The massive metropolitan of Chicago with its swarming population and bright lights isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind when you think about hiking. But you’ll be surprised to learn that the charismatic city sits within limits of some of the best hiking trails in Illinois. So if you happen to be an adventure lover constantly on the lookout for exciting places to trek through, here are some of the best hiking trails near Chicago you can try out. From mountain hiking near Chicago to easy trails for beginners, you’ll find trails for all types of trekkers. Go through the list of some such amazing hiking trails near Chicago and find out which one suits you best.
Lakefront Trail Near Chicago
This isn’t just one of the best hiking trails near Chicago but one of the best ones within city limits for those looking to stroll through a scenic walking route. Wander along the shores of picturesque Lake Michigan on this amazing trail that stretches for about 18 miles in length, offering plenty of distance to cover. There are awesome urban parks along the way that you’d cross with towering cityscape serving as the most amazing backdrop. The route is a neatly paved one and accessible for all types of adventurists. So don’t be surprised if you come across joggers, cyclists, and high-intensity runners as well. The trail is so stunning that after a while, you forget that you’re still in the city.
Cowles Bog Trail
Located just an hour away from the city, the Cowles Bog Trail is among the most popular hiking trails near Chicago situated within the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Park. This 4.7-mile long trail is one of the best hiking trails in Illinois and wanders past black oak savannahs, stunning lakes, along the beach, and around marshes. Hikers have the chance to see some of the most stunning natural beauty as they make their way along one of the best hiking trails near Chicago. There are other sections of the park which feature hiking trails as well but the Cowles Bog Trail remains the most popular one among the hiking trails near Chicago.
Trail System in Kankakee River State Park
Stretching for miles along both sides of the scenic Kankakee River, the Trail System is one of the most popular hiking trails near Chicago. Bordering a wildlife management area, the trail offers hikers the awesome chance to spot deer, wild turkeys, raccoon, and a myriad of other animals as they go along the way. Another reason that makes this one of the best hiking trails near Chicago is that the trail passes through mesmerizing limestone canyons and offers the chance to spot stunning waterfalls along the way. While this isn’t among the most strenuous of trails, its picturesque location away from the city makes it one of the best hiking trails near Chicago.
Illinois Canyon Trail
Placed about an hour and a half away from the city, the Starved Rock State Park in Illinois is among the best hiking trails near Chicago with over 13 miles of area to explore. Hikers can expect to be in and out of as many as 18 mesmerizing canyons, many of which are home to breathtaking waterfalls. With a stunning landscape, the park’s trail is among the most scenic hiking trails near Chicago. The route links up with other shorter trails and makes for a grand tour of the entire area. This is one of the best places to go mountain hiking near Chicago and you’ll have to navigate the entire trail without the aid of any manmade walkways or stairs. This is why this trail isn’t recommended for beginners.
Trail System in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve
The Trail System in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve located nearby in DuPont County is among the top hiking trails near Chicago and one of the most popular ones as well. There are about 11 miles of marked and mapped hiking trails here with endless miles of unmarked hiking trails still left unexplored. The trails here are among the most scenic hiking trails near Chicago passing through lush green forests, open prairies, and limestone dotting the landscape adding to its fairy-tale like beauty. Hikers who’re animal lovers will especially love this trail as the park is home to over 300 species of amphibians, mammals, reptiles and other creatures.
Armed with the knowledge of the above-mentioned amazing hiking trails near Chicago, choose which one is best suited to you and come explore the stunning trail of your choice. Book cheap flights and come traverse through some of the most stunning hiking trails in close proximity to the charismatic city of Chicago.