Illinois Beach State Park, Waukegan

Directions:  The extreme northeastern part of Illinois

Trail Information:  Miles of sand dune and prairie trails makes this nature preserve fronting Lake Michigan a virtual trip back to the way things were before European intervention.  Hilly sand dunes and rolling oak savannah makes this trail system moderately difficult.  Expect varying weather conditions with its proximity to the lake.  Also, if your so inclined, mid-winter treks are not only challenging, but provide a sense of surrealism - especially during or right after a heavy snowfall.

I'm lucky enough to live within a mile of this really cool state park and run with my chocolate lab about three to five miles per day.  In the winter we maintain the same schedule regardless of weather conditions.

Miscellaneous Information:  About midway between Milwaukee and Chicago. Resort hotel in park.