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

River Trail Nature Center Building in Northbrook
Fri, Nov 15 • 7 pm

Owl Prowl

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
Sat, Nov 16 • 10 am

Hike the Preserves: Fitness Hike

Vollmer Road Grove • Cook County, IL 60478
a family exploring the trails at Crabtree Nature Center
Sat, Nov 16 • 10 am

Hike the Preserves: Interpretive Hike

Eggers Grove • Chicago, IL 60617
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Sat, Nov 16 • 5:30 pm

Owl Prowl Night Hike

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Sun, Nov 17 • 10 am

Fossil Quarry Tour

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Nov 17 • 1 pm

Local Wings

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Fri, Nov 22 • 7 pm

Night Hike

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
The visitors center at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
Sat, Nov 23 • 7:30 pm

Starry, Starry Night

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
pioneer cabins at Sand Ridge Nature Center
Special Event Sun, Nov 24 • 10 am

47th Annual Settlers’ Day

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Nov 24 • 1 pm

Aw Nuts!

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Sat, Nov 30 • 1 pm

Fall Hike

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

Hike the Preserves: Walk & Talk Hike

Midlothian Meadows • Cook County, IL 60428
a person walking on the Des Plaines Trail in winter
Sat, Dec 21 • 11 am

Hike the Des Plaines

Evans Field • River Grove, IL 60171
two children with walking sticks in the snow at Whistler Woods
Mon, Dec 23 • 11 am

Winter Break-Out Adventure

Thatcher Woods Pavilion • River Forest, IL 60305
the indoor climbing wall at Camp Sullivan
Sat, Dec 28 • 11 am

Winter Break-Out Adventure

Camp Sullivan • Oak Forest, IL 60452
a person taking photos at Crabtree Nature Center
Thu, Jan 16 • 8 am

Winter Photoshoot

Thatcher Woods Pavilion • River Forest, IL 60305
Sat, Jan 18 • 10 am

Hike the Preserves: Fitness Hike

Sat, Jan 18 • 10 am

Hike the Preserves: Walk & Talk Hike

Oak Forest Heritage Preserve-East • Oak Forest, IL 60452
a marshmallow roasting over a campfire
Fri, Jan 24 • 7 pm

Winter Campfire & Night Hike

Camp Shabbona Woods • South Holland, IL 60473
Sun, Jan 26 • 10 am

Hike the Preserves: Fitness Hike

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.