Fall colors don't necessarily have to be seen on foot or while on a bicycle in suburban woods. Horseback riding is an option for couples looking for an escape and for families who want to bond with nature.
Here are five places to go for a relaxing day on the trails.
Tower Hill Stables
Tower Hill Stables, 12N254 Tower Road in Hampshire offers guided trail rides that meander through fields, woods and scenic rolling hills. Just 10 minutes from I-90 and Route 47, Tower Hill is a 140-acre ecology-friendly horse farm. Horses are matched to rider skill levels. Participants receive a short lesson on rider safety and horsemanship before taking off on the roughly one-hour excursion led by an experienced guide. Call Tower Hill Stables at (847) 464-1616 or visit towerhillstables.net/.
Chain O' Lakes Riding Stable
Chain O' Lakes Riding Stable, 8916 Wilmot Road in Spring Grove offers trail rides seven days a week. Led by a guide through Chain O' Lakes State Park, riders can expect to meander through rolling hills and have a realistic chance at spotting deer, hawks, wild turkeys and other creatures. Horses are handpicked for each rider and employees are available to answer questions or offer any help necessary. Trail riders must be 7 or older at Chain O' Lakes. Visit chainolakesstable.com/ or call (815) 675-6532 or (815) 970-2479.
Wedgewood Farms offers horseback riding opportunities in unincorporated Lake County at 26011 N. Rand Road near Wauconda. Riders, who must be 12 and older, must have an ability to rein their horse on a guided trip. Riders are encouraged to wear long pants and closed-toed shoes. Guides will provide a brief riding demonstration before the trip starts. They'll help novices with mounting horses, adjusting stirrups and making sure saddles are tight. Call (847) 526-8610 or check wedgewoodfarms.net/.
Memory Lane Stables at 8290 Kean Ave. in Willow Springs abuts a Cook County Forest Preserve District property, allowing riders to hit the trails almost immediately. Guided horseback rides are available every day of the week. Memory Lane offers several horses for all sizes. Call (708) 372-6472 or (708) 845-0865 for information or check memorylanestables.com/.
Forest View Farms
Similar to Memory Lane Stables, Forest View Farms backs up to Cook County Forest Preserve District land at its facility, 16717 S. Lockwood Ave. in an unincorporated area near Tinley Park. Guided rides generally last one hour and are offered all year. Forest View welcomes walk-up customers and handles private reserved rides. New riders can sign up for a lesson to become acquainted with riding basics. Riders are paired with a horse at their skill level. Call (708) 560-0306 or visit fvfarms.com/.