Winter's a good time for hiking in the suburbs, too
Be glad if someone tells you to take a hike in the suburbs.
While there are many great places to hike in the suburbs, some trails stand out more than others. Here are some of the better trails to visit, based on scenery, wildlife and other factors:
Old School Forest Preserve near Vernon Hills, Libertyville
Large oaks near gravel and paved paths are among the top features at Old School.
Its gravel trail is a 3-mile loop through woods and prairies. Some of the loop is part of the Des Plaines River Trail. The 1½-mile paved path runs one way. Birds and other wildlife are seen in the preserve. Old School's entrance is off Saint Mary's Road south of Route 176, between Vernon Hills and Libertyville in unincorporated Lake County. Visit http://www.lcfpd.org/.
Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook
Fullersburg Woods can engage hikers with animal life such as beavers and herons, along with oak woodlands and bridges built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Hikers can choose from two trails. There are a roughly 2-mile multipurpose trail and an interpretive path running about a mile.
Fullersburg allows for a nice view of Salt Creek on the preserve's southern end.
The main entrance is on Spring Road, about a half-mile south of 31st Street in Oak Brook. Visit http://www.dupageforest.com/Conservation/Forest_Preserves/Fullersburg_Woods.aspx
Prairie Trail South
Running from the southern McHenry County line in Algonquin to the village of McHenry, Prairie Trail South is paved and covers 17 miles.
Although most of the trail is considered flat, a portion from Lorraine Avenue to Hillside Road, through Sterne's Woods in Crystal Lake, is hilly. Stores, restaurants and other businesses are near the trail.
To enter Prairie Trail South in Algonquin, go to Meyer Drive off Algonquin Road, just west of Route 31 near the Fox River.
Ned Brown Forest Preserve/Busse Woods, Elk Grove Village
About 11 miles of the Busse Woods Trail System meanders through the Ned Brown Forest Preserve.
Hikers can pass through meadows and forests around the 590-acre Busse Lake. In addition to wildlife common to the area, visitors can go through a mature forest and possibly see an elk herd.
Entry is at Higgins and Golf roads in Elk Grove Village. Visit http://fpdcc.com/busse-woods/