Sauk Trail Woods

A pretty 3.4 mile paved trail circles Sauk Trail Lake located in South Chicago Heights, Illinois. The trail is hilly and features ravines.



There are several parking areas in this forest preserve. The main one – Sauk Trail Woods Central – is located off Forest Preserve Drive, southwest of the intersection of West 26th Street and Chicago Road in South Chicago Heights. A detailed map may be found here.

Distance from Downtown Chicago

35 miles from the center of town

How To Get There

Bike, Walk, Drive, Bus


The trail around the lake is accessible. There are accessible parking spaces. The portable restrooms are not accessible.

Things To Do

Biking, Birdwatching (goldfinches, osprey, vireos, wood ducks, wrens), Cross-Country Skiing, Fishing, Hiking, Jogging, Picnicking, Running and Wildflowers.

Fun Facts

Sauk Trail Lake was formed when Thorn Creek was dammed in 1928. Sauk Trail Woods are part of the Valparaiso Moraine which is the remnant of glaciation.

Other Information

Portable restrooms in season


Don’t be put off by the forlorn exterior of Hi-Way Bakery, 2633 Chicago Road, South Chicago Heights. Some of the Chicago area’s tastiest and freshest donuts and other breakfast pastries are made here.

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Nearby Public Lands Worth Visiting

Thorn Creek Trail System which is described on this website and starts in this forest preserve

Best Time To Visit

All year

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