The Best Walking Trails - Oak Park & the Near West Suburbs

Welcome to Oak Park and the Near West Suburbs, where charming neighborhoods seamlessly blend with natural beauty to create an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. From tranquil riverside paths to lush forested trails, our communities boast an array of walking trails that cater to every level of adventurer.


Whether you're looking to stroll amidst colorful gardens or take a challenging hike through dense woodlands, Oak Park and its surrounding suburbs offer many options to explore. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the best walking trails in the area, where each step promises new discoveries and unforgettable experiences.


The Best Walking Trails in Oak Park & the Near West Suburbs



Oak Park


Lindberg Loop


The Lindberg Loop in Oak Park, Illinois, offers a delightful 0.5-mile trail that promises a refreshing escape from the bustle of daily life. This breezy route, known for its ease, clocks in at around 12 minutes for completion, making it perfect for a quick walk or a leisurely exploration. Whether you're cruising on your bike, pounding the pavement with a run, or walking for fitness or pleasure, this trail caters to all modes of movement. With its serene ambiance and sparse foot traffic, encountering fellow wanderers is a rarity, allowing you to revel in the tranquility of nature undisturbed. 


Open year-round, this trail unveils its beauty every season, inviting you to soak in the sights and sounds of Oak Park's natural splendor whenever the mood strikes. Furry companions are welcome, too, if they're leashed and ready to trot alongside you. This trail is accessible with its smooth, paved concrete surface and gentle grades for visitors of all abilities, including those with wheelchairs, strollers, or mobility equipment. Plus, with benches peppered along the way, there are plenty of spots to pause and catch your breath. 


Difficulty: Easy


Length: .517 miles. | 2 Laps equal 1 mile


Location: 1151 North Marion Street, Oak Park


Click here to learn more. 



Austin Gardens Environmental Center Loop 


Uncover the charm of the Austin Gardens Environmental Center Loop, a hidden gem near Oak Park, Illinois. This loop spans approximately 0.25 miles and is perfect for a quick walk or a stroll through nature's wonders. Whether you're zipping along on your bike, lacing up your running shoes, or simply strolling along, this trail caters to all modes of exploration. 


The ideal time to experience this oasis of greenery is from Spring through Fall, when the landscape is alive with vibrant hues and lush foliage. And don't forget your furry companions – dogs are welcome, provided they're leashed and ready to sniff out some fun. As for accessibility, the trail features a smooth paved concrete and brick surface and gentle grades. There are plenty of benches scattered along the path to enjoy the beauty of the Austin Gardens Environmental Center Loop.


Difficulty: Easy


Length: 1,240 feet | 4.2 laps equal 1 mile


Location: 167 Forest Avenue, Oak Park


Click here to learn more. 



Taylor Park Path 


Get ready for an adventure through Taylor Park Path, a charming 0.5-mile in the heart of Oak Park, Illinois. This trail is the perfect route for runners and walkers alike, and the park sits on the edge of a moraine from the remains of what was once glacial Lake Chicago. With its easy-going terrain, completing the loop takes just around 10 minutes, leaving plenty of time to soak up the sights and sounds of nature.


This path is perfect for a brisk morning walk with your stroller or a lazy afternoon with your leashed four-legged friend. So, plan your next walk for Taylor Park Path!




Length: .5 miles | 2 laps equal 1 mile


Location: West Division Street, Oak Park


Click here to learn more. 






Salt Creek Trail System 


Welcome to the Salt Creek Trail System, a picturesque network of trails winding along the Des Plaines River, Salt Creek, and even offering glimpses of the renowned Brookfield Zoo. Located in Brookfield and stretching throughout the towns of Forest View, La Grange Park, Lyons, McCook, North Riverside, Oak Brook, Riverside, Westchester, and Western Springs, this trail system showcases the natural beauty of Illinois' glacial valleys and unique ecosystems. Whether you're a beginner seeking a gentle introduction to hiking, an intermediate explorer craving a bit more challenge, or an advanced trekker ready to tackle longer distances, there's a trail suited just for you. 


For beginners, kick off your adventure at Bemis Woods-North, where a 1.7+ mile unpaved trail offers rolling terrain and scenic vistas. Intermediate hikers can head to Brezina Woods, where 6 to 8 miles of paved paths await, providing a satisfying balance of challenge and enjoyment. For the seasoned adventurers, the Brookfield Woods Red Paved trail, stretching over 14+ miles of paved surfaces and undulating terrain, promises an exhilarating journey through nature's wonders. So, lace up your hiking boots, pick your path, and get ready to explore the Salt Creek Trail System.


Difficulty: Varying paths from easy to challenging


Length: Varying lengths from 1.7 miles to 14 +


Popular Locations: 


Bemis Woods - North - Wolf Rd, south of 31st St


Brezina Woods - N La Grange Rd, south of W Cermak Rd


Brookfield Woods - Red Paved Trail  - 31st St, west of 1st Ave


Click here to learn more. 


Forest Park


Miller Meadow Trail


A favorite for dog lovers, Miller  Meadow Trail, is a winding 2-mile trail nestled in a popular outdoor recreation area near Forest Park, Illinois. This paved loop offers a delightful escape for road bikers, runners, and leisurely walkers alike, with an average completion time of 30 minutes. What sets this trail apart is the beautiful off-leash dog park near the trail. The fenced-in dog area is popular with dog owners, allowing off-leash exploration. 


Situated conveniently on the city's west side, Miller Meadow offers easy access from the expressway, making it a go-to destination for outdoor enthusiasts in the Near West Suburbs. The entire loop boasts pristine pavement, perfect for a variety of activities. This trail can accommodate visitors of all abilities, with designated accessible parking spaces and smooth, wide pathways suitable for wheelchairs, mobility equipment, or strollers. So bring along your furry friend for an adventure on the Miller Meadow Trail. 


Difficulty: Easy


Length: 2 miles


Location: 1st Ave, south of Roosevelt Rd

Click here to learn more. 


La Grange


Sedgwick Loop 


Get your steps in at the Sedgewick Loop in La Grange, Illinois, a local 0.6-mile trail offering a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. With its easy-going terrain, completing this loop takes around 11 minutes, making it ideal for a quick jog or leisurely stroll. Perfect for runners and walkers, this trail is also great for dog walking. Leashed dogs are welcome on the trail. 


The trail is unpaved, so check the weather before you lace up your sneakers, as the path can get muddy. Experience the great outdoors at Sedgewick Loop and Park in La Grange.



Difficulty: Easy


Length: .6-mile


Location: 10th Avenue & 48th Street, LaGrange


Click here to learn more. 




Illinois Prairie Path in Maywood  


The Illinois Prairie Path is a 5.1-mile out-and-back journey through Maywood. This popular urban trail, one of the three original sections of the Illinois Prairie Path, offers a perfect blend of nature and cityscape. Beginning off South 1st Avenue in Maywood, the trail winds westward, passing through a mix of residential and industrial areas. 


Walkers, joggers, and bikers frequent the path during the prime months of March through October. Several road crossings are necessary to navigate the trail, so be prepared. Get your walking shoes ready and set off to explore the beauty and diversity of the Illinois Prairie Path in Maywood.


Difficulty: Easy to moderate


Length: 5.1 miles out and back


Location: 1st Avenue, south of Maybrook Drive, Maywood

Click here to learn more. 




River Forest


Thatcher Woods Hiking Trail 


Uncover the natural beauty of Thatcher Woods Hiking Trail, an easy 2.1-mile walking path along the river near River Forest, Illinois. Known for its natural terrain, the trail promises an adventure perfect for birding, hiking, or even a brisk run. With an average completion time of just 38 minutes, you'll have ample opportunity to soak in the sights and sounds of nature. What sets this trail apart is its proximity to the Des Plaines River, offering a glimpse of nature and wildlife. 


Whether you're a nature enthusiast seeking out bird species or simply looking to stretch your legs amidst tranquil surroundings, Thatcher Woods Trail is the place to find it all. This unpaved trail is best enjoyed in dry weather, as the trail can get muddy and slippery during inclement weather. Furry companions are welcome to join the adventure if they're leashed and ready to explore Thatcher Woods Hiking Trail alongside you.


Difficulty: Easy to moderate


Length: 2.1 miles


Location: Chicago Ave, west of Thatcher Ave River Forest


Click here to learn more. 




Schiller Park 


Des Plaines River Trail Loop Robinson Woods South


Explore the scenic Des Plaines River Trail Loop in Schiller Park, Illinois, a beloved destination for those who love to explore nature. The 3.7-mile loop is a favorite for walking, riding, and hiking. With recent upgrades enhancing the trail's appeal, visitors can expect a delightful experience despite occasional challenges like mud and flooding after rainfall. 


The trail offers simple yet enjoyable hiking, with side trails to discover local wildlife. While spring may still present icy and flooded sections, the fall season treats hikers to vibrant colors and stunning vistas. You'll find a scenic trail through beautiful natural habitats when you venture along the Des Plaines River Trail Loop at Robinson Woods South.


Difficulty: Easy to moderate


Length: 3.7 miles


Location: Des Plaines River Rd, south of Lawrence Ave. Schiller Park, IL 


Click here to learn more. 

Whether you’re going for a walk, a run, or taking your four-legged friend out to play for the day, meet us at the walking trails in Oak Park and the Near West Suburbs!