Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve

Scenic and rare tallgrass savanna, woodlands and wetlands can be found at this site in Lake Forest, Illinois. There are 5.5 miles of gravel trails for hiking and cross-country skiing and 4.2 miles of paved trails for bicycle riding. A visit here transports one a world away from the Chicago suburbs.



The main entrance is located on Middlefork Drive off of Waukegan Road (Route 43) between Routes 60 and 176. A map of the forest preserve may be found here.

Distance from Downtown Chicago

31 miles from the center of town

How To Get There

Bike, Walk, Drive


Paved trails are accessible.

Things To Do

Biking, Birdwatching (blackbirds, cranes, egrets, herons, kildeer, sparrows, woodpeckers), Cross-Country Skiing, Hiking, Running and Wildflowers.

Fun Facts

The preserve is named for the middle fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River. It is adjacent to two restored farm estates once owned by descendants of meat packing magnate Phillip Danforth Armour and now operated by non-profit organizations: Mellody Farm Nature Preserve and Elawa Farm.

Other Information

While there are no facilities on the trail, portable toilets are available in the Elawa Farm parking lot adjacent to the trail.


A tasty takeout meal can be obtained at Foodstuffs, 255 E. Westminster Avenue, Lake Forest, Illinois.

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Nearby Public Lands Worth Visiting

Des Plaines River Trail which is described on this website

Best Time To Visit

Spring, Summer, Fall

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