Van Patten Woods Forest Preserve Loop

easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(85)
Van Patton Woods Forest Preserve

Van Patten Woods Forest Preserve Loop is a 6.8 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Zion, 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.

Distance: 6.8 km Elevation Gain: 25 m Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

paddle sports


bird watching






wild flowers



An oak forest, 86-acre Sterling Lake and the Des Plaines River provide a picturesque backdrop for a variety of outdoor recreation activities at this preserve. Five miles of trails are open to hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders, and cross-country skiers. The Des Plaines River Trail (DPRT) bisects

13 hours ago

Nice trails, very well maintained. Lots of horse poop. Very open loop around the lake. Wide trails, lots of picnic tables. Lots of leashed dogs on trails and people fishing. Stroller and kid friendly.

Before we used to walk only around the lake on blue loop, and it was way too hot in sunny weather as there is no shade. But yellow loop has a lot of trees around so it much nicer there. We also tried green loop but had to turn back as part of it was flooded (it was raining days prior), but rather than that it was a nice loop as well. Just watch out for horse poop. Especially if you walk with a dog.

Mostly flat, easy going trail. Definitely do the offshoot into the woods. Way fewer people and the big trees on both sides was nice. Arrived on a Saturday around noon and the park was open, though only one entrance was open— so don’t be discouraged if you turn into the other one and see the road closed. It was getting much more crowded when we left, but the trail is wide enough to keep 6ft between you and others. Dog friendly too!

was pretty good due to hard rains lately there were some swampy areas but if you stayed on the path it was fine

highly manicured trails that is easy, fun and very accessible. watch out for horse poo!

2 months ago

The trail is OPEN. Walked around the lake which was dry, however it’s pretty beat up from horses using it when wet, so I wouldn’t recommend running it. If you go inside the woods towards the back of the lake, it’s much better. The trails are mostly dry with some areas that have collected water but you can avoid it easily since the trails are so wide. The woods are awesome too, if it’s too windy around the lake. One of my favorite spots for sure.

3 months ago

Trailhead was closed maybe for the season?

5 months ago

Great flat trail with good connector trail ( yellow ) that’s easy to walk . Tons of parking and views. Great for biking !

7 months ago

Beautiful lake scenery, wonderful native grasses and flowers, wooded hiking areas. One of my favorite places to bike, hike and canoe at.

Sun Sep 16 2018

Sun Sep 16 2018

Beautiful vibe!!

Sun Jun 24 2018

Lots to look at. Not much shade .. I was dying on a 97 degree day but I would go back

Mon May 22 2017

Well maintained trail and horses but not to exciting. Took blue and yellow trail.

Thu Sep 01 2016

nice dense woods with lots of Wildlife

Sun Aug 07 2016

We did the blue loop trail. Not great if you're trying to take an interesting hike. Nice for biking, horseback riding or jogging. Pretty dull and entirely exposed to the sun the entire loop except for a few small areas. Would not hike it again.

Fri May 20 2016

Nice trail, pretty trees, lovely meadows. Watch out for road apples!

Tue May 17 2016

About a 1.5 mile hike to the north entrance from the truck stop. Followed the river around the east side of the lake. Over cast breezy afternoon. Saw horse tracks a me cyclers and a few joggers. Nice families and friendly fishermen. I saw a couple of families of geese with their new young. On the northwest side of the lake were two beaver lodges which were occupied. Overall it was a nice nearby hike that ended up being about eight miles round trip. Quite a few more in the area I'd like to try next.

mountain biking
Mon Jun 09 2014

I did the Blue Loop on my bike and really liked it. I will be going back to try another trail.

Fri Apr 11 2014

The trail is nice. There aren't really any hills, for Illinois that is. Most of the trail has horse prints so watch your feet when running, walking would be easy. This will probably go away after a good rain. I ran the entire trail and once the leaves come in it will be awesome. I will be going back.

16 hours ago

16 hours ago

22 hours ago

mountain biking
4 days ago

8 days ago

15 days ago

Showing results 1 - 30 of 85