Chicago Botanic Garden Hike is a 1.9 mile loop trail located near Northbrook, IL. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking, walking, and birding.
This is a beautiful walk or stroll. It is not a hike.
The Botanic Gardens is connected to the North Branch Trail. The bike trail cuts through the middle of it but the real value is in hiking/walking the 'bike free' trails and islands. Park along the North Branch Trail or the Green Bay Trail and ride in. Beautiful!
-You do have to pay to access the Botanic Gardens if you Drive.
-There is free bicycle access from the North Branch Trail and a large designated area for locking up bicycles near the welcome center.
-They host garden related classes/seminars here
-They often have art shows & other events.
-There are drinking water fountains located throughout the property.
-They have snack & gift shops.
I love going to the Botanic Gardens. While it's true that there is an outer trail that allows bicycle and cars, the inner trails are pedestrian only. Some are paved and handicap accessible, others are not.There are so many little areas to discover with trails along waterfalls & around lakes/lagoons, regionally themed gardens, beautiful fountains & sculptures, to the wonderful greenhouses.
The trails are vast for such a small area and wind through the property like a spider web. I don't think I would be possible to be lost for long, but having a map (downloaded here or picked up for free at the visitor center) will help you find what your looking for and improve your overall experience. Is this the place to go for a challenging hike, no. Is this a great place to go to pass a morning or afternoon, definitely!
The botanical garden is beautiful, especially the Japanese garden. The trail surrounding it is ok. Cars are allowed, so it is not very peaceful. You can spot some storks and other wildlife in the Dixon Prairie.
One can never get enough of the botanic garden! Beautiful!