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Hiking DuPage Forest Preserve Trails

What do DuPage forest preserves have in common? For the most part, it’s a trail of some sort. Whether you take a power walk on a popular limestone trail or prefer a mowed-turf trail less traveled, you can explore 145 miles of trails in DuPage forest preserves.

District Ranger David Sima talks trails with WDCB’s Brian O’Keefe on Wild Things. Listen in to Ranger Sima, and then read up on some helpful tips for your next outdoor adventure. 

  

Before taking off on any trail trek, it’s always smart to be prepared. Here’s a few tips for first-time hikers.

  • Most DuPage forest preserves are open daily from one hour after sunrise until one hour after sunset.
  • Most trails are multipurpose. Leave room for others to pass you on the trail, especially on busy days. 
  • Many preserves have water pumps, and most are shown on the trail maps. We shut many of the pumps off for the winter when due to freezing temperatures, however. So, always bring your own.
  • Make sure to have a map, and find a comfortable holder for your cell phone and keys. Look for a compact backpack or waist pack that can also accommodate a water bottle, snack, sunscreen and insect repellent. 
  • Don’t litter, and pack out what you pack in.
  • Be aware of wildlife on and off the trail.
  • Remember that it’s okay to take a few breaks along the way to catch your breath and take in the scenery.
 

Hike nearly 7 miles of trail at McDowell Grove, then travel onto four other preserves, accessible by the Regional Trail. © Mike Shimer Photography

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