Distinguished by its peat bog ecosystem cradled by rolling upland woods, the 372-acre Cranberry Slough Nature Preserve is a relic of the glacial era and supports habitats uncommon this far south.
At 15,000 acres, the Palos Preserves in southwest Cook County are the largest concentration of preserved land in the Forest Preserves. Thanks to more than three decades of habitat restoration, they also hold some of the highest-quality natural areas in the county. These trails join many popular sites, such as the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Pulaski Woods, Saganashkee Slough and Maple Lake which is home to a mountain bike staging area that provides access to almost 40 miles of unpaved trails.
Park and access to Cranberry Slough is easy at the adjacent Country Lane Woods. Consider a stop here during your visit to the Palos Preserves, it really is gorgeous.
This land is designated as one of the highest quality natural areas in the state by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission. This status includes increased levels of legal protection and management.
The Palos preserves are home to an extensive mixed-use trail system, including the paved Cal-Sag Trail which cross many of these preserve to the south and the paved Centennial Trail/John Husar I&M Canal Trail system to the north. Parking at the Palos Forest Preserve is easy. Cook County Forest Preserve Hours are from sunrise to sunset.