Illinois - Outdoor Activities

Illinois has approximately 803 trails, including 226 for campgrounds and 204 for road biking. These trails range from 0 to 122 miles in length. The most popular trails are Greene Valley Forest Preserve Loop, Chicago Lakeshore Path: North Hike and Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Hike. The last Trails.com member to complete a trail in Illinois was RE M. who completed Waterfall Glen Trail.

  • Rock Cut State Park

    8 Reviews

    Loves Park, IL

    Located in Loves Park, just northeast of Rockford. There are ten miles of trails at Rock Cut, seven of which are open to mountain bikers-the cross-country ski trails. The mostly dirt trails are ...
    •  10 miles
    •  Guide

    Located in Loves Park, just northeast of Rockford. There are ten miles of trails at Rock Cut, seven of which are open to ...

  • Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve.

    6 Reviews

    Willisville, IL

    Piney Creek Ravine’s secretive canyons hide the biggest display of prehistoric petroglyphs and pictographs in Illinois. When you descend into the enchanting canyons at Piney Creek, you’ll be ...
    •  2–3 hours
    •  2.25 miles
    •  Guide

    Piney Creek Ravine’s secretive canyons hide the biggest display of prehistoric petroglyphs and pictographs in Illinois. When ...

  • Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail

    5 Reviews

    Rockdale, IL

    The trail begins in Rockdale and makes its way through Channahon, Morris, Seneca, Marseilles, Ottawa, and Utica before finishing in LaSalle. Steeped in historical significance, this 110-mile ...
    •  122 miles
    •  Guide

    The trail begins in Rockdale and makes its way through Channahon, Morris, Seneca, Marseilles, Ottawa, and Utica before finishing ...

  • I & M Canal State Trail

    5 Reviews

    Willow Springs, IL

    The entire stretch of the I & M Canal State Trail is 61 miles. It runs from Joliet to La Salle, though some parts are for hiking. The portion in Joliet and closest to Chicago is a popular after-work ...
    •  11 miles
    •  Guide

    The entire stretch of the I & M Canal State Trail is 61 miles. It runs from Joliet to La Salle, though some parts are for ...

  • Swallow Cliff Woods

    3 Reviews

    LaGrange, IL

    Located at the Palos Forest Preserve off IL 83, 0.5 mile west of US 45. If you follow the main gravel loop, about a seven-mile trip, you'll ride along a wide, quiet trail used by joggers, hikers, ...
    •  7 miles
    •  Guide

    Located at the Palos Forest Preserve off IL 83, 0.5 mile west of US 45. If you follow the main gravel loop, about a seven-mile ...

  • Illinois Prairie Path

    3 Reviews

    Maywood, IL

    The eastern trailhead is at 1st Avenue in Maywood. The Wheaton intersection point, the middle, is often considered the starting point. The trail's branches take you to Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, ...
    •  122 miles
    •  Guide

    The eastern trailhead is at 1st Avenue in Maywood. The Wheaton intersection point, the middle, is often considered the starting ...

  • Little Grand Canyon Trail

    3 Reviews

    Jackson County, IL

    Little Grand Canyon Trail is a hiking trail in Jackson County, Illinois. It is three miles long and begins at 733 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 6.0 miles with a total elevation ...
    •  3.0 miles

    Little Grand Canyon Trail is a hiking trail in Jackson County, Illinois. It is three miles long and begins at 733 feet altitude. ...

  • Giant City Nature Trail

    3 Reviews

    Union County, IL

    Giant City Nature Trail is a hiking trail in Union County, Illinois. It is a mile long and begins at 568 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is two miles with a total elevation gain of ...
    •  1.0 miles

    Giant City Nature Trail is a hiking trail in Union County, Illinois. It is a mile long and begins at 568 feet altitude. Traveling ...

  • Chicago Lakeshore Path: North Hike

    3 Reviews

    Lincolnwood, IL

    Harbors, beaches, and the lake itself serve as the backdrop for a dazzling skyline. Some sections of this path provide just a seawall with a walkway, while other parts run through wide grassy ...
    •  3–4 hours
    •  5.75 miles
    •  Guide

    Harbors, beaches, and the lake itself serve as the backdrop for a dazzling skyline. Some sections of this path provide just ...

  • Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Hike

    3 Reviews

    Elwood, IL

    Formerly the largest ammunition-production plant in the world, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is now the biggest—and perhaps the most tranquil—piece of protected land in northeastern Illinois. ...
    •  2–2 .5 hours
    •  5.2 miles
    •  Guide

    Formerly the largest ammunition-production plant in the world, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is now the biggest—and ...

  • Farmdale Recreation Area

    2 Reviews

    Peoria, IL

    Located in East Peoria, ten minutes from Peoria. You can do two kinds of rides at Farmdale Recreation Area. For those of you looking for an easy ride, follow the dirt roads that cross through ...
    •  10 miles
    •  Guide

    Located in East Peoria, ten minutes from Peoria. You can do two kinds of rides at Farmdale Recreation Area. For those of ...

  • Chain O' Lakes State Park

    2 Reviews

    Antioch, IL

    The Chain O' Lakes bike path is a winding north-south ribbon linking three screened-limestone loops. It's well marked, well kept, and far removed from suburban surroundings. Ups and downs from ...
    •  6.2 miles
    •  Guide

    The Chain O' Lakes bike path is a winding north-south ribbon linking three screened-limestone loops. It's well marked, well ...

  • Chicago Lakefront

    2 Reviews

    Chicago, IL

    The Chicago lakefront walk is saved for last because it is something a little different. Unlike most of the other walks, which can easily be completed in a day or less, this excursion is a challenge ...
    •  3 days
    •  18 miles
    •  Guide

    The Chicago lakefront walk is saved for last because it is something a little different. Unlike most of the other walks, ...

  • Starved Rock Hike

    2 Reviews

    La Salle, IL

    The leafy canyons of Starved Rock are a unique geological treasure, a vertical landscape usually reserved for the American Southwest. Imagine the iconic slot canyons of northern Arizona, but ...
    •  2.5 hours
    •  4.6 miles
    •  Guide

    The leafy canyons of Starved Rock are a unique geological treasure, a vertical landscape usually reserved for the American ...

  • Kickapoo State Park

    2 Reviews

    Danville, IL

    Kickapoo State Park is in Oakwood, 10 miles west of Danville. There are 600 acres set aside for mountain bike use. Currently (1999), six and a half miles of trails cut their way in three loops ...
    •  6.5 miles
    •  Guide

    Kickapoo State Park is in Oakwood, 10 miles west of Danville. There are 600 acres set aside for mountain bike use. Currently ...

  • Kinkaid Lake--Buttermilk Hill

    2 Reviews

    Murphysboro, IL

    Located in Shawnee National Forest, 7.5 miles west of Murphysboro. This roughly 15-mile one-way (30 miles total) out-and-back features some aggressive dirt single-track, but also overlooks beautiful ...
    •  30 miles
    •  Guide

    Located in Shawnee National Forest, 7.5 miles west of Murphysboro. This roughly 15-mile one-way (30 miles total) out-and-back ...

  • Lincoln Park Ride

    2 Reviews

    Chicago, IL

    This ride brings you through some of the best parks just west of Lake Shore Drive. It also brings you through one of the most affluent areas in Chicago, the Gold Coast. There's light shade, with ...
    •  7.9 miles
    •  Guide

    This ride brings you through some of the best parks just west of Lake Shore Drive. It also brings you through one of the ...

  • Des Plaines Trail

    2 Reviews

    Des Plaines, IL

    Connected to the less developed Indian Boundary Trail, the Des Plaines Trail continues to run along the Des Plaines River. The best place to start is Big Bend Lake. Right near the expressway, ...
    •  20.4 miles
    •  Guide

    Connected to the less developed Indian Boundary Trail, the Des Plaines Trail continues to run along the Des Plaines River. ...

  • Buffalo Rock State Park Hike

    2 Reviews

    Ottawa, IL

    Located on a bluff overlooking the Illinois River, this small but charming park is home to an enormous outdoor sculpture. Mounds representing five different creatures invite visitors to walk ...
    •  1 .5 hours
    •  2.5 miles
    •  Guide

    Located on a bluff overlooking the Illinois River, this small but charming park is home to an enormous outdoor sculpture. ...

  • Glacial Park and Vicinity

    2 Reviews

    McHenry, IL

    Getting to some of the prime birding spots in this 2,806-acre gem in northern McHenry County requires a 1- to 1.5-mile hike in some instances. Be prepared with good hiking shoes, water, and some ...
    •  Guide

    Getting to some of the prime birding spots in this 2,806-acre gem in northern McHenry County requires a 1- to 1.5-mile hike ...

  • Mississippi Palisades State Park

    2 Reviews

    Savanna, IL

    In a typical year, you can find 180 to 190 species of birds within the Mississippi Palisades State Park and adjacent river areas. Nearly 100 breed here. One main paved loop road through the park ...
    •  Guide

    In a typical year, you can find 180 to 190 species of birds within the Mississippi Palisades State Park and adjacent river ...

  • Waterfall Glen

    2 Reviews

    Darien, IL

    This ride is located south of Interstate 55 in Darien. You'll love this scenic, eight-and-a-half-mile loop. One of the most popular multi-purpose trails in the western Chicago suburbs, it passes ...
    •  8.5 miles
    •  Guide

    This ride is located south of Interstate 55 in Darien. You'll love this scenic, eight-and-a-half-mile loop. One of the most ...

  • Deer Grove

    2 Reviews

    Palatine, IL

    Located in Palatine, off Dundee Road. If you're north of Chicago, Deer Grove is where you should go to get some mountain bike action. While there is a paved bicycle trail in the forest preserve, ...
    •  8.5 miles
    •  Guide

    Located in Palatine, off Dundee Road. If you're north of Chicago, Deer Grove is where you should go to get some mountain ...

  • Chicago Lakeshore Path: South Hike

    2 Reviews

    Chicago, IL

    Enjoy stunning views of the downtown skyline as you hike along this strip of parkland that links the city and the lake. Pass Chicago landmarks such as Soldier Field, the Field Museum, and Buckingham ...
    •  2 .5 hours
    •  4.4 miles
    •  Guide

    Enjoy stunning views of the downtown skyline as you hike along this strip of parkland that links the city and the lake. Pass ...

  • Blackwell Forest Preserve Hike

    2 Reviews

    Warrenville, IL

    The most pristine landscape at Blackwell Forest Preserve is in the vicinity of McKee Marsh, an expansive wetland cradled in prairie and savanna. While hiking the gently rolling terrain around ...
    •  2–3 hours
    •  6.3 miles
    •  Guide

    The most pristine landscape at Blackwell Forest Preserve is in the vicinity of McKee Marsh, an expansive wetland cradled ...

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