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

oak and hickory woodland at Dan Ryan Woods
Sat, Sep 19 • 10 am

Walk and Talk Hike

Dan Ryan Woods Visitor Center • Chicago, IL 60620
sauk lake
Sat, Sep 19 • 10 am

Fitness Hike

Sauk Trail Woods-Central • South Chicago Heights, IL 60411
Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Sat, Sep 19 • 11 am

Farwell to Summer Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
Sun, Sep 20 • 7 am

Fitness Trail Walk

Spears Woods • Cook County, IL 60480
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Sun, Sep 20 • 1:30 pm

Fall Wildflower Walk

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
River Trail Nature Center Building in Northbrook
Fri, Sep 25 • 7 pm

Night Hike

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Sat, Sep 26 • 1:30 pm

Powerwalk the Burnham Greenway

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Sep 27 • 1 pm

Crabtree History

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Sun, Sep 27 • 1 pm

Fall Nature Walk

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Sun, Sep 27 • 1:30 pm

Fungi Identification Hike

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
open woodland at Salt Creek Woods Nature Preserve
Wed, Sep 30 • 5 pm

Ecology Walk

Bemis Woods-North • Cook County, IL 60523
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Sat, Oct 3 • 10 am

Restoring Nature

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Sat, Oct 3 • 10 am

Oaktober Nature Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Sat, Oct 3 • 1 pm

Restaurando la Naturaleza

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Sat, Oct 3 • 1:30 pm

Live Healthy, Discover Nature! Hike

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
River Trail Nature Center Building in Northbrook
Sat, Oct 10 • 6 am

Early Risers

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
Bird and fall color at Skokie Lagoons
Sat, Oct 10 • 10 am

Fall Color Hike

Camp Pine Woods • Cook County, IL 60056
Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Sun, Oct 11 • 11 am

Autumn Seeds

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Oct 11 • 1 pm

Seed Search

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Rolling Knolls Pavilion
Mon, Oct 12 • 10 am

Explore Rolling Knolls

Rolling Knolls • Elgin, IL 60120
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.