Although many people are aware of Fort Sheridan for its past military history, many local folks aren’t aware of the wonderful hiking trails through the neighborhood.
Fort Sheridan Nature Hike
While we’ve spent many a day strolling along the paved paths that lead to the lake front and the rock beach (one of our favorite summer destinations), we decided it was time to take the kids to the open lands of Fort Sheridan and explore the more than 2.1 miles of mowed trails as our first hiking excursion for Camp Jenny.
The mowed trails are under open skies, which means lots of wonderful sun. (I recommend you go in the morning… it can get hot out there.) Surrounded by high grasses, you can see birds flitting in and out and enjoy the soft ground under your feet. We even brought our Boston Terrier Lucy along for the hike.
The trail makes a large circle around the entire Fort Sheridan Preserve (see the trail map here).
While much of the trail was out in the open, halfway through you’ll end up walking through a more shaded area, which echoes the beginning of the trail as well.
While you’re walking the northern section of the trail, you’ll come across the Fort Sheridan Cemetery, which was established in 1889. It was actually the perfect opportunity to once again help our children understand the sacrifice Americans have made over the years for our country.
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There are placards explaining the cemetery nearby and gives you some wonderful background in how Fort Sheridan has played a part in American history.
As we continued along our way, we came across a wonderful wood and steel bridge crossing a ravine that the boys just thought were awesome. It certainly makes for a pretty picture!
If you’re local, I can’t recommend enough you enjoy this moderate hike with your kids. The scenery changes along the way, you can learn a little bit about American history and it’s a pleasant way to spend a morning together in nature.
Fort Sheridan Overview
For Sheridan has approximately 4.5 miles of trails for hiking, 3.7 miles for cross-country skiing, and 1.3 miles for bicycling. Trail surfaces include paved, gravel, grass, wood chip and sand.
You can learn more about Fort Sheridan through the Lake County Forest Preserves.