Here are thirty of the best hikes, nearly all of them within an hour’s drive of Chicago—from spectacular forests, grasslands, and wetlands to dunes, moraines, and even canyons. The Windy City offers a surprising array of outdoor opportunities, many of them accessible by public transport. Whether you’re in the mood for an easy nature walk or a day-long hike, this guide offers plenty to choose from.
Each hike features full-color photos; a brief route description; thorough directions to the trailhead (GPS coordinates included); a detailed, full-color trail map; and at-a-glance information on distance and difficulty level, hiking time, canine compatibility, and fees and permits. Inside you’ll also find a Trail Finder that categorizes each hike (e.g., for attractions such as views, and if it’s suitable for families with kids); Green Tips; and information about local lore, points of interest, and the area’s wildlife.
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