Chicago August 22, 2017
The Hiking Trail Hiding In Chicago That Will Transport You To Another World
If the most hiking you typically get is through a concrete jungle, it’s time to discover Chicagoland’s more natural areas. There is an epic hiking trail hiding near our fabulous city that will make you feel far away from the skyscrapers and heavy traffic, and you simply can’t miss it.
Nature lovers unite and take this amazing trail through one of the Chicago area’s most beautiful places. Keep reading to find out where it is located.
Get ready to be transported to a whole other world.
Crabtree Nature Center is part of the Forest Preserves of Cook County which, at 70,000 acres, is the largest urban forest preserve in the United States.
Spanning 1,000 acres itself, Crabtree opened in 1971 and aims to provide environmental education as well as outdoor recreation for locals.
It is great for kids of all ages!
You'll want to take the two-mile loop hiking trail known as Phantom Prairie.
It is well marked and easy to traverse, and you'll instantly feel a world away from your regular life. There are also several miles of additional trails and attractions, such as Giant's Hollow.
When Chicagoland was first settled, this land was plowed for farms and then industrialized and urbanized.
Since becoming a nature preserve, the land is slowly returning to its original condition.
Illinois is naturally made up of forests, wetlands, and prairies, which are made more fantastical by majestic rivers and streams.
You'll feel like you're in the middle of nowhere here.
There are bridges and well-kept paths to guide visitors through the forests and meadows.
The nature center is closed on Fridays, but otherwise open daily from morning until evening.
This area is known for being home to 260 bird species and is a popular spot for bird watchers.
Additional wildlife include deer, foxes, rabbits, skunks, and more.
By way of plantlife, wildflowers, bushes, moss-lined trees, creeks, and more abound.
The hiking trail is beautiful anytime of year, including fall and winter.
Chicagoans enjoy this peaceful oasis away from the city for a day trip or weekend full of relaxing.
There are nearby picnic areas, or you can claim a spot right in the forest or on the lake.
The nature center host special events regularly, celebrating different aspects of the area's diverse wildlife and plants.
Self-guided tours are allowed anytime between sunrise and sunset.
Crabtree Nature Center is located at
3 Stover Road in Barrington, and you can get more information on their Facebook page.
If you’re looking for a more centralized natural area, check out
Chicago’s one and only secret garden!
Have you ever taken this hiking trail? Share your experiences and photos with us!