Places to Visit: The Chicago Wilderness Explorer

Nature getaways are inspiring, healthy and fun. For an hour, a day or a weekend, explore nature close to home, or discover someplace new. 

Are you a cyclist? A runner? A birder?  Let your passion for your favorite activities guide you to locations around the region, simply click an activity marker below, then zoom in on a location and learn more about the place by clicking the icon. 

Note: Select one activity at a time for optimal search results. To deselect, click on the marker again to clear the map, or simply refresh your browser.    

Click the search button on the map to indicate your preferred distance from your starting location and to locate places by:

  • Name     
  • City
  • County


mm_20_red.pngBicycling   mm_20_green.pngBirding   mm_20_light_purple.pngCamping   mm_20_grey.pngCanoeing   mm_20_maize.pngCross-Country Skiing   mm_20_purple.pngEquestrian   mm_20_light_green.pngFishing   mm_20_white.pngHiking   mm_20_orange.pngKayaking
mm_20_blue.pngPicnicking   mm_20_light_blue.pngNature Playground   mm_20_brown.pngRunning/Jogging   mm_20_red_dust.pngSledding   mm_20_yellow.pngSwimming   mm_20_light_yellow.pngVolunteer Days   mm_20_black.pngWalking   mm_20_spring.pngGeocaching

To add a preserve or park within the Chicago Wilderness region that is open to the public, please fill out this form. The content will be reviewed and posted within one week.  

Site Types                                                                                                

  • Aquarium
  • Botanic Garden   
  • Forest Preserve
  • Natural Area
  • Park
  • Arboretum   
  • Campground   
  • Learning Center   
  • Nature Center
  • State Park
  • Beach
  • Farm
  • Museum
  • Nature Preserve   
  • Zoo


  • Bog
  • Flatwoods   
  • Marsh
  • River
  • Stream
  • Dunes   
  • Forest
  • Pond
  • Savanna
  • Wetland
  • Fen
  • Lake
  • Prairie   
  • Sedge Meadow   
  • Woodland


  • ADA accessible   
  • Drinking water   
  • Picnic area   
  • Trail (paved)
  • Concessions   
  • Parking
  • Restrooms
  • Trail (unpaved)