Des Plaines, Illinois

Top Spots in and near Des Plaines

  • 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. 
    Read more
  • Northfield, Illinois

    Bike the Skokie Lagoons North Loop

    3.0
    4.5 mi
    Starting at Tower Road, the path follows the bridge east to Forest Way Drive. The path mostly follows the road, and the shoreline of the lagoons up to Dundee Road, where you turn back West. Once across the bridge, you then head south on the paved trail back towards Tower Road. The Route is marked...
    Read more
  • 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...
    Read more
  • Deerfield, Illinois

    Hike the Prairie Wolf Slough Loop

    3.0
    1.01 mi / 9 ft gain
    Park in the lot off of half day road (see map) to access the trail. Accessible year round, great for all skill levels, and dog-friendly.
    Read more
  • Brookfield, Illinois

    Salt Creek Greenway Trail

    13.99 mi / 551 ft gain
    This trail is almost 7 miles one-way (14 miles out-and-back) of paved path, makes for an ideal biking (especially those of us with road bikes), skating, and even running path. The trail runs out-and-back along the Salt Creek in Brookfield, IL. The trailhead is right near the Brookfield Zoo (for a...
    Read more
  • Chicago, Illinois

    Run Chicago’s Lakefront Trail

    5.0
    6.7 mi
    Chicago – the third largest city in the US and home to the deep dish pizza – doesn’t exactly scream “outdoorsy.” In reality, there is much more to Chicago than skyscrapers; there are dozens of parks, outdoor music venues, and the city is right on Lake Michigan, making it very easy on the eyes. Be...
    Read more
  • Oak Brook, Illinois

    Run the Fullersburg Woods Loop

    4.7
    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...
    Read more
  • Vernon Hills, Illinois

    Big Bear and Little Bear Lake Loop

    1.74 mi / 43 ft gain
    Big Bear and Little Bear Lake Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near Vernon Hills, Illinois.
    Read more
  • Chicago, Illinois

    Lakeshore Path: North Ave Beach to Navy Pier

    1.84 mi / 72 ft gain
    Lakeshore Path: North Ave Beach to Navy Pier is a point-to-point trail that takes you past scenic surroundings located near Chicago, Illinois.
    Read more
  • Chicago, Illinois

    Millennium Park Trail

    5.0
    0.63 mi / 26 ft gain
    Millennium Park Trail is a loop trail that takes you past scenic surroundings located near Chicago, Illinois.
    Read more
  • Chicago, Illinois

    Luire Garden

    0.18 mi / 10 ft gain
    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,...
    Read more
  • Chicago, Illinois

    Grant Park

    4.5
    Grant Park is located on the east side of Chicago. It is a great place to spend the day and explore. From the famous "Bean", which is actually named "the cloud", to Buckingham Fountain there is plenty to see in this park. It is also a great place to see the Chicago skyline, as well as have a picn...
    Read more
  • 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...
    Read more
  • Warrenville, Illinois

    Herrick Lake Trail

    4.0
    8.2 mi / 390 ft gain
    This is an easy trail for beginners, with a packed gravel clearly-marked trail shared  by walkers, runners, bicyclists, and even horses (the trail is next to Denada Equestrian Center).  Gently sloping trails lead through prairie land, next to small ponds filled with singing frogs, some wooded are...
    Read more
  • Willow Springs, Illinois

    Cemetery Hill

    2 mi / 100 ft gain
    Just outside of Chicago the Palos Region of the Cook County Forest Preserve offers a few thousand acres of dirt single track and limestone paths. Here you will find rolling hills and bluff that will rev up your hill workouts. This single track loop is great for mountain biking and trail running...
    Read more
  • Willow Springs, Illinois

    Black Oak Trail

    4.5
    2.64 mi / 148 ft gain
    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...
    Read more

Camping and Lodging in Des Plaines

Chicago Northwest KOA Holiday
Union, Illinois

Chicago Northwest KOA Holiday

Guides, Insights and Stories from Des Plaines

Chicago: Where urban nature runs wild

Chicago: Where urban nature runs wild

Erica Zazo