With legal battle over, Horizon Farm fully reopens to public

A spacious forest preserve in Barrington Hills that once was the focus of a legal battle between its former owners and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County has fully reopened to the public, the agency announced.

A new 1.2-mile loop trail and a spur connection to a nearby riding club are among the attractions at Horizon Farm, which has a main entrance on Old Sutton Road south of Otis Road.

A former equestrian estate, the preserve encompasses nearly 400 acres.

Some of the preserve opened to the public in 2021, but the southern portion - more than half the entire property - had been closed until late last month while trails were built and unwanted buildings removed, officials said.

Those trails now are open for pedestrian, biking and equestrian use.

"We are pleased to announce that now, the public can fully explore Horizon Farm," Arnold Randall, the forest district's general superintendent, said in a news release. "Our long-term plans for the site are still a work in progress, but now visitors can go further and do more,"

Horizon Farms was in foreclosure when the forest district acquired it in 2013 for $14.5 million. The site opened to the public in 2015 but closed that fall while district officials and the previous owners feuded over the purchase.

The district regained possession of the property in 2019 and resumed planning improvements.

The site features meadows, wetlands and small streams, among other natural attractions.

Activities including hiking, bird-watching, photography, horseback riding and cross-country skiing are allowed.

Planning for future public amenities continues.

Horizon Farms now open But some areas of estate still off-limits

Former Horizon Farms owner sues forest preserve over trespassing arrest

Cook County judge orders Horizon Farms closed; future uncertain

Horizon Farms still closed; former owners ask U.S. Supreme Court to intervene

Horizon Farms to reopen this summer but further legal challenge looming

Horizon Farms reopens to public amid legal tug-of-war

Horizon Farm in Barrington Hills again off-limits to public

Court rules forest preserve can't evict former Horizon Farm owners

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