Chicago: Buffalo Creek Loop

Hike or run in an undeveloped pocket of restored prairie and wooded glades on this 4.1-miler through Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve.
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Hike or run in an undeveloped pocket of restored prairie and wooded glades on this 4.1-miler through Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 4.7

Waypoints

BCL001

Location: 42.1600112915039, -87.9878845214844

Head S; in 100 ft., turn R @ T and begin 50-ft. descent

BCL002

Location: 42.1584510803223, -87.9891967773438

Cruise past grassy shores of Buffalo Creek Reservoir on crushed-gravel track

BCL003

Location: 42.1595115661621, -87.990592956543

Cross Buffalo Creek and pass through small woods. Wrap around N shoreline of reservoir dotted with tiny islands.

BCL004

Location: 42.1574516296387, -87.9941329956055

Cross shallow stream

BCL005

Location: 42.1560287475586, -87.996711730957

Second stream crossing before slight 40-ft. hill climb

BCL006

Location: 42.1557998657227, -87.9995727539062

At apex of rise, cross Schaeffer Rd.

BCL007

Location: 42.1596603393555, -88.0068817138672

L @ Y around indigo-hued pond

BCL008

Location: 42.1542205810547, -88.0087509155274

Continue through restored prairie then jut around a wooded stand

BCL009

Location: 42.1548004150391, -88.0043487548828

Turn L @ Y for .3 mi. back to WPT 6. Then back track toward WPT 1 and turn R just before parking lot to add a picturesque 1.8-mile out-and-back.

BCL010

Location: 42.1568336486816, -87.9871139526367

Trail runs on E edge of the sometimes-windy reservoir to a slope where full views of the preserve open up. Cool down while backtracking to car.