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Guests have the opportunity to rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats to explore the rivers and lakes at Kickapoo State Park. Canoe and kayak trips (8 or 13 mile) are offered or rentals can be done by the hour. Following your adventure, guests can grab a bite to eat at the on-site Dockside Cafe which offers live music throughout the summer.
Lowden State Park
One of the most picturesque sites along the Rock River is just north of Oregon in Ogle County. The bluffs are graced with a majestic image of an American Indian gazing over the Rock River Valley. This is no ordinary statue. It is a 50 foot, concrete-reinforced wonder that is awe-inspiring. A tribute to all Native Americans, but more commonly associated with Chief Black Hawk, the statue was designed by sculptor Lorado Taft. You can enjoy many wonderful views of the Rock River from the park, but the best view of the statue is from IL Rt. 2.
Castle Rock State Park
Castle Rock State Park is located three miles south of Oregon on Highway 2. The 2,000-acre park includes rock formations, ravines, and unique northern plant associations. In one valley, 27 different types of ferns have been identified. A sandstone bluff, adjacent to the river, has given the park its name. Picnic area amenities include tables, shelters, grills, toilets, drinking water and playground equipment. Six miles of marked hiking trails have been developed, and a public boat ramp/parking facility is located across from the park's main entrance.
Red Oak Nature Center
A visit to the center will help folks learn about the native plants and animals of the Fox River Valley. Interpretive center, hiking trails and tours of "Devil's Cave."
CITY: North Aurora
2014 Wright Ride
The Oak Park Cycle Club, The Oak Park Regional Housing Center and Visit Oak Park invite you to the Wright Ride 2014. One of the best ways to discover the delights of Chicago's near western suburbs is on two wheels. A family-friendly event, the Wright Ride is not a race-but a leisurely jaunt through some of Chicagoland's most beautiful tree-lined and architecturally rich communities. Cyclists of all abilities are welcome: whether you're a novice, casual cyclist, or experienced long-distance rider, there's something here for everyone. A plus is that cycling is an eco-friendly way to tour the wealth of historically significant homes and structures throughout the area. With a choice of 10, 30, 50 and 62-mile routes, riders will be able to take in the scenery and charm of as many as 10 communities, including Oak Park, River Forest, Riverside, and Western Springs. More than 25 intriguing landmarks - including a dozen designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. All routes begin and end on the newly renovated Marion Street in Downtown Oak Park - giving participants the opportunity to take advantage of the wide-range of dining experiences and specialty shops that set Oak Park apart!
CITY: Oak Park
W.H. Sommer Park
Use-by-reservation facility: 1850's pioneer homestead living history site, teams course programs, special events, picnic shelter rentals including fishing, canoeing, hayrides, and hiking trails.
Located on over 325 acres, popular attractions include the Mastodon Gallery, the gorgeous Sunken Garden, an 18-hole golf course/driving range, the zoo, a 28-acre fishing lake with a one-mile multiple use trail, war memorials and the Winter Recreation Area.
Wolf Creek State Park
Eight miles northwest of Windsor, Wolf Creek State Park encompass 11,100 acres of water, 250 miles of shoreline and large tracts of carefully maintained indigenous woodlands ideal for camping, horseback riding, snowmobiling, boat fishing, water skiing, pontoon boating, windsurfing or just plain bobbing and drifting on the glittering expanse of the lake itself. In addition to visiting the small, friendly wooded campgrounds or taking part in the action on the lake, swimming is available from the beach. You can also take a leisurely stroll through nearby forests. An abundance of deer, pheasant, rabbits, wild turkey and songbirds are almost always visible.
Willowhaven Interpretive Center
Whispering Willows Park at Willowhaven Interpretive Center features open prairies, wetlands, interpretive gardens and 1.5 miles of limestone trails surrounding two scenic ponds. All trails begin and end at the Willowhaven Interpretive Center scenic outlook.
Rock River Cruise
For those with an urge to explore a genuine Illinois prairie, this ride takes you past one of the largest pieces of preserved prairie in the state. The Rock River Cruise is 34.7-miles of moderate difficulty, with a few small climbs along the way. Stop off and visit some of the many attractions along the way, including the John Deere Historic Site and the charming town of Oregon.
CITY: Franklin Grove
Rollins Savanna Trails
Rollins Savanna Trails in beautiful Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve is a outdoor enthusiasts dream; with 5.7-miles of easy to moderate terrain and a thriving habitat to explore. The landscape is dotted with ponds and marshes. Take a walk through lush prairie and thriving wetlands and see why the National Audubon Society named it one of America’s most important bird sites in 2005.
Perry Farm Park
Enthusiasts of all kinds find enjoyment in the wide array of activities the park offers including 4-miles of fully accessible paved paths that wind through natural prairie, woods and riverfront of the Perry Farm site.
Green Bay Trail
The 9-mile Green Bay Trail covers North Shore towns such as Kenilworth, Winnetka, Highland Park and Lake Bluff. Because the trail stays generally within a mile of Lake Michigan, you can take any number of on-road side trips for beachfront views of the lake. The trail is suitable for even the youngest of riders, although the route does use some sidewalks and even a very small portion of residential road in Kenilworth. In addition, the surface alternates between asphalt and crushed limestone. Inexperienced cyclists and those with young children should use particular caution at road crossings and with any road riding.
Waterfall Glen Hike
Waterfall Glen Hike in DuPage County is a nice, moderate hike. This trail wraps around Argonne National Laboratory and is 11.4 miles long. The main path consists of crushed limestone, but it is ok to take the side trails that are mowed grass or part of an abandoned railroad track. Most of the path is under a tree canopy. Marshes and swamps abound in this area so be sure to bring some insect repellent.
Rock River Valley Self Help Enterprises Happy Trails
Five acres of walking paths, water gardens, a green house, five-hole miniture golf, swings, and gardens were all designed and maintained by the developmentally disabled clients of the Rock River Valley Self Help Enterprises.
Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary
The Amboy Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary is 272 acre of wetlands offering a rare and fragile ecosystem, which includes endangered turtles, many birds and unique plant life. It is located near the intersection of U.S. Route 52 and Mormon Road about 3 miles south of Amboy. Open to the public 7 days a week for walking and bird-watching. No dogs are allowed due to sensitive plant and wildlife.
Lake View Park Trail
Lake View Park Trail is an advanced single track dirt trail, 6 miles in length. It's quite technical in nature, offering good descents and heart-pounding climbs.
McDonald Woods Forest Preserve
The McDonald Woods Forest Preserve in Lindenhurst, offers gentle, rolling grassy terrain. It’s the perfect place to hike, bicycle and cross-country ski. Take the 3.8-mile loop around the woods and wetlands for some great exercise. A 0.3-mile wood-chip trail designed for hiking and cross-country skiing leads to a basswood and sugar maple forest, glowing yellow in autumn. A cooling ravine beckons below where migrant songbirds feast on insects, and water skimmers dart atop the clear water.
CITY: Lake Villa
Rall Woods State Natural Area
280 acres for public hunting, hiking, nature viewing. Area has native hilltop prairies and views of the Mississippi River.
Nachusa Grasslands, The Nature Conservancy
Private natural area owned by the Nature Conservancy. Highlights are 1500 acres of prairie, wetlands, and savanna woodlands. Grassland flowers, birds and butterflies to observe.
CITY: Franklin Grove
This 8-mile singletrack in Carpentersville, IL. is perfect for beginners without giving up on the excitement. The terrain is varied with steep descents, plenty of jumps, twisty trails through the woods and long stretches through meadows.
This 34-acre park located next to the Big Muddy River includes a public boat ramp, picnic areas, ball fields, hiking trails, a pavilion, historic band shell and playground areas.
Dodds Park offers picnic and playground areas, flower gardens, three shelter houses, concession stand, two lighted tennis courts, volleyball and basketball courts, two lighted ball diamonds, horseshoe pits, batting cages and two shuffleboard courts.
Trails for bird watchers and nature lovers; 200 acres.
Lehigh Memorial Park
Lehigh Memorial Park located in Oglesby has an advanced singletrack dirt trail two miles in length. However, what it lacks in duration, it makes up for in the intense network of trails that splinter off from it, offering very fast, large natural drops and jumps.
Wapello Land & Water Reserve
Experience Native American mounds, prairie and the Apple River. Hike beginner trails. Pets welcome. Fishing allowed.
Enjoy Jo Daviess countryside in a horse-drawn buggy/bobsled. Ride at our place or yours. Call for information/reservations.
North Branch Trail
The North Branch Trail stretches from Chicago to the northern suburbs. Starting at the Bunker Hill Forest Preserve it twists through 15 miles of small bluffs, ponds, prairie, open grassy parkways and quaint little streams that trickle into the Chicago River. Paved with asphalt, The North Branch Trail makes for an easy to medium level of difficulty.
Sand Creek Conservation Area
Sand Creek is a 755-acre open space site located just south of Decatur off South Franklin Street. Hike the trails to the bluff overlooking Sand Creek for panoramic view of the countryside. Over 7.5 total miles with varying difficulty. Open to hikers & horseback riders.
Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
Nature center with 3 miles of walking/hiking trails through woodland, wetland, and prairie. Exhibit building displays local wildlife. Educational activities year round.
CITY: Willow Springs
Lakewood Forest Preserve
Irons Oaks Enviromental Center
Call for details
CITY: Olympia Fields
Schurmeier Teaching Forest
Two miles of beginner and intermediate hiking trails, educational signage teaches about tree and forestry practices. This forest is the perfect place to spend the day. Horses welcome!
Paris City Bluebird Trail
Visit these scattered sites to witness the return of the bluebird to Illinois. The trail and Sycamore Golf Club are two links in the Transcontinental Bluebird Trail.
Franklin Creek State Natural Area
Developed by local volunteers, it offers scenic trails, horseback riding, fishing, and limited hunting. The site contains the historic Franklin Creek Grist Mill and a 180-acre dedicated nature preserve.
CITY: Franklin Grove
Little Egypt Public OHV Recreational Area
Little Egypt Off Road MC is a young club that aims to pursue, promote, and protect interest of motorcyclists in a social and athletic setting. They offer a public off road riding area. They have 860 Acres to ride, miles of trails, mud areas to play, hill climbs, scenic areas to stop and enjoy, and two MX tracks to play on.
Large, wooded park offers 43 acres of timber, grassland & bottomland with picnic and playground areas, hiking trails, cross-country skiing, fishing, and a small boat launch on Yellow Creek
CITY: Pearl City
Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve
This nature reserve is the perfect place to bring the family. Hike 450 natural acres, home of nine Illinois endangered or threatened plants and animals. Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve is The Prairie State's 150th nature preserve.
Keough Effigy Land & Water Reserve
Explore the past along Keough's hiking trails. Come and see its mining and Native American history.
Hennepin Feeder Canal Trail
The Hennepin Feeder Canal Trail located just south of Rock Falls is where you will pick up this medium to difficult trail. Cyclists, hikers and anglers come to enjoy the stocked waters, the peaceful wooded banks and the abundance of bird life. As the trail heads south toward the rural countryside the path frees itself from the throngs of people allowing you to enjoy the serene environment all to yourself.
YWCA Camp Tu-Endie-Wei
Trails, fishing, cross-country skiing, skating, cabins on Willow Lake.
Blackwell Forest Preserve
Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville, Illinois, has everything an outdoors fanatic could want. Hikers, bicyclers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers can enjoy more than 6 miles of turf and limestone trails, including a convenient route to the Illinois Prairie Path. Trails around the McKee Marsh area feature two observation decks, a bird blind, and signs that describe the history and ecological significance of the marsh.
Stephenson-Black Hawk Trail
This scenic 13-mile trail for hiking and biking through the rolling hill of northwest Illinois offers both history and nature. The trail, as it follows county and township roads, is partially paved. Attractions include early pioneer sites, one of the highest natural points in the state, and also Blackhawk war sites. Trail maps are available at the Lena Community Park District Office. For those who complete the trail, trail patches and medals are available for purchase.
Wright Woods Forest Preserve
The Wright Woods Forest Preserve located in Mettawa offers 4 miles of scenic trails: a short loop for hikers, bicyclists and skiers that circles a pond, and a 3-mile loop for hikers, bicyclists, skiers and horses. This preserve also has footbridge spanning the Des Plaines River, which links Wright Woods to Half Day Forest Preserve.
Jubilee College State Park
Home to one of the earliest educational enterprises in Illinois, the park and its sister site, Jubilee College State Historic Site, are located 15 miles northwest of Peoria near Kickapoo. In addition, to the rich history of the college, the park offers hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and camping. Jubilee College State Park has more than 40 miles of multi-use trails that wind through woodland, hills, ravines and prairies. Mountain bikers are reminded that horses have the right-of-way on the trails.
Willowhaven Interpretive Center
A facility of the Bourbonnais Township Park District, The Willowhaven Interpretive Center is a free hands-on museum that houses natural and historical exhibits, provides the community a place to learn, explore, and enjoy the splendors of nature! Displays focus on Illinois wildlife, conservation and natural history. The most popular displays include hands-on discovery tables with pelts, nests, feathers, tracks and more. The center also has live animal displays, aquariums, a children's reading nook, computer tables and a microscope lab table.
The Busse Woods Trail system is located within Ned Brown Forest Preserve, a 3,700-acre property in the western suburbs of Chicago. There are 11.2 miles of paved trails for cyclists, equestrians and pedestrians. The main loop is nearly 8 miles, circling some lakes and meadows, while a couple of much shorter side loops will take you to the north and south end of the forest preserve. The Busse Woods Trail connects with the Schaumburg Bikeway on the west, and on the north, Busse Woods links to the Rolling Meadows Bikeway system. Some key features of the forest preserve include fishing, boat rentals and a small herd of captive resident elk. The trails are open from sunrise to sunset.
CITY: Elk Grove
Black Hawk Park
The city of Paris operates this property on Twin Lakes. Wander the trails to see plants and animals that live in the woods, on marshy land and on the lake. Special nesting boxes have brough bluebirds to the meadows.
Columbia Not-So-Secret Training Loop
The Columbia Not-So-Secret Training Loop is a 63 mile trail of medium to difficult level trails, where local roads interlace across a seemingly endless valley of floodplains, levees, bluffs, and sheer cliffs hundreds of feet high. Start in Columbia where you'll roll over hills that add up to about 3,500 feet of elevation gain. Coast through quaint Mayestown, where store signs read "Open by luck or accident". You won’t need to leave much time for the fast return trip along the riverbank, where tailwinds can push you home at 30 miles an hour.
Twin Lakes Park
East lake - swimming, camping, boat dock, walking trail, primitive camping. West lake - fishing, picnic, large pavilion, shelter, fireworks, horseshoes, tent camping, trailer camping, permission by police for primitive camping.
Devil's Backbone/ Devil's Bake Oven
A ridge that runs parallel to the Mississippi River. Offers spectacular views, but with a steep ascent and descent (not an easy hike).
CITY: Grand Tower
Crazy Horse Campground
Crazy Horse is a 55-acre campground blanketed with rolling hills, hiking trails through wooded land, and two large ponds for fishing, boating, and a swimming beach. A lodge for rest and relaxation and a playground for the little ones makes this campground a great place to get away for the season or the weekend! Check out our wide, level sites with full hook-ups as well as our primitive camping area. Call 217-886-2089 or stop by and see us. We're located 8 miles north of Jacksonville and 25 miles west of Springfield, and we're happy to show you around!!
Lost Bridge Trail
This easy to traverse asphalt trail, starting in Sprigfield, winds you through wooded landscapes, over bridges and alongside a well-groomed community park.
Lazy H Stables
One- and two-hour guided horseback rides by reservation only. Hayrack rides offered in fall. Open April 1 - October 1.
Prehistoric dwellers left their marks on the rock walls. Petroglyphs depict animals, humans, geometric figures, and crosses.
Hanover Bluff Natural Area
Sixteen-acre public lake located in southern Jo Daviess County. Largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish. No boating. Sign in/out at the visitor parking lot. 350 acres for public hunting.
Weinberg-King State Park
William Creek meanders through this park, providing habitat for an abundance of wildlife. Set in 770 acres of rolling terrain and steep hillsides, Weinberg-King is popular in winter for its cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
Beverly Lake Forest Preserve
Beverly Lake Forest Preserve Trail is perfect for hiking and biking. The five mile out and back trail located near Dundee that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
CITY: Hoffman Estates
Cemetery Hill Trail
Cemetery Trail in Palos lives up to its name with narrow tracks that snake through dense foliage. A must ride for any thrill-seeking trekking enthusiast.
CITY: Willow Springs
The Constitution Trail is a 36.4 mile asphalt and crushed stone trail of moderate difficulty. It begins at Atwood Wayside trailhead in Bloomington. Lined with trees where a variety of birds call home, you'll also find a fishing pond as well as an expanse of native prairie grassland.
Jaynesway Farms (Bartlett)
A complete equestrian center offering English & Western riding lessons, boarding trail rides, pony rides, hayrides, carriages rides and barnyard zoo. Heated indoor arena.
Todd Hall Retreat and Conference Center
Visitors are invited to walk the tree-lined paths and beautiful labyrinth. The center is open for group reservations.
Cross Country Skiing at Rock Spring Center
Trails open whenever there is at least three inches of snow on the ground. Equipment rental available from 9am-2pm.
Dakota Nature Trail
The Dakota Nature Trail for biking, hiking, and cross-county skiing links Dakota Park with the Dorothy Wirth Nature Area. The trail surface is crushed limestone and follows a former railroad right-of-way. The trail begins on Main Street in Dakota.
Black Sock Training Stable
A variety of equestrian services for beginning to advanced riders. Personalized professional instruction and scheduled trail rides.
Offers private lessons on gaited horses, indoor and outdoor facilities, lessons for all ages and skill levels and lesson packages available. Beginners, refreshers, pleasure or show. Home of several world champion walking horses. Call for reservations.
CITY: Creal Springs
Half Day Forest Preserve
This quiet and clean preserve features a 1-mile trail for hikers, bicyclists and cross-country skiers, three beautiful picnic shelters, a 3-acre pond for fishing, open playfields and a playground. The Half Day Forest Preserve is also the starting point for the Des Plains River Trail which links this preserve to the Wright Woods Forest Preserve. The entrance and parking area are located on Route 21 (Milwaukee Avenue) at the light for Woodlands Parkway, south of Route 60 (Townline Road) and just north of Route 22 (Half Day Road).
CITY: Vernon Hills
Lincoln Trail Memorial
This memorial commemorates the crossing of the Lincoln Family from Indiana to Illinois in early March of 1830.
McConnell Bobtown Landing
Enjoy the natural wonders of the Pecatonica River, Stephenson County's water trail, as is meanders nearly 60 miles through undisturbed Midwestern beauty. This landing offers ample parking, two picnic areas, portable toilet, 10' x 20' floating dock, fire pits and charcoal grills, two ADA fishing piers and canoe/kayak and boat launch. Camping at the site is available for canoes, kayaks and boaters. Reservations required.
Sentinel & Sunset Trails
The highest pint in Illinois is 1,257 feet located in the northwest corner of the state. That’s where you’ll find Mississippi Palisades State Park and the Sentinel and Sunset Trails. The park has 2,500 acres of wooded ravines and canyons. The Palisades are a line of vertical cliffs that rise up from the shore of Buffalo Lake. Hiking to the top provides tremendous views and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. The two trails are strenuous due to the elevation change, but at approximately 3.7 miles, shouldn’t take too long for you to experience the sense of adventure in nature or burning in your legs.
Mississippi River Trail
Situated in Sunset Park in Rock Island is the Mississippi River Trail. Listed as a difficult trial, mainly due to its length and many portions not protected by shade, this asphalt trail hugs the bank of the river as you move through parks, industrial sections, downtown business districts and small river towns.
CITY: Rock Island
Lake Katherine Trail
Lake Katherine Trail is a 3.2-mile trail of moderate difficulty, located near Palos Heights, Illinois. This 1.5-hour hike over wood chip, dirt and gravel roads is one of the best urban nature walk trails in the area. The Preserve features an attractive lake, an arboretum, a waterfall garden, an herb and conifer garden and expansive views from atop a ridge in the eastern section.
CITY: Palos Heights
Richland Creek Trailhead
The Richland Creek Trailhead serves as the main trailhead for the northern end of the Jane Addmas Recreation Trail. It features parking, a large shelter house with electricity, lights and picnic tables, a restroom, water and a primitive campground area.
Fox River Trail
Located in Algonquin only 30 short miles west of downtown Chicago is where you will find the Fox River Trail. This medium level trail hugs the Fox River between Aurora and Algonquin. The trail travels along the routes of historic railroad lines and crosses six bridges along the way while it changes surfaces between concrete, asphalt and crushed stone on its way through charming towns such as Carpentersville, Elgin and West Dundee.
Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve
Experience a commanding view of the Mississippi River and the only known intact thunderbird effigy mound in Illinois. Hiking, bird watching, sightseeing, Native American archaeology and much more on 85 acres of scenic Mississippi River bluffs.
Hike or bike into Buehler Preserve from Galena and experience the prairie life! Pets welcome. Fishing is allowed.
Home to newly added in-line hockey rink. Sitting on 30 acres, five tennis courts, soccer field and basketball court, walking track 4 to 10 mile.
Lake Storey Park
Enjoy this 411-acre park and 132-acre lake. Biking/running trails, beach/swimming boats, canoeing, fishing, lakes and rivers. Sight of the Heritage Days Festival, the Cardboard Boat Regatta, & the Great Balloon Race.
Illinois Prairie Path
The Illinois Prairie Path was the first successful "rail-to-trail" conversion in the United States and inspired a national rail-to-trail movement in the United States in the mid-1960s. The trail is named for its rare segments of original, thousand year-old prairies. With 62 miles of biking, hiking, jogging, equestrian, and nature trails, this is an amazing natural resource that encompasses 4 towns: Elgin, Aurora, Batavia and Geneva and 3 counties. The surface is both asphalt and crushed stone.
Drost Park features a 7-acre lake, pavilions, 1-mile walking trail, boat ramp, playground, and restroom facilities. The University of Illinois' Master Gardeners keep it seasonally beautiful.
River Bluff-Effigy Tumuli Trails
River Bluff-Effigy Tumuli Trails in Buffalo Rock State Park offers a unique hiking experience high above the Illinois River and around the massive earthen sculptures of the Effigy Tumuli. Clocking in at 3-miles this easy to moderate hike will be a sight you’ll want to see. The River Bluff Trail is a great way to experience the Buffalo Rock landscape. Buffalo Rock sits like a sandstone island above the surrounding land and Illinois River. The park features oak and hickory woodlands and an expanse of restored grassland where the Effigy Tumuli rise.
Inwood Park is located southwest of Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center. The park has tennis courts, fitness trails, a playground and picnic area. Horseshoes and bocce ball are also on the grounds.
Middle Fork Forest Preserve
Middle Fork Forest Preserve, 1600 acres in northeast Champaign County, offers visitors a campground (53 of 65 campsites have electricty), brand new playground, swimming beach, fishing, hiking, boat rentals, cross-country skiing, picnicking, a Waterfowl Management Area, renovated meeting facility and programs. The campground now accepts online reservations.
National Road Covered Bridge
The Embarras River, near Greenup, was the site of a covered bridge built by Abe and Thomas Lincoln and Dennis Hanks. The original bridge was 200 feet long. The reconstructed bridge was dedicated in 2000.
Newton Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area
This 1,775 acre lake features 540 acres of shoreline as a day use conservation area. Recreational activities include fishing, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and hunting.
Outlaw Outfitters - Le Roy
One-hour guided horseback rides, hayrack and carriage rides for private rental, and barn dances are available. Open through March and October.
CITY: Le Roy
Devil's Backbone Horse Camp
Provides a scenic riding trail for riding enjoyment. Two acres fenced in for horses, several electrical and water hook-ups. Located west of Grand Tower, the site overlooks the Mississippi River. Horse trails are open year 'round.
CITY: Grand Tower
Lake County Forest Preserve
We currently manage 25,268 acres of land and offer innovative educational, recreational and cultural opportunities for all ages. Visitors enjoy nearly 112 miles of trail for a variety of outdoor recreation uses, fishing ponds and lakes, public access to the Fox River, award-winning nature and history education programs and events, and three public golf courses. Facilities of special interest include Independence Grove near Libertyville, Ryerson Conservation Area near Deerfield, Lake County Discovery Museum near Wauconda, Greenbelt Cultural Center near Waukegan, and three golf courses (Brae Loch near Grayslake, Countryside near Mundelein, and ThunderHawk near Beach Park). Most Forest Preserves are open from 6:30 a.m. to sunset, every day of the year. Special hours apply at the golf courses, Discovery Museum, Greenbelt Cultural Center and Ryerson Woods.
Siegel's Cottonwood Farm
Siegel's Cottonwood farm is a fourth generation working farm established in 1909. In the spring and early summer, the farm is open with a garden center featuring flowers, shrubs, and plants. From June 1st thru October, the farm is available for company picnics, group outings, corporate events and fundraisers. In the summer when the crop is ready its extra sweet corn. In the fall its Pumpkinfest time on the farm with playlands, cornfield mazes, new fun attractions, climbing wall, gem mining and much more. And then there is the award winning haunted prison, "Statesville."
CITY: Crest Hill
Center Children's Farm
Experience life down on the farm during guided family tours, or take a hike on the peaceful nature trail.
CITY: Palos Park
Lake Glendale Stables
Trail ride in beautiful Southern Illinois. Hourly to full-day rates. Over night pack trips and lunch or dinner outings. Group rates and boarding available. Great horses for all riders, experienced or not. Professional guides, cool wooded trails.
Get in touch with nature in this beautiful wooded setting near the Des Plaines River, where you can view local wild animals that have been rescued from the surrounding area.
CITY: River Forest
Adams Wildlife Sanctuary
A green oasis located in the center of town, the sanctuary is open for hiking or strolling the one-mile nature trail from sunrise to sunset.
Featuring 240 acres, Nature Center, parking, boat launches and Rock River access, fishing, hiking, nature preserve, cross-country skiing, shelters, grills, playground equipment, and more. Ronald Reagan saved 77 lives here as a lifeguard during his boyhood years.
Chicago Botanic Garden Loop
The Chicago Botanic Garden Loop offers a moderate level of difficulty to those wanting to experience quiet beauty in far north Cook County. The 385-acre garden is home to 2.4 million plants and is one of the most visited gardens in the country. Hiking will take you 4.5 hours and with almost 7 miles of trails, mostly paved you will get to experience both the lagoons and the Botanic Garden.
Shabbona Lake State Park
Shabbona Lake State Park has 1,550 acres of rolling prairie and features a 318 acre man-made fishing lake. Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area provides a convenient, natural haven from the hustle and bustle of daily life. With facilities for picnicking, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting and winter sports, Shabbona Lake is a convenient and comfortable retreat where you can refresh and reinvigorate yourself in a rare, unspoiled environment.