  • Be humane and kind to your horse.
  • The only permitted gaits are walk, trot or slow canter. No galloping, please.
  • Horses may not be hitched to trees.

Paved Trails

  • Trail users must stay in their own lane.
  • Bicycles must be walked down overpasses.
  • Equestrian use of paved trails is prohibited.

Unpaved Trails

  • Bicyclists and equestrians must stay on designated trails.
  • Bicyclists must yield to hikers and equestrians.
  • Hikers must yield to equestrians.
  • Trail users must ask permission to pass equestrians.
  • Trail usage is prohibited in muddy conditions.
  • Horses must be licensed.

Nature Center Trails

  • Nature Center trails are intended for walking. Bikes, pets, horses and cross-country skiing are not allowed.
  • Nature Center trails are open only during posted Nature Center hours.