Nature & Outdoors

Explore the
Fox River Valley

Explore the natural beauty of the Northern Fox River Valley in Illinois. Parks, trails, nature centers, and forest preserves are nestled along the beautiful Fox River, and you can bike or hike along the river on 36 miles of trails. Discover the rural charm of the Northern Fox River Valley at farms and stables, or take the children to one of our family-friendly attractions and entertainment centers

Escape into Nature

Explore a 3 day Elgin Itinerary that includes nature preserves,  bike trails, bird sanctuaries, golf and outdoor dining.

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The “Outdoor” Experience Guide

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Village Peddler

South Elgin

The Village Pedaler started in Crystal Lake Illinois in 1976 when Richard Wallace purchased Gambel’s Hardware Store. The hardware store was a Schwinn bicycle dealer and a small corner of... more

Trout Park


This 44-acre park has a long interesting history as a destination for Chicagoans as a nature resort and amusement park. Since 1972 this parcel has been a designated Illinois Nature... more

Veterans Memorial Park


A small memorial park located just north of the Gail Borden library, dedicated to the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and freedom.

South End Park

West Dundee

Baseball Diamond Basketball Court Bike Trail Connection Canoe Launch Gazebo Parking Lot Picnic Area

McNamee Park


Residents and visitors come here to enjoy access to fishing platforms, shaded gazebo, various waterfront benches, and a walk-up canoe launch. The park is named in remembrance of Timothy R.... more

Voyageur Landing Forest Preserve


Once a private fishing camp, this preserve shares the popularity of all the river properties. Summer weekends are very busy because of the boat launch. The river pool is sizable... more

Fabulous Fox! Water Trail – thru Kane County


Visit one of the Midwest’s most scenic paddleways. Yes, it is no further than the Fabulous Fox! National Water Trail thru the Elgin area. We have created the perfect toolbox... more

Dundee Depot Market and Visitor’s Center

East Dundee

Situated right next to the Fox River Bike Trail, the Depot is a popular rest stop for bike trail users in need of maps, snacks, beverages or a water bottle... more

All Grass Farms


All Grass Farms offers a variety of sustainable, local, and organic food options, from pasture-raised and grass-fed meat and dairy to free-range eggs and vegetables, and other farm store items.

Jaynesway Farms


Jaynesway Farms is an equestrian center offering English and Western riding lessons, boarding, horse and pony sales, pony rides and pony parties in our Ponyland or at your location.

Fox River Trolley Museum

South Elgin

Check out Fox River Trolley Museum! Here, you will enjoy a nostalgic trip back to an era when the electric trolley car was a vital part of American life.

Platt Hill Nursery


We are your local plant nursery and garden center. Find solutions to your landscaping, plant, home, and garden needs. We make gardening easy.



We offer a large variety of must-have aquarium products including some favorite brands like JBL, SR Aquaristik, Aquarium Essentials, Red Sea, and Fritz Aquatics. Zooxae is one of America’s fastest-growing... more

Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve


The 757 acre Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve is situated in the heart of a rapidly developing critical growth band of townships located in central Kane County. Across the gently rolling... more

Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve

South Elgin

This interesting forest preserve complex, located at a crook in the Fox River, is many things to many different people. There is a woodland for hiking and bird watching, shoreline... more

Waitcus Park


Waitcus Park located on Rt. 72 and Railroad Street offers the following amenities: a baseball diamond, basketball 1/2 court, playground, and a picnic pavilion.

Town Square Park


This park features a playground, gazebo, a pond and open space. Town Square Park is the site of Community Days, the first weekend after Memorial Day, and the monthly Movies... more

Memorial Park


Memorial Park is located at 355 Tyrrell Road (in between Big Timber Rd and Route 72 just north of I-90). This park offers the following amenities:  a baseball diamond, a... more

Town Center Park


Town Center Park is located at 301 Columbia Lane, at the intersection of Tyrrell Road and Columbia Lane. Our newest park features a playground, splash pool, baseball diamond and open... more

Dolphin Cove Family Aquatic Center


Come and enjoy our Splash-down Family Slide, Sandcastle Beach or simply relax in our lounge chairs. With umbrellas, lawn chairs, picnic tables, and a sun hill, there’s a place for... more

Main Street Bicycles


Main Street Bicycles is a full service repair shop, and provider of exceptional bikes and accessories for purchase or for rent. Located right on the expansive Fox River Trail as... more

Disc Golf at Rolling Knolls Forest Preserve


Converted from a former country club golf course, this 18-hole disc golf course features rolling terrain and a mix tree cover and open areas. Holes: 18 Par: 59 Length: 6195 – 6557 ft (depending... more

Bluff Spring Fen


A lush valley of emerald green, Bluff Spring Fen is a rare gem, a mix of prairie, woodlands, ponds, streams and wetlands—including the rare ecosystem that gives the site its... more

Jelke Creek Bird Sanctuary

Dundee Township

Public trails were designed for shared use so that persons on foot, bike or horseback will be able to travel side by side. As you travel along the paths you may... more

Wing Park


Formally opened in 1903, Wing Park has a rich history of providing a multitude of amenities to residents. This 121-acre regional park is home to the Wing Park Bandshell and... more

Hampshire Forest Preserve


Hampshire Forest Preserve has been a natural playground and picnic spot for area children and adults throughout the years. Trails for hiking and learning to recognize a wide variety of... more

Bartlett Nature Center


Bartlett Nature Center includes exhibits, programming, special events, rental opportunities, scout programs and more. The Bartlett Nature Center is a Facility of the Bartlett Park District.

Bowes Creek Greenway Forest Preserve


This property is the creek corridor/greenway, wetlands and woodlands near Bowes Creek Country Club. Habitat restoration is underway on this property.   Amenities: Biking and Nature Trails – .46 Total... more

Bowes Creek Wood Forest Preserve


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... more

Burnidge Forest Preserve


Beautiful vistas and rolling terrain are the outstanding features of Burnidge Forest Preserve, one of the largest preserves in the District. There are several different plant communities and soil types... more

Brunner Family Forest Preserve


Brunner Family Forest Preserve features woodlands and wetlands along a 3.5-mile stretch of the Fox River. Preserve amenities include a picnic shelter, water pump, information kiosk, fishing access, interpretive signs,... more

Cardinal Creek Forest Preserve


Cardinal Creek Forest Preserve was named by school children in a contest organized by the Forest Preserve District. An intermittent tributary of Burlington Creek meanders through the northeastern portion of... more

Eagles Forest Preserve


Eagles Forest Preserve is a quiet green island within the city limits of suburban Elgin. Eagles is home to Tyler creek as well as terrace floodplains grading into oak-hickory woods.... more


South Elgin

Named after the South Elgin Business Association (SEBA).  This park along the river is a great place with  lots to do. Enjoy the outdoors by fishing, checking out the nature preserves... more

Lords Park


Lord’s Park is comprised of 108 wooded acres. Here you will find Lord’s Park Pavillion, the Elgin Public Museum and the Lord’s Park Zoo. Enjoy the playing fields, picnicking & water... more

Festival Park


This riverfront recreation area includes a playground, picnic area, fishing pier & a spray fountain/ splash pad. And conveniently located near free parking and the Fox River Trail. The nearby... more

Santa’s Village Azoozement and Water Park

East Dundee

This Christmas-themed entertainment park is packed with attractions. Enjoy carnival rides,  200+ zoo animals, and the new Santa Springs Water Park! Open May through October.

Binnie Forest Preserve

West Dundee

The wetland pockets here form the headwaters of the Kishwaukee River, which flows from the northern border of Binnie Forest Preserve. Visitors enjoy bird watching and wildlife observation from a... more

Randall Oaks Park

West Dundee

At Randall Oaks Park you’ll find 141 acres of open space that includes three shelters, a 10-hole disc golf course two volleyball courts and three playgrounds. There’s also an amazing... more

Villa Olivia Winter Sports


Downhill skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing are right here in your backyard.  Villa Olivia is just a short drive from anywhere in the Chicago area. With 100% snow making, ski... more

Goebbert’s Farm Pingree Grove

Pingree Grove

Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch is a 200 acre farm that is open to the public in mid August when our U-Pick fields open. In late September, we open as a fun fall festival for the family. Goebbert’s has been in the farm market business since 1948. George Goebbert started a roadside vegetable stand in Arlington Heights at the corner of Algonquin […]

The Pumpkin Wagon


Do you have fall on your mind? Come out and see over 30 different kinds of pumpkins, gourds & squash, along with corn shocks, broom corn, mums, straw, and fall decor. All our products are grown right here in Elgin on our family farm. If you are interested in working with us on a large order, please private message us. […]

Enjoy Pioneer Farm


Pumpkins, Fun, Free Admission. Grab a wagon and pick your own pumpkins from the 2 acre field. Also winter squash, gourds, specialty pumpkins, cornstalks and straw bales. Pre-picked pumpkins are in the farmyard for your convenience. Also eggs, meat.  

Judson University


Judson University is a fully accredited, private Christian university of the liberal arts, sciences and professions. Judson offers degrees in more than 50 different majors/minors for traditional, graduate, and adult students.

Hemmens Cultural Center


Located in the Center City area along the banks of Elgin's award-winning Riverwalk, The Hemmens Cultural Center is the cornerstone of Elgin's growing arts community.

Muirhead Farmhouse


Designed in 1950 by renown architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Muirhead Farmhouse is the only known farmhouse designed and built by Wright during his lifetime.

Serosun Farms


Serosun Farms is a Premier Luxury Home Agrihood Community

Arts in Bartlett Center for the Arts


The purpose of Arts in Bartlett is to improve the community by providing access to the arts.

Downtown Elgin Market


The Elgin Farmers Market is a large open air fresh market that takes place every year from early June through early October. Shoppers can find fresh locally grown produce and other locally sourced fare like, fresh honey! You can also find body care products, baked good and items for your pet. The Elgin Farmers Market has also been known to […]

NENA Butterfly Garden


The NENA Butterfly Garden is located at the corner of Ann Street and Douglas Avenue in the northeast neighborhood. Formally a vacant lot, volunteers and local residents worked with the City of Elgin to create a natural, tranquil, and butterfly friendly space for the entire neighborhood to enjoy. The project was built in 2008, and funded through a Neighborhood Improvement Grant and […]

Fox River Shores Forest Preserve


Lush riverside nature preserve featuring a boat launch, bike trail & a picnic shelter.

Goat Yoga Chicago


Goat Yoga at Reverse the Kerrs Farm allows you the opportunity to be one with nature, one with goats, and one with your soul. We are a unique farm in that we sit on the edge of a beautiful wetland full of a variety of birds and other wildlife that provide a beautiful chorus of sounds from sunrise to sunset.  Only five […]

Elgin Community Bikes


Elgin Bike Hub is a community oriented project to support and grow bike riding for transportation and recreation in Elgin. They accomplish this through bike rides and bike education events. Elgin Bike Hub is a project to support the bike riders and bike culture of Elgin. Bikes can change the world and Elgin can be a part of that change. […]

Disc Golf at Randall Oaks

West Dundee

Disc golf is one of today’s fastest growing sports! Disc golf is similar to regular golf; however, instead of using golf clubs and balls aiming for a hole, disc golf players use golf discs and aim for a disc pole hole, a pole extending up from the ground with chains and a basket where the disc lands. The object of […]

Huffman Park Splash Pad

West Dundee

Dundee Township Park District is committed to providing quality park areas, facilities and services for the present and future benefit and enjoyment of our entire community. For more information visit our website: Rakow Center 665 Barrington Ave. Carpentersville, IL 60110 (847) 428-7131 x1101 Randall Oaks Recreation Center 500 N. Randall Rd. West Dundee, IL 60118 (847) 428-7131 x4260

Randall Oaks Zoo

West Dundee

Situated at the top of a hill, Randall Oaks Zoo offers a variety of kid-friendly farm animals for viewing, petting and feeding. A stroll through the barn gives visitors an opportunity to meet alpacas, goats and a few of our other animal friends. Some highlights of the zoo include: cows, mini horses, a Clydesdale, sheep, goats, emus, alpacas, reptiles, deer, […]

Paintball Explosion

East Dundee

We are Chicagoland’s premier paintball theme park! Located under 40 minutes West of Chicago, we are housed within the historic Santa’s Village Amusement Park that you all remember from our childhoods. Numerous fields (many based on video games) plus laser tag, indoor speedball & a bar with TVs. Now share new memories with your family and friends at our state […]

U-46 Planetarium


The Elgin School District U-46 Planetarium began life as the Elgin National Watch Company Observatory. It was in 1959 that the Elgin National Watch Company donated its observatory to the Elgin U-46 School District. The school district added a planetarium to the facility in 1963, making it the first school system in the state of Illinois to have its own […]

Hawthorne Hill Nature Center


Hawthorne Hill Nature Center is the perfect place to enjoy rich fall colors, snow-frosted trees, spring wildflowers, summer amphibians, and an ever changing host of birds near the pond, in the woods, or even from the comfort of the nature center. The 67-acre natural area that flanks both sides of Brookside Drive has a wheelchair accessible trail that leads to […]

Lords Park Zoo


Located on Elgin’s east side, at the south end of Lords Park, the zoo has had a long history and has undergone many changes. Currently, the fenced in outdoor area includes: Buffalo, Elk, and White Tail Deer, which can be seen all year long. During the summer the farm zoo will open to provide visitors with the opportunity to view […]

Fox Valley Bicycle & Ski Club

St. Charles

The Fox Valley Bicycle and Ski Club (FVBSC) is centered in the beautiful Fox River Valley region of Northeastern Illinois. Located thirty miles west of Chicago, the FVBSC provides a focal point for group bicycling and skiing activities for the communities in, and surrounding the Tri-Cities of St. Charles, Geneva, and Batavia. The club enjoys close proximity to the quiet […]

Kayak Myak Rentals


Kayak rentals on the beautiful Fox River, 3 trips to choose from. Relax and enjoy yourself as you paddle down the Fox and become one with nature.

The Highlands of Elgin


The original nine holes flow over beautiful rolling terrain, creating a diverse collection of holes. The new nine holes reclaim an old stone quarry, and take maximum advantage of the unique and dramatic landforms that were left behind, including a twelve acre quarry lake. Four holes hug the top of the bluff thirty to forty feet above the water providing […]

Dundee Township Park District


The Dundee Township Park District, located in Kane County, Illinois serves the communities of Carpentersville, East Dundee, West Dundee, Sleepy Hollow, and portions of Algonquin, Gilberts, Elgin, Barrington Hills and Hoffman Estates. This is the location of the administration building.

Forest Preserve District of Kane County


Our goal is to preserve and restore the nature of Kane County, Illinois. Nature is our business.

Dundee Township Visitors Center

East Dundee

The best rest stop on the Fox River trail! Stop in and say hi. Free maps, water, and smiles, plus snacks and t-shirts for sale.

The Edward Schock Centre of Elgin


From award-winning golf course to open parks, City of Elgin Parks & Recreation Foundation has something for everyone.

Bartlett Park District


Winter Skiing at Villa Olivia or Golfing in the Spring, Banquet Facilities, Bartlett Aquatic Center.

Trout Park Baseball


Stop by our ballpark to support local high school and college players, watch a tournament or just enjoy a game of baseball in a beautiful setting.

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