Explore the most popular lake trails in Illinois with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

First, this is a horse trail. Watch where you step! Also be aware and give them a wide berth. If you’re good with that, this is a fun short hike.

Several larger ponds and lots of woods make this a scenic hike. Tons of wildlife here and if you walk back into the woods a little, sit down on a log, and be still, you’ll be rewarded with an abundance of animal activity.

I wouldn’t come here after rain as it would quite muddy. It opens early, so if you like a sunrise hike, this is a great place. Don’t leave anything of value in your car. Parking is secluded and not great and signs warn of keeping your valuables with you. That said, I wouldn’t avoid this place due to safety. It’s really nice!

Great place to fish. Clean lakes and a great museum

Nice trail, very wooded

Decent trails that go through woods. Some hills and lakes that are nice. Nice place to visit

First time here. Some of the routes have been changed from the map. Not sure if that’s a seasonal thing or not.

Observation tower was cool but the highlight was the blind they built just for bird watching and photography. I sat there for a while taking pictures of the birds and other animals!

I wouldn’t come here if it was wet. Would be both way too muddy and the foot bridges over the big would be really slippery.

Nice little bits of elevation made this a nice hike and I’ll definitely be back!

Nice walk with minimal other dogs and people. Plenty of open space easily accessible off the trail to take my owner through the forest or across the prairie. Have your owner bring poo bags and carry them back out to the trash can at the parking lot. There were even restroom facilities for my owner.

Trail was really great, but it was really hard to find in the beginning. We went in the wrong direction and hit "no trespassing" signs after about half a mile. The trails are also not very well marked. It can also get pretty muddy in places.

Beautiful all year round!

Not much to look at but a great dog park!

Great for a relaxing walk...even with kids. Love the view of the lake...peaceful.

Kenyon Farm Forest Preserve in South Elgin is very simple and pleasant, with a small parking lot and paths not paved but mowed into the greenery. A small pond and several interesting trees.

I only rate this as a moderate hike because of the distance. It is a very easy hike. The western side is the best part of the hike. I would hike counterclockwise to save the best for last. several backpack camps all with fire rings and tables. trail is easy to follow if you use their map.

This trail is only the McKee Marsh area. Blackwell is actually south and east of the outlined trail.

Refer to the listing for “Regional, Bobolink, and Catbird” for Blackwell forest preserve.

lots of bikes. took our dogs and found a trail that was quiet andd woodsy. dogs loved it. main entrance was very busy and lots of bikes. my dogs hate bikes

We do this walk a lot with our dog. We like it.

Enjoy the inside trails. They are so much fun and very scenic.

My favorite for my skill level.

Its a very pretty touristy Trail I didnt see much of anyone and really ever do but look at the time I go . I aint much of a people person when im on a trail so I stay away from them and pick my times according if Im visiting a tourist/Disney Style trail. I always park in down town Ottawa and Backpacked to the 1st Canyon Trail (Horse Shoe Canyon and then pack from there all the way to the end (Visitor Center/Inn/Bar) Then I pack my way back to Ottawa. I do this just about every year . I love winter pack-ins and enjoy camping outside in the winter-freeze(Less people) so this is always a good winter start to my new year. I usually do it sometime in the month of Jan. I stay on the trail( which is frowned on) but I believe and live !!NO TRACE!! so no-one ever knows I was there and thats not saying much because although it is frowned on that I renegade camp this area has got alot of trash from your so-called-nature-lovers who throw away just about everything they carry in on the ground as they walk through this park !!!!!! It makes me so angry!!!!! You came with it so leave with it !! Its lighter now!!! so carry it out! If campgrounds-Trails-Wildernesses-Forests and Parks had trash everywhere people would complain "Dont go there its a Dump!" WELL MY FRIENDS YOU ARE THE REASON IT IS A DUMP. Outside of that rant I really enjoy my 2-half day Pack-in during the winter here and yes as I move along I pick up the trash left behind by others .Its not enough I carry 47lbs of winter backpacking gear on my back I carry a bag of your trash to throw away as well. SHOW RESPECT ,LEAVE NO TRACE!

Excellent trails lots of friendly runners!

Awesome trail to hike on a lazy day

Great escape nearby.

too cold.nice swans.too many geese.

20 days ago

Very nice 3.3 mile walk/hike. Trail starts and ends with pavement for 0.5 miles. Rest of the trail is dirt/gravel. Just over a mile of the trail winds around the eastern side of Mallard Lake. A few nice places to rest or take pictures. Def will be adding this trail to my local hikes.

Beautiful day for a hike yesterday. First time at the Park. Trails are in great shape. Hiked 3.5 miles.

20 days ago

Great for photography, nice walking path

It's a nice, easy stroll. The bluffs are all at one end of the trail so depending on the direction you go, you're either waiting to see bluffs or wondering if you'll see any more bluffs.

Fun hike, can be challenging to stay dry in the dells if your worried about staying dry.... I try to avoid it on the weekends as it can get packed full of people in the summer. Winter time is nice just don't forget your snow/ice cleats. One of the few good hiking spots within 60 miles of the metro area.

road biking
25 days ago

Nice hike, rode bikes around lake on the roads also. Launched kayaks and paddled around the lake too. Camped at campground

peaceful walk and nicely maintained trail but in the winter there isn't much to look at besides mcmansions.

28 days ago

Visited this trail on a nice Sunday morning. Trail was nicely marked and cleared. Gave 3 stars because we weren't able to find the rock structures and there were constant gun shots towards where the rocks were so we turned around and left.

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