Hiking, Walking & Running

a family hiking at Trailside Museum

Looking for a relaxing walk, strenuous hike or interesting run? The Forest Preserves of Cook County has the perfect trail for you.

On this page:


Trail Information

Hikers, walkers and runners can enjoy over 100 miles of paved trails and over 200 miles of unpaved trails in the Forest Preserves.


Hiking & Walking Events

a woman walking with her baby at LaBagh Woods
Wed, Oct 16 • 10 am

Mommy and Me Trail Walks

Vollmer Road Grove • Cook County, IL 60478
a trail and bridge at Oak Forest Heritage Preserve
Wed, Oct 16 • 5 pm

Haunted History Hike

Oak Forest Heritage Preserve-East • Oak Forest, IL 60452
a trail and bridge at Oak Forest Heritage Preserve
Thu, Oct 17 • 5 pm

Haunted History Hike

Oak Forest Heritage Preserve-East • Oak Forest, IL 60452
a marshmallow roasting over a campfire
Fri, Oct 18 • 5 pm

Stars, Stories and S’mores

Erickson Woods • Cook County, IL 60093
a marshmallow roasting over a campfire
Fri, Oct 18 • 5:30 pm

Stars, Stories and S’mores

Camp Shabbona Woods • South Holland, IL 60473
The visitors center at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
Fri, Oct 18 • 6 pm

Scary Stories in the Woods

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
#BirdThePreserves logo
Fri, Oct 18 • 6 pm

Owl Prowl

Jurgenson Woods • Cook County, IL 60476
Sat, Oct 19 • 10 am

Hike the Preserves: Fitness Hike

Dan Ryan Woods-North • Chicago, IL 60620
Sat, Oct 19 • 10 am

Hike the Preserves: Interpretive Hike

Plum Creek Meadow • Cook County, IL 60411
The visitors center at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
Sat, Oct 19 • 1:30 pm

Walk with a Librarian from the Palos Park Library

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
two girls painting a pumpkin
Special Event Sun, Oct 20 • 10 am

Fall Festival

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Oct 20 • 1 pm

Autumn Hues

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Sun, Oct 20 • 1 pm

Fall Color Walk

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
#BirdThePreserves logo
Tue, Oct 22 • 6 pm

Owl Prowl

Eggers Grove • Chicago, IL 60617
a woman walking with her baby at LaBagh Woods
Thu, Oct 24 • 10 am

Mommy and Me Trail Walks

Sauk Trail Woods-Central • South Chicago Heights, IL 60411
#BirdThePreserves logo
Fri, Oct 25 • 8:30 am

Bird Walk

Penny Road Pond • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Dutchman's breeches, a spring ephemeral, at Busse Woods.
Sat, Oct 26 • 9 am

Busse Forest Nature Preserve Tour

Busse Forest-North • Cook County, IL 60007
a trail through the woods in fall at Palos Park Woods
Sat, Oct 26 • 9:30 am

Fall Colors Hike

Glenview Woods • Glenview, IL 60025
pale-leaved sunflowers at Harms Flatwoods Nature Preserve
Sat, Oct 26 • 9:30 am

Harms Woods Nature Preserve Tour

Glenview Woods • Glenview, IL 60025
the slough at Cranberry Slough
Sat, Oct 26 • 12 pm

Cranberry Slough Nature Preserve Tour

Country Lane Woods • Cook County, IL 60480
All Events »

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.

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.

Equestrians

  • 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.