5 Best Hiking Trails in the Elgin Area

5 Best Hiking Trails in the Elgin Area
February 12, 2020 Elgin Area CVB

Hiking is a great way to surround yourself in nature. You can discover the beauty of the outdoors at whatever pace you’re comfortable with. With a little planning, it’s an activity that almost anyone can do. So pack up those snacks, water bottles and a little first aid kit, and get outside!

Check out these 5 easy and unique hiking trails in the Elgin area.

Burnidge Forest Preserve – Pingree Grove, IL

Difficulty: Easy
1.5 Miles
Dog Friendly – Leashed
The West Trail Loop is probably the nicest trail found in Burnidge. The loop is easily accessed from the Central Trail Loop entrance via a short wooded path. Once on the trail, you’ll find a very good crushed limestone surface that is obviously well maintained. Be sure to bring sunglasses though, as the bright white surface is blinding on a sunny day!

This trail is frequented by bicyclists from the campground along its east side. The trail is nice and wide though, so there’s enough room for everyone. Just stay aware, as riders are fairly quiet and can startle you as they pass.

There’s a few benches scattered along the trail. As many Illinois trails, much of it is exposed, and can get quite warm in the summer months, so dress accordingly and carry enough water even for this short loop.

Fox River Trail – Elgin / Carpentersville / East Dundee / South Elgin, IL

Difficulty: Easy
40.2 Miles
Dog Friendly – Leashed
The Fox River Bike Trails in Elgin, Illinois, offer more than 40 miles of guaranteed fun. They run beside the scenic Fox River in Northern Illinois, alongside historic railroad lines, crossing six bridges and passing through nature preserves and charming towns.

The trails are the perfect outing for spirited cyclists, hikers, families and outdoor aficionados. No weather is too extreme to take advantage of the paths. If your bike does not have snow tires, break out the snowshoes or cross-country skis.

Find food en route at one of the many adjacent restaurants, or pack a lunch and pull over at one of the many picnic spots.

Raceway Woods – Carpentersville, IL

Difficulty: Easy / Intermediate
3.4 Mile Loop
Dog Friendly – Leashed
Previously, the Meadowdale International Raceway was used for motor racing from 1958 to 1968. There is an obvious straightaway where there were grandstands and the pits, also serious hills and two hairpin corners.

The 122-acre Forest Preserve is one of the highest rated Mountain Biking locations in Illinois with dozens of technical trails surrounding and intersecting the main loop. This loop is a mostly paved trail that is used by walkers, runners, and mountain bikers.

Bowes Creek Country Club Cross Country Ski Trail – Elgin, IL

Difficulty: Beginner Trail & Advanced Trail
No Dogs Allowed
Weather permitting, Bowes Creek will offer a venue for cross country skiing and snowshoeing throughout the Winter months. There must be at least 4 inches of snow cover to maintain the trail system, so check the Bowes Creek website for trail conditions. There will also be flags posted at the entrance to Bowes Creek Country Club; a green flag will signify the trail is good for skiing, and a red flag will indicate conditions are not favorable.

All patrons of the trails must sign a seasonal waiver in the pro shop before using the course. All participants must have their own equipment and children must be accompanied by an adult. Trail system maps will be available in the Pro Shop.

Bowes Creek Woods Forest Preserve – Elgin, IL

Difficulty: Easy / Intermediate
Dogs Allowed – Leashed
Horseback Riding Allowed (cannot accommodate equestrian parking)
Located just west of Elgin, Bowes Creek Woods Forest Preserve is named for the creek that winds its way through the rolling terrain before heading to the Fox River. The preserve is part of a large tapestry of prairie, woodland and streams with a lovely walking trail that winds through the prairie and woods. Along the trail visitors will find a meandering stream and a grove of majestic old oak trees, still standing sentinel on the prairie.

The preserve is located along greenway corridors that connect Meissner-Corron Forest Preserve to the south and Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve to the north. As a whole, these three preserves provide vital habitat for native species of animals and plants. It’s a wonderful place for bird watching, jogging, walking or picnicking at the shelter.

Let us know about your favorite hiking trail, and share your adventure using #ExploreElgin on social media.

Trail details provided by: HikingProject.com and KaneForest.com
Visit their websites to download trail maps!

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