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

#BirdThePreserves logo
Wed, Sep 18 • 8 am

Bird Walk

Beverly Lake • Cook County, IL 60010
#BirdThePreserves logo
Thu, Sep 19 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

Perkins Woods • Evanston, IL 60201
a woman walking with her baby at LaBagh Woods
Thu, Sep 19 • 10 am

Mommy and Me Trail Walks

Sauk Trail Woods-Central • South Chicago Heights, IL 60411
River Trail Nature Center Building in Northbrook
Fri, Sep 20 • 7 pm

Night Hike

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
A black and white warbler.
Sat, Sep 21 • 10 am

Fall Warblers

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
Sat, Sep 21 • 10 am

Hike the Preserves: Fitness Hike

Jurgenson Woods • Cook County, IL 60476
Sat, Sep 21 • 10 am

Hike the Preserves: Interpretive Hike

Orland Grassland • Cook County, IL 60467
a large bonfire
Special Event Sat, Sep 21 • 3 pm

Party for the Preserves

Camp Bullfrog Lake • Willow Springs, IL 60480
Wellness in the Woods logo
Sun, Sep 22 • 1 pm

Wellness in the Woods: Mindful Walk

Thatcher Woods • River Forest, IL 60305
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Sep 22 • 1 pm

Goldenrods

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Thatcher Woods Pavilion building
Sun, Sep 22 • 1 pm

Wellness in the Woods Walk-Awakening the Wonder of Your Senses at Thatcher Woods

Thatcher Woods Pavilion • River Forest, IL 60305
a woman walking with her baby at LaBagh Woods
Wed, Sep 25 • 10 am

Mommy and Me Trail Walks

Vollmer Road Grove • Cook County, IL 60478
#BirdThePreserves logo
Thu, Sep 26 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

Perkins Woods • Evanston, IL 60201
#BirdThePreserves logo
Fri, Sep 27 • 8 am

Bird Walk

Deer Grove-East • Cook County, IL 60074
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Fri, Sep 27 • 6:30 pm

Pioneer Living: Candle Making and Night Hike

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
#BirdThePreserves logo
Sat, Sep 28 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

Burnham Prairie • Burnham, IL 60633
Wellness in the Woods logo
Sat, Sep 28 • 10 am

Wellness in the Woods: Mindful Walk

Thatcher Woods • River Forest, IL 60305
Thatcher Woods Pavilion building
Sat, Sep 28 • 10 am

Wellness in the Woods Walk-Awakening the Wonder of Your Senses at Thatcher Woods

Thatcher Woods Pavilion • River Forest, IL 60305
a large bonfire
Special Event Sat, Sep 28 • 2 pm

Party for the Preserves

Deer Grove-East • Cook County, IL 60074
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Sep 29 • 1 pm

Bees, Wasps & Hornets

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
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.