Middlefork Savanna Loop Trail

EASY 7 reviews

Middlefork Savanna Loop Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Forest, Illinois that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.2 miles 62 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly



mountain biking

nature trips

road biking


trail running


cross country skiing





wild flowers




Middlefork Savanna is described as the best surviving black soil savanna in Illinois. In fact, over 25 acres of the preserve are considered the highest quality soil savanna in the nation and a globally threatened ecosystem. Home to a rare tallgrass savanna, Middlefork Savanna features a mix of oak savanna and woodlands, wet and mesic prairies, sedge meadows and marshes. Middlefork provides valuable protection for state and federally listed species such as the Blanding's turtle. A 4-mile gravel trail is open for hiking, bicycling and cross-country skiing. Two boardwalks on the trail help protect sensitive wetland areas. A short 0.5-mile mowed path is open for hiking. Once part of a large glacial lake, Middlefork Savanna provides safe harbor for endangered plant and wildlife species, and several environmentally sensitive wetlands that feed into the North Branch of the Chicago River. Chicago Wilderness has identified Middlefork Savanna as one of the most important sites for biodiversity in northeastern Illinois. Because of its size, Middlefork supports an impressive list of uncommon birds, butterflies and other species that require large open areas for survival. Middlefork also serves as a national ecological research site and outdoor classroom for universities, schools, and other organizations.

2 days ago

5 months ago

Very nice and easy trail. Half of the northern loop is grass path and the rest is a wide gravel trail. I ran in mid Sept. lots of wild flowers.

7 months ago

Mostly a hike through prairie and wetlands. Great for bird watching.

7 months ago

Loved this trail. Not far from downtown. Great with a dog. Easy parking. Super clean. Will be back!

1 year ago

i walk and bike this trail throughout the year. If you time it right you'll see deer, coyote, herons, cranes, various duck breeds, Canadian geese, Indigos, Bobwhites, Baltimore Orioles,owls and many other birds found in wet lands. There's an educational center at the entrance where you can see raptors that were rehabbed. Highly recommend taking the time to hike here.Trail connects with the North Branch Bike Trail that you can ride into Chicago.

2 years ago

Fantastic for a family hike! Also great for the family dog.

2 years ago