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Best Family Hikes Near Chicago

This spring, consider hiking in the great outdoors with your family. While you know about Chicago's Lakefront Trail and can't wait for The 606 to open, there are plenty of other trails and paths you can follow without leaving the Chicago area. From hiking in forest preserves to taking a stroll among sculptures, check out these paths for a great family hike. Before you head out the door, brush up on the essentials you and your family will need for a safe and fun hike. You should also check out the trail's website for rules and regulations specific to that location, as well as when a trail will open and close on a specific date. For additional trails to follow, take a look at this article and this article.

Lake County Forest Preserves
(Photo Credit: Lake County Forest Preserves's Facebook)

Fort Sheridan
Lake County Forest Preserves
1899 West Winchester Road
Libertyville, IL 60048
(847) 367-6640

Located right by Lake Michigan, Fort Sheridan offers about 4.5 miles for hiking and plenty of opportunities to learn about local history, appealing to both history buffs and fitness enthusiasts. Whether you want to take a relaxed stroll or prefer a traditional hike, Fort Sheridan offers a little of both as parts of the path are paved, while other parts are mowed grass. In addition, Fort Sheridan boasts about 1.3 miles for bicycling. If you want to hike for a longer period of time, then keep in mind that the trail ties into other trails in the area.

Fullersburg Woods
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(630) 933-7200

Located in suburban Oak Brook, Fullersburg Woods boasts about six miles of trails. You and your family can check out the Wildflower Trail and learn more about the wildflowers found in the area. Trails are open to walkers, and you can ride your bike, too. Consult Fullersburg Woods' website for information on trail routes. You can make a full afternoon out of the forest preserve by checking out the Nature Education Center and Graue Mill.

Humboldt Park
(Photo Credit:

Humboldt Park
1400 N. Sacramento Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 742-7549

If you're looking for a hike in Chicago's Northwest Side, then consider lacing up your shoes and heading to Humboldt Park. The park covers more than 200 acres and includes a total of about 5.5 miles of paths that take you near a lagoon, soccer fields and other amenities. Humboldt Park also includes tennis courts and a children's playground, so you can spend time hiking and playing with your family. The park also hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year.

Independence Grove
Lake County Forest Preserves
16400 W. Buckley Rd.
Libertyville, IL 60048
(847) 968-3499

Pack a picnic and spend an afternoon at Independence Grove with your family. The forest preserve boasts a total of more than six miles of paths and offers plenty of family-friendly activities. While you can hike, you can also ride your bikes on the paths or rent boats and canoes. The Children's Grove will allow the youngest hikers in your group to run off extra energy on a playground just for them, too.

Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park
McCormick Blvd. from Touhy Ave. to Dempster St.
Skokie, IL 60076
(847) 679-4265

The Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park probably isn't what you have in mind when you think of a hike with your family. But if you're looking for a relaxing stroll and a chance to walk among an array of larger-than-life sculptures, then give this path a look. The park stretches about two miles and features works by a number of artists. If you've ever been curious to see who created which sculpture and get the inside story on how each work was created, then take a look at the park's website. Parking lots are available near the path, too. Heads up: The path crosses a few busy streets.

Related: Best Backpacking Trips Near Chicago

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in "-er." She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at

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