The Best Photography in Chicago

Looking for the best photography in Chicago? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Chicago. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top photography spots in and near Chicago

  • North Riverside, Illinois

    Bike the Salt Creek Trail

    5.8 mi
    This trail is 5.8 miles of paved path, which is ideal for biking (especially those of us with road bikes), skating, and even running. The trail runs point-to-point and runs along the Salt Creek in Brookfield, IL. The trailhead is right near the Brookfield Zoo (for anyone with kids!). 
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  • Chicago, Illinois

    Explore Chicago's Luire Garden

    Visiting Chicago I was on a mission to find a great outdoors spot to be in. This definitely fulfilled my goal of finding a beautiful garden to hangout in! There are plenty of different paths and areas to explore just within the city! Location Located in Millennium Park it will be easy to find, t...
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  • Oak Brook, Illinois

    Run the Fullersburg Woods Loop

    4.0
    6 mi
    This is a six-mile loop along the banks of the Salt Creek in Oakbrook, IL. The flat trail features trees and wildflowers (great walk to do in autumn). Trail is also good for bike riders. There is a picnic area and the Graue Mill and Museum. Graue Mill is 150 years old and played a part in the Und...
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  • Willow Springs, Illinois

    Black Oak Trail at Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center

    4.5
    1.67 mi
    The trails traverse a rolling glacial highland of oak woods and prairie. The hiking trails connect to miles of multi-use trails where you can hike, mountain bike, cross country ski and snowshoe. Lastly, there is an interpretive center with exhibits about local nature and history.The trailhead s...
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  • Des Plaines, Illinois

    Watch the Sunset at Axehead Lake

    In a large city, it's nice to be able to find pockets of nature oasis amidst the chaos. It's great to come here with a journal or sketchbook and pass the time while watching the sunset. Fishing is available at this lake and there is a forest preserve that has a couple small trails. 
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  • Evanston, Illinois

    Catch a Sunrise at The Lakefill

    5.0
    From the Northwestern University campus, head to the Ryan Center for the Musical Arts to access the southern-most section of The Lakefill. If driving, parking is usually available nearby on Sheridan Road, to the southwest of The Lakefill. Once at the Ryan Center, take the pedestrian bridge on the...
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  • Lisle, Illinois

    Hike the Morton Arboretum's Main Trail Loops

    5 mi / 0 ft gain
    The Morton Arboretum is located off of Route 53 in Lisle, IL. The arboretum spans both the east and west sides of the road. Head to the east side of the park to access the Main Trail Loops. Visitors have to pay a small fee to enter the arboretum ($14 April through November, $9 December through Ma...
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  • Lemont, Illinois

    Kayak the Des Plaines River

    Not the easiest to get in or out of the river at this location, but it works, at least for a kayak. Look out for people using the Centennial trail, and those fishing nearby. Be careful and if you are able, wear good shoes or sandals (not flip flops) with some tread as it can get muddy. Nearby thi...
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  • Gary, Indiana

    Hike the Dune Succession Trail, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

    4.5
    1 mi / 150 ft gain
    This hike provides a great opportunity to explore the variable landscape and terrain in Indiana Dunes National Park. From the parking lot head north on a paved walkway toward Lake Michigan's shoreline. Next, walk down the boardwalk to the beach. Once you reach the coast, you'll have amazing view...
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  • Dune Acres, Indiana

    Hike the Cowles Bog Trail, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

    3.0
    4.4 mi / 200 ft gain
    To get to the trailhead parking lot: take Mineral Springs Road towards the community of Dune Acres. Just before you get to the guard shack for the community, turn onto the gravel road to the right - there will be signs indicating Cowles Bog Trail parking. Once parked, walk back towards the Dune A...
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  • Chesterton, Indiana

    Photograph the Chicago Skyline from the Indiana Dunes

    Indiana Dunes State Park and Beach is a family friendly beach perfect for a day out in the sun. However, it has something to offer most beaches don't - a view of Chicago over the water!  It's a great shot to try to capture on your camera, especially at sunset when colorful clouds fill the sky ove...
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  • Chesterton, Indiana

    Hike the 3 Dune Challenge

    5.0
    1.5 mi / 552 ft gain
    Start at the Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center (the first exit off the roundabout in the park after the toll), after receiving your park map, and follow the 3 dune challenge. This challenge, looping trails 8 and 4, involves climbing to the top of Mt. Jackson (176 feet), Mt. Holden (184 feet)...
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