A Winter Spent Outside: Your Guide to Libertyville’s Trails

As winter approaches, you might be wondering how to continue your safe outdoor practices without freezing. Luckily, there are activities that allow you to distance, stay warm and benefit from the fresh air our minds so desperately crave. Whether you seek the endorphins of a run or the tranquility of a nature walk, the trails and roads traversing and surrounding Libertyville are in ample supply.

The next question: with so many routes, on which do you embark? From flat terrain curtained by trees to grueling gravel-covered hills, our town has paths for everyone. With this review, I hope to encourage you to get outside and enjoy the beauty our world holds, even in the bleakest of times.

Each of these nine paths will receive evaluations on their surface type and width, overhead cover, trail and parking access, animal and people encounters, elevation change and scenic features. For those looking to track mileage and convenient out-and-back turnaround points, the halfway markers for three, five and seven miles will be listed, unless otherwise specified as a loop route (mileage is approximate).

Note: There are many forest preserves and extensions of the Des Plaines River Trail (DPRT) and North Shore Bike Path (NSBP) that are fantastic places to explore the outdoors. This review offers routes starting within four miles of Libertyville High School.

A few tips to keep you safe and happy on your outdoor journeys:

  • If you must run or walk in the street, travel where you have the greatest visibility and awareness of traffic (usually against traffic)
  • Wear reflective clothing and bring a flashlight when running in the dark
  • Keep a phone with you if you are running alone
  • Don’t forget to protect your ears and hands when bundling up for freezing temperatures
  • Carry a mask!

Sources: Road Runners Club of America and Runner’s World