Illinois

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

Top Running Spots in and near Illinois

  • Oglesby, Illinois

    Hike Ottawa Canyon at Starved Rock State Park

    5.0
    3.9 mi
    This canyon is not as popular as some of the others in this park but it is my favorite by far. You can either hike the full 3.9 miles from the visitor center or you can jump in your car and head over to one of the parking lots on the east side for a shorter hike. Either way you will not be disap...
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  • Oglesby, Illinois

    Hike to Starved Rock's La Salle Canyon

    4.3
    4.4 mi / 370 ft gain
    This out-and-back trail is one of the parks longest trails. Starting from the visitors center it is 2.2 mile hike one way and 4.4 miles if you go out and back. The trail is very much worth the long trek. You enjoy the views and fresh air of the Illinois river. You will also walk past the Illinois...
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  • 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...
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  • Oglesby, Illinois

    Hike Starved Rock's French Canyon

    4.5
    0.4 mi
    Starting from the visitors center or the parks restaurant, depending on where you parked. If you were forced to park by the restaurant because of a busy day, you will start the trail head with a map of the park. You will follow the tallest stairs of the park down to the visitors center where the ...
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  • Palos Park, Illinois

    Hike the Cap Sauers and Swallow Cliff Loop

    3.0
    4.74 mi / 259 ft gain
    The Swallows Cliff Woods, an 800 acre preserve, is known for its 100 ft bluff that provides visitors with a steep stair workout. On top of the bluff, however, there are less strenuous trail options, leading through the hilly, forested terrain, past wetlands and streams.
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  • Ringwood, Illinois

    Hike the Glacial Park Loop Trail

    2.3 mi / 216 ft gain
    Glacial Park is located in McHenry County Conservation District, near Richmond, Illinois. The park features prairies, a flowing river, and over 40 endangered plant and animal species. The park is open for hikers, horseback riders, fishers, and those wishing to canoe. Glacial Park is part of the H...
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  • Oregon, Illinois

    Hike Castle Rock North Trails

    4.0
    3.5 mi / 442 ft gain
    The Castle Rock North Trail is a 3.5 mile loop that is great for all skill levels, such as families, and dogs are allowed on leash! The hike features a river, and has scenic views of the nearby landscapes from the top of a lookout point. 
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  • Joliet, Illinois

    Hike the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site Trails Loop

    4.0
    1.3 mi / 26 ft gain
    The Joliet Iron Works Historic Site Trail is typically used for hiking, walking, and birding. If you want to amp up your hike, hop on the Illinois and Michigan Canal Trail, an 11 mile trail connecting the iron works to the Romeoville Prairie Nature Preserve. 
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  • 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...
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  • 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,...
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  • 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...
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  • Elwood, Illinois

    Buffalo Viewing Trail

    5.0
    3.65 mi / 72 ft gain
    The trail features chances to see bison, and scenic wild flowers. The Buffalo Viewing Trail is in Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, and is open year-round. Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on leash. Old army bunkers are scattered along the trail. The trail winds through a prairi...
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  • 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...
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  • Wilmington, Illinois

    Hike the Twin Oaks and Bunker Field Trail

    4.2 mi / 85 ft gain
    The trail is open for use year-round, and is great for snowshoeing in winter months. This trail allows dogs, but please keep your dog on a leash throughout the duration to avoid disturbing the wonderful bison.  Be weary of ticks - bring bug spray for you and your dog. 
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  • 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...
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  • 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.
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