Little Hikes: Nippersink Forest Preserve {Round Lake}

I have always loved hiking and being outside in nature. I was so happy when we moved to Lake County and I found out how amazing the Lake County Forest Preserve District is. Two of my kids also love hiking so we have made it a goal this year to get out and try out more of our trails – the hunt for Pokemon also helps the “not as enthused about going” get on board.

Nippersink Forest Preserve round lake

One of our favorites for a quick trip is Nisppersink Forest Preserve in Round Lake. While recently expanded, we like it for the quick and easy lake loop that let’s the kids see the water, explore tall grasses, cross bridges and walk through a small bit of forest.  It’s a little over half a mile and all my kids (4, 6, 10, 12) can easily walk it, even the reluctant ones.

The trails are crushed limestone/gravel so they are stroller friendly for jogging strollers or those with rugged wheels and bikes; however, there are no paved paths here, so no skates or scooters. This is a popular fishing spot that features two fishing piers and several spots to get up close to the water, something to keep in mind if you have a curious little one. The ability to get close to the water also makes it a great places to see and find turtles and frogs.

Nippersink Forest Preserve Round Lake
© M. Haak | Little Lake | 2016

Nippersink features four shelters and standard forest preserve (pit) bathrooms that are generally clean. It’s a popular site for parties and there is one beach volleyball pit near one of the shelters. Being on the smaller side, it can seem crowded when you first pull in, skip the first lot you see and head to one of the three other lots further in the park.

We made a video of our last hike, taken on an unseasonable February day. Being a short and quick trail, it’s a great one to visit during the different seasons to see how everything changes with the seasons.



Nippersink Woods
900 West Belvidere Road, Round Lake, IL 60073

Watch for Trail Tales coming to Nippersink in Spring 2017, from LCFPD:

Coming spring 2017, is the story Miss Maple, formerly installed at Ryerson Woods. The tale leaps off the page through Trail Time activities suggested on each panel that help readers better understand the story’s theme by exploring the nature around them.

We’ve done them at Ryerson and they will be a great addition to this kid- friendly trail!

Have you hiked Nippersink with your kids?


About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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