Swallow Cliff Woods / Palos Park
10267 Calumet Sag Rd
Palos Hills, IL 60465
Natural Area: Bike, Hike, Picnic, Snow Sports, Walk
Swallow Cliff Woods is best known for its dramatic “front lawn,” which leads up a steep, 100-foot-tall bluff. The bluff creates one of the best sledding hills in the county and also one of its toughest and most scenic stair workouts. On top of the bluff, trails pass through this quiet 800-acre preserve. Hikers enjoy wandering the hilly, forested terrain complete with stream crossings, grand old oaks and flocks of migratory birds around the numerous wetlands. Hikers and trail runners can access the brown and yellow trails via a short connector trail from the top of the stairway. The full yellow loop is roughly eight miles, extending west to Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve and east to Palos Park Preserve. Hikers can cut the loop in half by using the white connector trail to cut back to Swallow Cliff North. These trails are part of the Sag Valley unpaved trail system, which is open to hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. The Swallow Cliff Pavilion includes an indoor rental space, warming shelter and restrooms.