I may be biased because fall is my favorite season, but Lake County is the most beautiful in the fall. The Lake County Forest District has some of the best trails and playgrounds for kids for families to enjoy the season to the fullest.
Van Patten Woods
15838 West Route 173, Wadsworth, IL
Van Patten Woods is an Oak forest on Sterling Lake that provides five miles of trails and connects to the Des Plaines River Trail. We hiked it over the summer with all four of our kids in tow, and it was our longest hike to date at over three miles! The lake was crystal clear and beautiful. And bonus, there is a playground in a great clearing, giving you a chance to take in the beautiful views while the kids play.
900 West Belvidere Road, Round Lake, IL
This park is a family favorite. It has two loops that are both totally hikable by small kids. There are lots of things to see as it winds through forests, around lakes and through grassy areas. There is no playground here, but we always find something interesting every time we go.
21155 W Gelden Road, Lake Villa, IL
This gem is the result of recent park renovations by the forest preserve district. It features four miles of trails in a loop, making it easy for families. There is also an absolutely perfect playground with multiple structures and turf. It’s the perfect spot for multiage families to meet and play.
Aside from the Forest Preserves of Lake County is full of picturesque playgrounds that offer the best of both a forest preserve and a playground.
Some other favorites:
Warren Township Park
17801 W. Washington St. in Gurnee (Located at the corner of Washington Street and Almond Road.)
This large complex offers a play area for all ages and a huge sand box. Head to the back of the park near the frisbee golf area to play in the fallen leaves.
1500 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Libertyville (Located behind Adler Pool, enter from Milwaukee Ave., turn right and follow the road behind the pool. The park is at the far end of the parking lot.)
Located in beautiful Libertyville, this park is surrounded by mature trees.
250 Library Lane in Grayslake
Central Parks spans between Library Lane and Lake Street and includes an amphitheater, frisbee golf and two playgrounds. The path surrounding the park provides a great loop for walking and enjoying the mature trees and changing colors.