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Palos Forest Preserve

Just outside of Chicago lies the extremely popular Palos Forest Preserve, home to over 78 miles of gorgeous wooded trails. Runners, mountain bikers, and hikers all flock to Palos to get a taste of the wilderness within the confines of suburbia. Most trail runners prefer the north side of the park, utilizing the Palos trail system. The Swallow Cliff Woods area, in the south section of Palos, is also popular with runners who love to run stair repeats on the steep, old toboggan hill stairs. A central place to start your run is the Bullfrog Lake parking lot where you will find restrooms and water. Palos provides magnificently steep rolling terrain that those accustomed to the flats of Chicago will both relish and dread. The technical single-track is also a welcome respite for urban pavement-pounders. In addition to single-track trails, Palos also has generous limestone paths, shaded forests, ponds, creeks, sunny meadows, marshes, and a host of wildlife creatures. Always stay alert for the mountain bikers you are sure to encounter. You’ll probably want to leave the ear buds at home so you can enjoy the sounds of nature and avoid collisions.

Strava Curated Route

  • 8.4 mi Distance
  • 366 ft Elevation
  • Trail Run Type

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Elevation Chart