Very few things are as beautiful as a run, bike or hike through one of our forest preserves. No matter the time of year, Lake County enjoys a kaleidoscope of colors and natural beauty our trails have to offer. The Des Plaines River Trail is a popular trail for running, hiking or biking and one that I personally enjoy exploring. This trail offers absolutely stunning views and runs from the Wisconsin / Illinois Border, through 31 miles of Lake County, including 12 Lake County Forest Preserves. It also provides a link to other trails like the North Shore Bike Path, the McClory Trail and the Millennium Trail. Whether you’re cruising along the peaceful Des Plaines River, coasting under bridges, passing through forest preserves or traveling through scenic meadows, the Des Plaines River Trail always offers a picturesque view.
If you are looking to get away from it all, I highly recommend the Chain O'Lakes trails or the trails at Illinois Beach State Park. The trails at Illinois Beach wind along the shores of Lake Michigan, grassy sand dunes, wetlands, open prairies and diverse woodlands. The trail itself is as diverse as the environment and is paved with various sections of stone, grass, dirt and even sand. You will enjoy a nice brisk breeze off Lake Michigan or the Chain O'Lakes. You cannot go wrong with either path you choose to explore.
With all of these trails to run on and explore, your sneakers should be laced up and ready to hit the pavement in one of the counties numerous 5Ks.
Continue here to view the latest map of Lake County bike paths and trails. Bike path users can tap into this mapping technology on their mobile device while they are on the trails.
Return to Lake County Outdoor Guide