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
Cancelled Wed, Apr 8 • 8:30 am

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
Wellness in the Woods logo
Cancelled Sat, Apr 11 • 10 am

Wellness Walks in Thatcher Woods

Thatcher Woods • River Forest, IL 60305
a group walks through a prairie
Cancelled Sat, Apr 11 • 11 am

Hike the Preserves: Fitness Hike

Wolf Road Prairie • Cook County, IL 60154
people walking along a nature trail in 1904
Cancelled Sat, Apr 11 • 1 pm

Trailside and Vicinity History Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Cancelled Sun, Apr 12 • 10 am

Spring at the Quarry

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
Wellness in the Woods logo
Cancelled Wed, Apr 15 • 10 am

Wellness in the Woods: Mindfulness Walk

Swallow Cliff Woods-North • Cook County, IL 60464
#BirdThePreserves logo
Cancelled Thu, Apr 16 • 8 am

Bird Walks

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
a group walks through a prairie
Cancelled Sat, Apr 18 • 10 am

Hike the Preserves: Fitness Hike

Sweet Woods • Cook County, IL 60476
people hiking in fall
Cancelled Sat, Apr 18 • 10 am

Hike the Preserves: Walk & Talk

Plum Creek Meadow • Cook County, IL 60411
an Earth Day banner at Sand Ridge Nature Center
Cancelled Sat, Apr 18 • 10 am

Earth Day

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
a Forest Preserves staff member leading a group on an Underground Railroad history hike at Sand Ridge Nature Center
Cancelled Sat, Apr 18 • 1 pm

Hike the Freedom Trail

Beaubien Woods Boat Launch • Chicago, IL 60827
The visitors center at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
Cancelled Sat, Apr 18 • 1:30 pm

Spring Wildflower Hike

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
spring beauty wildflower
Cancelled Sun, Apr 19 • 1 pm

Wildflower Walk

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
a family exploring the trails at Crabtree Nature Center
Cancelled Sun, Apr 19 • 1:30 pm

Spring Stroll

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
Cancelled Wed, Apr 22 • 4:30 pm

Celebrate Earth Day

Carl R. Hansen Woods • Cook County, IL 60192
a group birding at Thatcher Woods
Cancelled Fri, Apr 24 • 9:30 am

Morning Bird Walks

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
american bullfrogs on a rock at Crabtree Nature Center
Cancelled Fri, Apr 24 • 7:30 pm

Frog Calls

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
River Trail Nature Center Building in Northbrook
Cancelled Fri, Apr 24 • 7:30 pm

Night Hike

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
#BirdThePreserves logo
Cancelled Sat, Apr 25 • 7 am

Spring Morning Bird Walks

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
two volunteers cut buckthorn with loppers at River Trail Nature Center
Cancelled Sat, Apr 25 • 12:30 pm

Earth Day Celebration with the BackYard Nature Center

Erickson Woods • Cook County, IL 60093
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.