E.L. Ryerson Conservation Area Loop Trail is a 3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Deerfield, Illinois that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
3.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
42 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

birding

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bridge out

bugs

muddy

old growth

snow

washed out

no dogs

The preserve's rich natural and cultural history is recognized by its dual designation as an Illinois Nature Preserve (a selection saved for ecologically high quality land) and as a Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places. Over 6.5 miles of scenic trails wind through woods to the Des Plaines River. Trails here are open for hiking and, when snow is at least four inches deep, cross-country skiing. Trails lead past historic buildings, next to the Des Plaines River and into a woodland dense enough to block out most human-made noises. Some visitors have even said that they feel transported far from Lake County as they follow the trails.

1 month ago

This has become one of my favorite place to go

3 months ago

This place is beautiful. They do a great job managing for removal of invasive plants.

The trails get flooded in Spring and after rains. Mosquitoes can be intense especially near sections of the river.

There are historic settler cabins on the site.

Terrain is mostly flat with well maintained trails so it’s an easier hike.

In Autumn the sugar maples paint the sky yellow. In Spring the spring ephemerals paint the ground with varying waves of color.

hiking
3 months ago

Trail surface: grass and mud, have had a lot of rain this year. Bugs: we did the three mile Outer Loop and almost turned back due to swarms of mosquitoes, also found ticks on me and my husband when we got home. Scenery: Really beautiful, but not much variation, wooded areas, grassy areas, wood bridges and river. Elevation gain: even though map claims some elevation feels essential flat. Amenities: Visitor Center very nice, restrooms very clean, staff very friendly, drinking fountain outside building, ample parking. Overall a lovely hike but mosquitoes a huge problem.

3 months ago

Hate to ever give a bad rating, but this place is a mosquito pit. Wanted to run 4-5 miles but cut it short due to the bugs.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

I went on a hike here with my boyfriend. Very romantic. Gorgeous view by the cabin over looking the lake.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Very nice for an easy hike, lots of bridges and great views of the river. So far I've only done the outer 3.5 miles. Definitely need bug spray for the more grassy areas.

hiking
Sunday, September 03, 2017

Not a great place to walk dogs on trail or off trail. Heavily trafficked with road bikes on trial and off trail paths are unclear with really tall grass.

If you want a peaceful walk this isn't the place. Fairly busy in general.

trail running
Monday, November 07, 2016

Beautiful trail, saw several deer. Loved the part next to the river. Trail intersections had a map so you could orient yourself for longer or shorter run. Outer loop ended up just over 3 mikes

Sunday, November 06, 2016

So peaceful and beautiful.

walking
Saturday, November 05, 2016

Nice walk through the woods. I like that the trail goes along the river. Very happy to see all the habitat restoration. Cool place to learn about the history of the area. I will definitely be back to check it out in the spring.

walking
Saturday, October 15, 2016

Love this place! Very flat path and very wooded. Definitely bring bug spray if it's summer. Have seen a few garter snakes sun bathing in the afternoon here-- super neat!

hiking
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A beautiful, easy walk in the woods. Bring the bug spray though!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

beautiful! love it :)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Very pleasant

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Nice hike but load up on the bug spray. Mosquitoes are really bad.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

This one's also listed under "Ryerson Woods Hike." Looks as though most people find it through that one. Maybe this one could be merged into that one?

hiking
Thursday, July 16, 2015

One of the best hikes I can find within 15 minutes of my house. The outer loop makes for a great 2-4 hour hike, depending on your pace. Completed it in about two, but that was going at a good pace to outrun mosquitos! They've been worse this year than any in recent memory. Could easily spend a lot more time exploring. My little buddy on my back had a great time too, and even got to see a couple big bucks with nice antlers that still had some velvet on them!

walking
Saturday, July 04, 2015

Loved this place, so peaceful. Unfortunately, we found three ticks on my husband and son after our walk.

hiking
Monday, January 05, 2015

Great place to hike 1-1.5 hours. Deciduous woods along the upper Des Plaines river. You'll see deer (rather abundant here) along with the normal animals and birds found in northern Illinois. Watch out for roots and fallen trees, especially in fall / winter when the leaves and snow cover these up. The walkways over the flood prone areas are great but if the temp is at freezing or below beware the black ice that builds up. Visitor center is a great place to start to get an idea on the trails and the history of this area.

hiking
Monday, October 07, 2013

Great for families with young kids. Lots of short, flat trails so you can walk just about any length you like. The area is apparently a 1930's & 40's-era vacation get-away for a steel tycoon (named Ryerson) and some friends who had log cabins on the Des Plaines river, which are still maintained and on the trails. Ryerson's summer home is also on the property and operates as a small museum / art gallery. Near the welcome center, there is a farm area with sheep, goats, and chicken.

There's not much to offer a hard-core hiker, but this is a wonderful little spot to get away from the city with your kids for the better part of a day.

hiking
Monday, July 15, 2013

Very nice walk. Many Mosquitos. Good map at visitor center. Almost alone there on a Sunday afternoon.

hiking
Friday, December 28, 2012

Ryerson is relatively easy and lightly used with several easy loops. Good for bird watching and seeing the occasional deer. A lot of beaver evidence along the river as well. Open year round but can get mesy during the winter/

hiking
Friday, June 08, 2012

I thought this was one of the best places to visit in the neighborhood. A great place to go to if you need to clear your mind. Very peaceful and relaxing, lots of nature sounds. Lots of options for different trails to take. It's fantastic!

hiking
Saturday, May 12, 2012

A very underutilized trail in the Lake County Forest Preserve District. I was there the day after a pretty drenching evening which made the trail quite messy, but no less enjoyable. The view of the Des Plaines River is enjoyable and this is one of the better trails which is open to hikers only. (Many of the forest preserve trails are open to bikes and equestrian traffic.)

birding
Friday, April 22, 2011

Ryerson Woods is quite close to where I live. I have been there many, many times. It is a Lake County forest preserve area. It deserves more attention than it gets. Even on weekends with beautiful weather, I am often the only person there. It it were not for the constant traffic noise from nearby Milwaukee Road, it would seem very solitudinous. Trail can be muddy after a hard rain, but there are boardwalks covering the muddiest parts. Mosquitoes can be bad during the summer, especially in the southern part of the preserve, so bring DEET.

hiking
1 month ago

nature trips
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

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