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

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center building in Lemont
Thu, Jul 25 • 5 pm

Canyon Tour

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
Wellness in the Woods logo
Fri, Jul 26 • 10 am

Wellness in the Woods Walk

Dan Ryan Woods-West • Chicago, IL 60620
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Jul 28 • 1 pm

Wild Edibles

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Tue, Jul 30 • 10 am

Mommy and Me “Trail Walks”

Dan Ryan Woods-West • Chicago, IL 60620
wetland area at Evans Field
Sat, Aug 3 • 10 am

History Walk at Evans Field Forest Preserve

Evans Field • River Grove, IL 60171
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Sat, Aug 3 • 1:30 pm

Live Healthy, Discover Nature! Hike

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
The visitors center at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
Sun, Aug 4 • 10 am

Yoga in the Woods

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
River Trail Nature Center Building in Northbrook
Sun, Aug 4 • 1:30 pm

Summer in the Woods

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
three children building a fort out of logs
Wed, Aug 14 • 12 pm

Nature Discovery Day

Swallow Cliff Woods-North • Cook County, IL 60464
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Fri, Aug 16 • 8 pm

Going Batty Over Bats! Night Hike

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
Sat, Aug 17 • 10 am

Hike the Preserves: Interpretive Hike

St. Mihiel Woods-East • Cook County, IL 60477
Sat, Aug 17 • 10 am

Hike the Preserves: Fitness Hike

Joe Orr Woods • Chicago Heights, IL 60411
Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Sat, Aug 17 • 1:30 pm

Summer Nature Hike

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Sun, Aug 18 • 9:30 am

Late Summer Bird Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Aug 18 • 1 pm

Hummers & Flowers

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Aug 25 • 1 pm

Sunflower Stroll

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
River Trail Nature Center Building in Northbrook
Sat, Aug 31 • 7 pm

Date Night Hike

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
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.