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Running, Hiking, Biking Lake County

Run, hike, bike, we have it all...

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.

I hope to see you next weekend exploring any one of our trails or at a local 5k!

Return to Lake County Outdoor Guide


Adler Park
(Libertyville)
Any season is a good time to come to Adler Park. When its warm enjoy the swimming pool, trails, play...

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Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods
(Riverwoods)
Located among pristine woodlands in the Ryerson historic home in Riverwoods, Il., Brushwood Center a...

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Captain Daniel Wright Woods
(Mettawa)
This peaceful oasis among the bustling suburbs offers 4 miles of scenic trails: a short loop for hik...

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Century Park
(Vernon Hills)
The Park's 113 acres, 54 of which are water, includes basketball and volleyball courts, fishing, bal...

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Chain O'Lakes State Park
(Spring Grove)
Located in the heart of Illinois' largest concentration of natural lakes, Chain O'Lakes State Park i...

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Chain O'Lakes State Park Riding Stable
(Spring Grove)
The Chain O'Lakes State Park riding stable offers seasonal riding opportunities with the "Come Ride ...

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Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway
(Wadsworth)
The Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway protects land along more than 85 percent of the river in La...

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Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area & Welcome Center
(Riverwoods)
Ryerson Woods is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This area is one of the best ex...

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Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve
(Ft. Sheridan)
NOTE: Due to ongoing restoration as part of the Great Lakes Fish and Ecosystem Restoration program, ...

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Greenbelt Cultural Center
(North Chicago)
Nestled within the native landscape of the Greenbelt Forest Preserve between North Chicago and Wauke...

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Heller Nature Center
(Highland Park)
Visitors can enjoy a 97-acre preserve with oak-hickory forests, tall grass prairie, oak savanna and ...

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Illinois Beach State Park
(Zion)
Illinois Beach State Park is located along the shores of Lake Michigan from Waukegan to the Wisconsi...

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Independence Grove Forest Preserve
(Libertyville)
This scenic 1,135-acre preserve offers a wide range of outdoor recreation and education opportunitie...

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Lake County Forest Preserves
(Libertyville)
As principal guardian of Lake County’s open space and natural areas since 1958, the District manages...

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Lakewood Forest Preserve
(Wauconda)
Lakewood is Lake County's largest forest preserve. This preserve features dedicated equestrian trail...

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North Point Marina
(Winthrop Harbor)
North Point Marina is a World Class Marina at a World Class Value offering convenient on-site amenit...

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Old School Forest Preserve
(Libertyville)
Looking for winter fun, Old School Forest Preserve is the place to be. Bring out the sled, cross-cou...

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Openlands Lakeshore Preserve
(Highland Park)
The Openlands Lakeshore Preserve presents a rare opportunity to visit one of the last remaining ravi...

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Park District of Highland Park
(Highland Park)
The Park District of Highland Park, founded in 1909, operates and manages over 650 acres of land in ...

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Paulus Park
(Lake Zurich)
A popular visitors destination, as well as a favorite gathering spot for local residents featuring a...

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Volo Bog State Natural Area
(Ingleside)
If you're looking for a truly unique outdoor adventure, head for Volo Bog State Natural Area in nort...

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