This section is for all of the wonderful things we have in the Southwest Suburbs or nearby. We just touched the surface on our list, please send us all of the little hidden gems that make you feel at home.
Hidden Oak Nature Center
Find bluebirds, a raccoon, snakes and other animals while exploring the nature center. Search the exhibits and interpretive signs along the trails for information about savannas, geothermal heating, restoration and archeology.
Salt Creek Bicycle Trail
The Salt Creek Trail is a class I bicycle trail located in west central Cook County, Illinois. The trail starts in Bemis Woods South and continues east 6.6 miles to Brookfield Woods, directly across from the Brookfield Zoo.
Old Plank Road Trail
Park and Lincoln Hwy, A 21-mile bike path and nature trails
Indian Trails Park Riegel Road & Willow Road ADA Accessible, Walking/Bike Path (1/2 mile) & Tennis Courts
Pilcher Park Nature Preserve
The nature center features small animals like reptiles along with kids' activities. There are hiking and bike trails, playground areas and picnic grounds.
Thorn Creek Bike Trail
One section of the trail consists of 4.7 miles in Sauk Trail Lake area and another winds through Lansing Woods and North Creek Meadow for 4.6 miles. For those driving to the area, ample parking is available near the trail in both Lansing Woods and Sauk Trail Woods.
Illinois and Michigan Canal Towpath Canal Corridor Association
754 First Street
Offering a 96-mile trail of views for nature lovers, information for history buffs, and action for sportsmen.
Route 171 & Woods Dr.
Playgrounds, hiking trails, tennis courts, pavilions, sledding hill, and more
Pulaski Road and 153rd Street
Midlothian Meadow has biking and walking trails, enter off Pulaski at 153rd Street
27341 Ridgeland Ave.
Shoreline fishing on a 47-acre lake. Boat rentals and concessions available. Features 2.5-mile hiking trail that loops through a wetland
Wolfe Wildlife Rescue & Bike Path
109th & Laramie, Oak Lawn
This natural wetlands area is home to several animals and birds, including some endangered and threatened species. Stroll along the paved walking/biking path or watch the wildlife from the wooden deck.
20000 S. Western Ave., Olympia Fields
This 38-acre nature preserve is home to a diversity of wildlife and habitat types. Parking is available on the south side of Vollmer Rd. Adventure and environmental programs are offered for individuals and groups.
16798 Parliament Ave., Orland Park
Massive park with aquatic center, two sand volleyball courts, two piers for fishing, pavilions & grills, nine baseball fields and playground. Lake Sedgewick is a 95 acre lake which includes a boat ramp, boardwalk, outdoor amphitheater, gazebo, council ring, nature trails, and hiking paths. Kayak and pedal boat rentals are available on weekends, 11 am - 7 pm, May 28 - September 4, 2011.
Lake Katherine Nature Preserve and Botanic Gardens
7402 Lake Katherine Drive
This nature center and botanic garden offers many opportunities to observe wildlife in their natural habitat. Hike 3.5 miles of trails
Buffalo Woods Trial
87th Street and Kean Ave
Walking trail, enter off Kean Ave just North of 87th Street
24000 W. Lockport Street
Settlers' Park is a 20+ acre park located in historic downtown Plainfield. The park's amenities include an amphitheater, history walk, open space, picnic shelter, playground and walking trails. The park in located directly south of Plainfield Village Hall.
Sand Ridge Nature Center
15890 Paxton Ave, two blocks north of 159th St.,
235 acres offer trails for easy hiking. From 1/4 mile to 2 miles long, each trail passes different habitats, including prairies, oak savannas and woodlands on ancient sand dunes, marshes and ponds.
Tinley Creek Bicycle Trail
The Tinley Creek Trail is a Class I Bicycle Trail located in southwestern Cook County, Illinois. It is currently 13.37 miles long. For those driving to the northern portions of the trail, Yankee Woods and Midlothian Reservoir provide parking and access.
Harlem Ave and 135th Street
Arrowhead Lake has biking and walking trails
Harlem Ave and 137th Street
Turtle head Lake has biking and walking trails, enter off Harlem just North of 137th Street, parking access
Wolf Road and 95th Street
Walking trail, enter off Archer Avenue to 95th Street go South on Wolf Road
Little Red Schoolhouse
9800 Willow Springs Rd.
Nature trails and visitor center with additional live animals and exhibits, children?s activity room
I& M Bike Trail
The Centennial and I & M Canal Trail is a Class I bicycle trail located in southwestern Cook County, Illinois. The paved bicycle trail is within the I & M Canal National Heritage Corridor, the first national park of its kind. The 8.9 mile trail consists of three sections; two (2) 3.3 mile loops and a 2.3 mile section that connects the two.For those driving to the area, parking is available in the Forest Preserve District parking lot below Willow Springs Road.