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Chicago: Red Gate Woods – West Loop

Escape the Windy City on this easy 5.9-mile hike through a beautiful hardwood forest into ravines carved by glaciers more than 10,000 years ago.

Trip Tools

To Trailhead

I-55 S to US 45 S/US 20 S. Merge onto Archer Ave. (IL 171). Park at Red Gate Woods parking lot 1 mile S of 95th St.

1 Comment

  1. drift-woody

    I’ve been hiking in these woods for decades. My first excursion was around 1970 when my friend and I would walk around rather than fish in Saganashkee Slough with his dad and older brother. One time we crossed 107th St. to explore the woods on the other side and came upon an old fence, crumbling foundations of buildings, what was left of some old quonset huts, and an open field with a block of granite inscribed with words detailing how the world’s first nuclear reactor was buried there — the famous reactor from under the stands at Stagg Field in Chicago where the first sustained nuclear reaction was achieved. Not insignificant to world history.

    In the mid-1970’s and into the 1980’s these woods were a place to go in the middle of the night with friends and beer and other recreational imbibements to have a fire and party without a cover charge.

    I still hike in these woods on a regular basis, not to party but because I like to hike and these woods are within 20 minutes of home and the historical monuments are still there (see link below) and the scenery doesn’t get much better in Cook County Illinois.

    Yeah, if you live in Chicagoland and like to hike and are interested in history, you should go. Just be ready to step aside for mountain bikers, because they have pretty much taken over the place.

    Profile photo of drift-woody

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