When glaciers receded from this area 12,000 years ago, they left behind a mosaic of hills, wetlands, and small lakes; this 8-mile loop hits all the highlights. Start from the access trail at the Northern Woods Parking Area, then turn right onto the Leatherleaf Bog Trail, which runs through hilly terrain blanketed by an oak-hickory forest. You’ll pass Tomahawk Lake and a sprawling cattail marsh, then twist and turn through prairie, savanna, and woods. Stay to the right at junctions marked B, C, and D. Just beyond C, the tunnel under River Road leads to a picnic area along the Fox River at 4.1 miles. From here, the trail runs along the river on one side and marshland on the other. Returning to junctions D and C, continue to the right; the trail rollercoasters (don’t miss the view of 48-acre Lake Defiance) before returning to the start.
Info: (815) 385-1624; dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/r2/morhills.htm
-Hike provided by Ted Villaire, author of 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Chicago (Menasha Ridge Press)
Miles from city center: 54
Location: 42.3245871, -88.2308793