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Chicago, IL: Ryerson Woods

This 4.3-mile loop follows the Des Plaines River as it winds through stunning forestland chock-full of stately hardwoods and colorful flowers.

Rating

Start at the end of Mill Road near the farm and welcome center and walk west. As the trail approaches the Des Plaines River, you may spot a great blue heron or two, and—if you’re hiking in spring or summer—trilliums and irises growing alongside the trail. During the 1.3-mile stretch along the river and its backwater, hike past water birds, old rustic cabins, and pristine, trickling streams. Heading away from the river, the trail weaves around small marshes and intermittent ponds and enters a grove of elms and oaks. After 3.2 miles, the trail passes the park’s farm exhibit—go inside the barn to see pigs, goats, and chickens. The final mile loops through lush forest and ends back at the trailhead.
Mapped by Ted Villaire

To Trailhead

Follow I-94 N to the Deerfield Road exit, and turn left onto Deerfield Rd. In 0.5 mile, turn right onto Riverwoods Rd. In 1.6 miles, turn left onto E. Mill Rd. Follow 0.4 mile to Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area on the left.

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