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.
- Water bottle
- Day pack
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