If you need a break from city life, these hikes near Chicago will give you a much-needed respite without having to travel far. Below, check out our recommendations for the best trails to explore in our area. From canyons and waterfalls to wide open spaces, there’s a natural spot near the city that’s just what you’re looking for.
For an easy hike, check out the large paved trail at Busse Woods. The path circles the Busse Reservoir, treating you to beautiful views as you walk the loop. The area, also known as Ned Brown Preserve, boasts 3,558 acres of forest, water, and pasture.
Starved Rock State Park
Next up is Starved Rock State Park. Famous for its bluff and canyons, the park’s 13 miles of trails are the best spots for taking in the sights of these natural wonders. During the wetter months of the year, waterfalls flow from the rocky canyon walls. Note—as of August 21, 2020, the park is closed for cleanup after it was hit hard by a storm. Check the website for updates before planning your trip.
Des Plaines River Trail
Another one of the best hikes near Chicago is the Des Plaines River Trail. Although the trail is a short drive from Chicago, it’s a world away from the city. The trail, which runs along the river, is over 56 miles long and offers an oasis from the crowds and chaos. This is the perfect spot for a spontaneous outdoor adventure given its close proximity to Chicago.
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
Finally, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie offers 22 miles of hikes near Chicago. As the first national tallgrass prairie in the United States and the largest outdoor area in the Chicago region, it’s a must-see. You can even spot bison here, thanks to the bison experiment led by The Nature Conservatory. Spot them on the group 63 loop’s green route.
For more outdoor adventure inspiration, check out some of our previous post on outdoor activities to do in Chicago.
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