5 Best Day Hikes Near Chicago

Although Chicago isn’t particularly known for it’s mountainous terrain, the windy city still offers some scenic and historic trails that every visitor must check out!

1. Chicago Lakeshore Path

Located right in the windy city, the Chicago Lakeshore Path is a great day hike for those looking to take in some of the Chicago scenery. This 10 mile path extends from 31st street to Montrose Harbor with a brief break between Navy Pier and the intersection of Michigan Avenue and East Wacker.

chicago lakeshore path 5 best day hikes near chicago

2. Moraine Hills State Park

The Moraine Hills in northern Illinois, formed after the Wisconsin Glacier receded, became a popular hiking location in Illinois for its rolling hills and wetlands. The 48-acre lake Defiance serves as the centerpiece of the park with some mild hills along the 3.2 mile loop surrounding the lake. This is a great day hike for those looking to also see wildlife and take in the scenery.

moraine hills state park 5 best day hikes near chicago

3. Tekakwitha Woods

This area of land serves as a great location for hikers to get in touch with a little bit of history. It was named after Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk saint who lived in the 17th century and was previously owned and operated by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy, the Tekakwitha woods are now a part of the Kane County Forest Preserve District. This area features the Fox River Trail, a 3 mile forested loop surrounded by the Fox River. Cross the Fox River bridge and check out the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin for a 2-mile ride on the electric trolley through the forest preserve.

tekakwitha woods 5 best day hikes near chicago

4. Rock Cut State Park

Rock Cut State Park is a great spot for hikers looking to experience all the wildlife the area has to offer. The trails here offer opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and even horseback riding. There are 40 miles worth of hiking trails, some of which are shared with bikers and riders, but all offer something for everyone whether you are looking for an easy walk or something more challenging.

rock cut state park 5 best day hikes near chicago

5. Waterfall Glen

Located in the DuPage County Forest Preserve, this 9.5 mile trail surrounds the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory. The trails features a small waterfall which is accessible from the Rocky Glen trail, a ⅕ of a mile extension off the main trail.

waterfall glen 5 best day hikes near chicago

Alan Perlman

Lead Adventurer at Nerve Rush
For three years, Alan traveled to 60+ countries as an international cost-of-living surveyor. Back in New York City, when he's not running, rock climbing or geeking out about UAV drones, Alan runs a marketing agency that helps companies generate more sales-ready leads using inbound marketing techniques.

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