E.L. Ryerson Conservation Area Loop Trail

EASY 54 reviews

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.

3.0 miles
29 feet

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly


cross country skiing


nature trips

rock climbing


trail running





wild flowers



bridge out



old growth


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.

2 months ago

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

4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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.

7 months ago

Amazing place to clear your mind! Cool learning the history of the land and seeing the original cabins along the river. Not crowded, peaceful. A+

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.

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.

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!

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?

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!

Saturday, July 04, 2015

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

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.

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.

Monday, July 15, 2013

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

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/

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!

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