Tucked amidst the semi-rural rolling hills in the northwest corner of Cook County, almost 4,000 acres of wilderness are waiting to be explored. Whether you’re fishing the lakes or wandering the trails, almost anywhere within the sprawling Spring Lake Forest Preserve feels like a secret spot.
Hikers and horseback riders can follow the twisting network of footpaths and horse trails through meadows and woods. Great flat expanses flow into hills that feel, in comparison, like mountains. Although there are currently no formal parking areas in the northern section of the preserve, visitors can park at the Penny Road Pond parking lot and cross Dundee Road to access this more remote section.
The southern section of the preserve, between Dundee and Higgins Roads, is more accessible, with small, serene lakes, picnic tables, and restrooms at the Penny Road Pond parking area. Local dog walkers and families frequent this area of the preserve.
Spring Lake offers miles of unpaved trails for hiking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding. Parking is recommended at Penny Road Pond on Dundee Road.