You can find plenty of hiking destinations to explore within a relatively short drive of Chicago.
Starved Rock State Park is the go-to place for outdoor adventure in central and northern Illinois, attracting more than 2 million visitors a year. Starved Rock offers giant bluffs overlooking the Illinois River, which offer a panoramic view of the area that’s not to be missed. In total the park features 13 miles of hiking trails. See the trail map here.
Closer to home, the Palos Trial System is only 30 minutes from downtown Chicago in the southwest suburbs, and features some great hiking that will make you forget you’re urban setting. In the northern suburbs, the Deer Grove Forest Preserve is one of the only other Cook County Forest Preserves to offer extensive sections of tree-lined singletrack that makes for great hiking.For more serious hikers, the Shawnee National Forest, which takes up much of the southern tip of Illinois between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, contains more than 280,000 acres and some of the most scenic views in the state.