Is This the Most Kid-Friendly Hiking Trail and Park in the Suburbs?

Let me preface by saying I haven’t been on every hiking trail in the suburbs, so to make this claim is admittedly presumptuous of me. But…if there is a hiking trail complex better designed with kids in mind, I’d love to hear about it!

Arroyo Trails in Channahon, which is about 15-20 minutes south of Plainfield, is a nearly $2M project that recently opened up after three years of construction and features a lot of exciting features for parents with small-ish kids.

First, the trailhead features a really unique park! Instead of the traditional swing set and slides, there is a nature-themed playground which includes a huge “log climber” and an extra-wide steel slide built in to the side of a hill…and as we all know from our childhoods, steel slides are WAY more fun than those plastic ones. Sure, you may walk away with burn mark, but man, you can go a lot faster!

As a matter of fact, the park isn’t even finished yet. They appear to be working on some sort of water feature, as well as a few more items like an outdoor amphitheater and classroom.

Once the rugrats are done playing, you can head down into the ravine to walk the mile long trail. There are wide gravel walking paths and brand new wooden boardwalks and bridges. It is a ravine, so it’s not entirely flat, but it’s an easy walk.

And check this out! People have taken to leaving small painted rocks along the trail! It’s a super fun addition to walking the trail…a treasure hunt of sorts for the kids to enjoy. Call it an experience upgrade…although some people have taken it too far and actually spray painted larger rocks. That’s a no-no!

If you live in the southern part of our listening area, it’s worth the visit. Oh, and make sure to stop for ice cream at Cherry Bomb or a beer at River Hawk Brewing (or both, they are in the same complex) on your way home!


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Most kid friendly trail in the burbs nominee. #ArroyoTrails in Channahon.

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