Located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Illinois, Chicago is the largest city in the U.S. It is known for its bold architecture and skyline punctuated by towering skyscrapers, including the John Hancock Center, 1,451-ft. Willis Tower, and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. This modern city has many museums to see, including the Art Institute of Chicago, which has Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works.
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, Chicago is the perfect place to take a hike. The Joliet Iron and Steel Works trail winds through the ruins of a former steel mill and offers an interesting perspective on how iron and steel are made. In the 1990s, the Forest Preserve District of Will County purchased the 52-acre site, installing interpretive signage on the route. It also features a self-guided tour of the various structures. From the Joliet Iron and Metal Works, hikers can take the 7.57-mile Illinois and Michigan Canal Trail to the Centennial Trail in downtown Chicago.
If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, you can try hiking at Starved Rock State Park, located about an hour and a half west of Chicago. You can walk along the river, or you can trek through the park’s canyons and rock formations. The hike is popular with outdoor enthusiasts, because it requires hiking up the hill and is scenic. Despite the difficulty level, you’ll feel like a real adventurer as you explore the rocky sections.
If you love nature, Chicago is also a great destination for outdoor activities. The scenic area around Lake Michigan makes for a beautiful day out. A nine-mile loop at Rubio Woods, 35 minutes from Chicago, is an excellent place for a hike, especially if you’re a beginner. The 9.4-mile Red Trail Loop offers beautiful wildflowers, and the terrain is suitable for families. This lakefront park is also a popular fishing destination. The park features picnic areas, and grassy fields for frolicking.
Nearby, there’s a national park called the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which covers 15 miles of protected shoreline. It offers a 4.7-mile hiking trail that crosses a secluded bog and stretches down to the shoreline. The trails offer beautiful views of the city skyline, and you can enjoy a peaceful hike in the sand. And there’s a trail for every skill level.
The area is home to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which is an hour’s drive from the city. The park features 15 miles of shoreline protected by dunes. A 4.7-mile trail, known as the Cowles Bog Trail, wanders through marshes and black oak savannas. Despite the diverse landscapes, hiking in this park is an excellent activity for all levels of fitness and enjoyment. And when you’re done exploring the city, you can head to Lake Michigan’s beaches.