The Deer Grove Forest Preserve—an 1,800-acre reserve in Cook County just outside Chicago—is home to an extensive hardwood forest sprinkled with wetlands, ravines, the occasional stream, and over 13 miles of trail. This 9.3-mile route links hiking trails on the preserve’s wooded west side with the paved bicycle path on the park’s more open and grassy east side.
From the preserve’s main parking area, follow the Orange Trail to the Yellow Trail and hike through lush, rolling woods and over several limestone bridges as it loops south. In early spring, expect to encounter a few muddy sections as you cut back through the center of the park on the Orange Trail before joining the paved path at mile 4.2. Next, follow the paved Black and Red paths on a 3.6-mile lollipop loop through more gently rolling grassland, wetlands, and picnicking sites on the park’s east side before connecting back to the Yellow Trail and dipping into a couple of ravines en route to the trailhead.
Note: Though some user trails remain, off-trail use has severely damaged natural plant and animal communities in the ravine area of Deer Grove. Please remain on main, marked trails to avoid further damage to ground cover plants and soil erosion.
-Mapped by Ted Villaire