IL Cook County Deer Grove

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Deer Grove Forest Preserve

Cook County, Illinois

Deer Grove is one of the largest and oldest units of the Cook County system. It has multi-use trails, picnic shelters and sledding and ice skating when conditions allow. The toboggan slide was closed in 2005. It is unlikely to re-open anytime soon.

  • Terrain / Scenery: Mix of woods and prairie with some small hills
  • Fees / Permits: None
  • Trail Conditions: Asphalt, crushed limestone and dirt trails, some very wide and some single track through the woods.
  • Trail Markings: Trails are inconsistently marked. Starting in 2005 the trails and signs have been improved. Maps are not available. The trail maps on the Forest Preserve website are old, but fairly accurate. The trail colors are not reflected on the map.
  • Facilities: Portable Outhouses at most parking areas
  • Official Web Page: http://www.fpdcc.com/home.php
  • Getting There: Deer Grove is located in Palatine between Dundee and Lake Cook Roads west of Rt. 53. See Google Maps of Deer Grove. The main entrance is on the west side of Quentin road south of Lake Cook. There are also parking areas on the west side of Quentin, on the north side of Dundee Rd east of Quentin and on the north side of Dundee west of Quentin.


Cross Country Skiing Deer Grove offers one of the few places that cross country skiers can practice skate skiing in the area. The main trail on the west side of Quentin is very wide. Unfortunately it is not very long and is a simple ribbon, not a loop. It is not a great place to practice skating compared to dedicated and groomed trails like you find in Wisconsin, but if you want to get in a few miles of practice before or after work, Deer Grove is one of your best bets.

As far as I can tell the trails are not groomed, however enough people come out that you can find tracks soon after a snow fall. Unfortunately, many people come out to walk and bring dogs, so the trails get trashed pretty quickly. When it snows, come out early or resign yourself to skiing on a trampled trail.

There is a maze of trails through the woods that can be a lot of fun if you are skiing traditional and can control yourself on modest hills.

Biking There is a 3.9 mile asphalt multi-use trail through the park and some paved and crushed limestone trails. The trails connect to the [Palatine Bycicle Trail. All bike trails are multi-use. Off trail riding is prohipited. Significant erosion and damage to the foliage has been done by off trail mountain bikers in Deer Grove.