guides to getting outside around Chicago
Online mapping tool to help you select places to visit, based on what you want to do– hiking, birding, camping, etc.
- State Parks in northeastern Illinois.
- Information about forest preserves in Cook County.
- Information about forest preserves in Lake County
Some of the most biodiverse sites in the state are protected by the Illinois Nature Preserve system. Access and land ownership can vary, so check ahead before you go.
City parks range from small playgrounds to significant restoration projects to formal landscaped gardens.
This non-profit organization owns and manages some of the most ecologically important parcels in the state (and other states, too). Sometimes access to the preserves is limited to protect plants and animals on the site, so check ahead before visiting.