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Chicago, IL: Chain O Lakes State Park

Hike rolling prairies, expansive wetlands, and a peaceful stretch of the Fox River on this easy 5.6-mile hike in Chain O Lakes State Park.

Trip Tools

The largest state park in northern Illinois, Chain O Lakes is home to prairie, oak forest, and wetlands. This gently rolling hike offers a taste of the park’s varied terrain.
Start down the Badger Trail, enjoying views of open prairie and marsh lands. At mile .75, turn right on Cattail Trail for a 1-mile out-and-back that heads into a wetlands area where sandhill cranes nest. Continue south to complete the Sunset Loop before heading north through tallgrass prairie to the Gold Finch Trail. Loop by the peaceful Fox River before returning to the trailhead through an oak canopy.
-Mapped by Ted Villaire

To Trailhead

From Spring Grove, take Main St./CR A17 east 0.9 mile to Wilmot Rd./CR V44. Turn left; go 1.4 miles to park entrance on right. Go 1.4 miles to left turn for Badger Trailhead.

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