My pups and I are avid hikers and were beyond excited to move to an area so rich in parks and forest preserves. Our first mission as new residents was to scope out the best preserves in the area. With so many to choose from, it has been quite a challenge and a ton of fun! Through our “research” we feel confident that these forest preserves are some of the finest around. As we continue on our mission we’ll be adding more reviews of our new favorites, as well as pictures of them in their spring and summer glory.
Pratt’s Wayne Woods – 3,433 acres, 12 miles of trails
The main entrance is in Bartlett, west of Route 59 on the west side of Powis Road, north of Army Trail Road and south of Stearns Road. Harrier Lake is on the south side of Stearns Road 0.5 mile east of Powis Road.
*Dogs and bikes are not allowed within the Brewster Creek Marsh Nature Preserve! Please check the trail map to know which trails to avoid.
Pratt’s Wayne Woods is an enormous multi-use wetlands preserve that’s enjoyed by dog walkers, runners, bikers, and horse back riders. The trails can get pretty busy, so if your pup is nervous around a lot of commotion they may have a hard time here during the peak times of day.
Hawk Hollow – 1,172 acres, 5.6 miles of trails
Hawk Hollow is in Bartlett, at the intersection of Bartlett Road and Schick Road, east of Route 59
Hawk Hollow is gorgeous, with rolling meadows, fens, and woodlands. This enormous preserve contains one of the largest unbroken blocks of grassland habitats in the country! The almost 6 miles of hiking trails are plenty for most, but if you’re looking for a longer hike, you can pick up a trail connection with Mallard Lake or West Branch forest preserves. This park also offers an enormous fully fenced dog park, but make sure you get a permit before visiting it, the park district monitors the dog park closely.
West Branch Forest Preserve – 713 acres, 2+ trail miles
West Branch is in Bartlett, on the south side of Army Trail Road and Gerber Road, 2 miles east of Route 59. Another entrance is on the west side of Fair Oaks Road south of Army Trail Road and north of Lies Road.
Carl R. Hansen Woods – 16+ trail miles
Sutton Rd/Rte 59, south of Shoe Factory Rd., Hoffman Estates
What I really love about Carl R. Hansen Woods is they boast 4 loop trails of varying lengths, from 1.2 miles to 8.8 miles. Whether you’re looking for a short outing or an all-day hike, you will find the perfect trail for you and your dog!