Hike through Gander Mountain Forest Preserve

Rate this Adventure Illinois Gander Mountain

Added by Nick Halberg

Hiking through Gander Mountain Forest Preserve provides a vivid reminder of what a forest should be. The awkward parking and unkept trails deter most visitors, leaving plenty of solitude for those who seek it.

Starting from Wilmot Road, a sign and closed gate will mark the entrance of the preserve.  Simply park on the shoulder of the road and be wary of passing cars.  Once across the gate, head straight along the single path for the fastest route to the lookout, or turn right along the old dirt road to hit the main "artery" of the forest.

The dirt road leads to the Fox River in the back of the preserve where views of the Wilmot Ski Mountain are available.  If it is winter, skiers can be seen riding the slopes.  Otherwise, many small, single paths branch off across the preserve and offer different perspectives on the forest.  I strongly encourage exploring as many of these as you can.  I have been hiking here dozens of times and still find new areas with features totally unique to the rest of the preserve.

Pack List

  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Day pack
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Hiking, Snowshoeing

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



3 Miles

Elev. Gain:

350 Feet



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Added by Nick Halberg

Aspiring Dirtbag

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