Hiking via CTA

It’s almost time for perfect hiking weather! If Jackson Park isn’t rural enough for your taste, here are a few options for serious woodland acreage, available to Hyde Parkers by public transit.

The Des Plains River Trail spans across two systems of forest preserves. The Lake County Forest Preserve system has the northern half of the trails—see this map. Cook County has the southern half (over 20 miles of trails), and divides its map into two different parts.To get here from Hyde Park, take the Blue line to Rosemont and switch to the No. 221.

Palos Park has more forest than the rest of Chicago can shake a stick at (because of course our streetlights don’t grow sticks for us to shake). Again, this Cook County Forest Preserve is divided into two parts as far as mapping goes: the Palos Trail System and the Sag Valley Trail System.To get here from Hyde Park, take the No. 55 to Midway Airport, then switch to the No. 379 bus.

It’s sort of cheating to put Chain O’Lakes State Park on this list, because you have to take the Metra. But still, if you get tired of Lake Michigan, you could always head here. If you take Metra from Union Station (the Milwaukee District-North line) to Fox Lake, then the Pace No. 806, the park is about a five-mile walk. The park’s website is here.