Hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders and cross-country skiers can enjoy some of Waterfall Glen’s most scenic areas via four mapped trails, which contain almost 11 miles of limestone- and turf-covered routes. Visitors on foot can explore the narrow, unmarked footpaths that crisscross through Waterfall Glen but should remember that these paths are not on the map and may not connect with mapped trails. To protect Waterfall Glen’s sensitive natural areas, bicyclists may ride only on designed bike trails.
Horseback riders should park their trailers in designated spots at the trailhead on Northgate Road; parking is not allowed at the Lemont Road lot. Riding is not allowed in developed recreational areas, such as the youth-group campground.
When conditions permit, rangers groom trails for cross-country skiing. Classical-style skiers should use the set tracks on the outside of the trail, leaving the inside for freestyle skiers and other trail users.
Visitors can spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic in any of the mowed grassy areas at Waterfall Glen. Picnickers with grills can use the forest preserve’s on-site hot-coal containers. Ground fires are permitted only in the fire ring at the Northgate Road trailhead; outside firewood is not allowed, but picnickers can request wood in advance. For details, call Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248.
For everyone’s convenience, restrooms with pit toilets and drinking water are located at the Northgate Road trailhead and Bluff Road parking lots; portable toilets are located at the Lemont Road parking lot.
Several old quarries scattered throughout the preserve offer still fishing waters. Anglers 16 or older who are not legally disabled must carry valid Illinois sport fishing licenses, and all anglers must follow all District and state regulations.
The two Waterfall Glen youth-group campsites share a shelter and large grill and are close to trails, restrooms with pit toilets, drinking water, trash and recycling containers, and firewood. As part of Districtwide efforts to help slow the spread of the emerald ash borer, outside firewood is not allowed.
Open year-round, these camping areas are set aside for use by youth groups. The District defines youth groups as recognized, nonprofit organizations. Only members of these groups, with their accompanying leaders, may camp in these areas. Camping permits and adult supervision of one leader over 21 years of age for every 10 children are mandatory for campsite use. Groups can reserve sites through Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 but must do so at least three business days in advance.
This challenging activity involves navigating through the outdoors with a map and a compass. A permanently marked course is located in the northeast section of Waterfall Glen near the trailhead. Visitors may reserve supplies for the course by calling Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook at (630) 206-9586.
A large open field in the southwest section of Waterfall Glen is a popular spot for local model-aircraft enthusiasts. For information on access to this area and use by qualified clubs, contact Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248.