Looking for a relaxing walk, strenuous hike or interesting run? The Forest Preserves of Cook County has the perfect trail for you.
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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
Nature Story Trail: “Giving Thanks”Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
Gratitude Nature Night HikeLittle Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
Dendrophilia: Love of TreesLittle Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
Winter Bird WatchingLittle Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
History Hike: Isabel Bassett WassonThatcher Woods Pavilion • River Forest, IL 60305
Live Healthy, Discover Nature! HikeSand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
Walk & Talk HikeMaple Lake-East – Mountain Bike Staging Area • Cook County, IL 60480
Story Trail: “The Snowy Day”Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
River Trail Nightlife: Owl ProwlRiver Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
Wellness in the Woods: Self-Guided MeditationSand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
Trail Rules & Etiquette
- Use official, marked trails. Bicycle and horse riders are prohibited from riding off-trail or on unofficial trails. Off-trail and unofficial trail use—even by walkers and runners—damages plant and wildlife habitats.
- Stay to the right. Ride or walk on the right side of the trail and stay single file whenever possible.
- Pass safely. Give an audible warning (examples: ring a bike bell or say “on your left”) and slow down before passing others. Pass in single file only. Ask permission to pass equestrians.
- Yield to other trail users. Bicycle riders must yield to other types of trail users. Walkers and runners must yield to equestrians.
- Keep your dog on-leash. Most trails allow dogs, but they must be on a leash, controlled by their owner and on the right side of the trail.
- Make sure your ride is allowed. Check our web map to see where you can ride a horse or bike (including class 1 and 2 e-bikes). Not allowed anywhere: Class 3 e-bikes; electrically powered scooters, unicycles and hoverboards; and gas-powered vehicles such as ATVs or motorcycles. People with mobility limitations are allowed to use personal mobility devices.
- Travel at a safe speed. Bicycle and e-bike riders must travel at speeds under 15 miles per hour—or slower in busy areas or where a speed limit is posted.
- Pay attention to trail signs. Signs tell you which trail users are allowed and alert you to hazards or busy areas ahead.
- Keep the trail clear. Do not block trails—move to the side of the trail before stopping.
- Stay out of the mud. Avoid using wet trails—if you are leaving prints, you are damaging the trail.
- Protect yourself. Helmets are recommended for all types of bicycle riders, especially for riders 14 and under.
- Be polite and courteous. Our multi-use trails are for everyone.
- Remember that trail use involves risk. Please review our Trail Risk Statement.
Nature Center Trails
- Nature center trails are for walking only. Bicycles, pets, horses and cross-country skiing are not allowed.
- Nature center trails are open only during posted nature center hours.
- Walk your horse between the stable and trail.
- Keep your horse under control—the only permitted gaits are walk, trot or slow canter. Galloping and racing are not permitted.
- Slow to a walk or slow trot when meeting other trail users.
- Do not hitch horses to trees or other vegetation.
- Do not use paved trails.
- Be humane and kind to your horse.
- Stallions are not permitted on trails.