The LaBagh Woods

N Cicero & N Foster

happyly approved

Part of the Cook County Forest Preserve’s North Branch Trail

The LaBagh woods are a city dweller’s outdoor getaway.  Located on the city’s near north/west side at Foster & Cicero, these woods offer an easy opportunity to take a hike, catch glimpses of various natural habitats including wetlands, savannas and sedge meadows and enjoy great outdoor time without planning a big getaway from the city.  Known for its bird watching opportunities, these woods are part of the southern tip of Cook County’s North Branch Trail which follows the North Branch of the Chicago River.  Open year round from sunset to sunrise, you’ll find people enjoying mountain biking (though relatively flat- this is still the Midwest after all), walks with their dogs (leashes required), hiking, picnicking and nature observing. 

My kids and I join a local chapter of the Free Forest Schools at these woods every week.  It’s an easy way to gather with like-minded parents who have similar aged kids.  We all mingle, share a community snack and story and enjoy child-led forest exploration.  Dress accordingly… Chicago has all the weather, all the time and these woods can often be wet, soggy, muddy… and totally fun! 

There are plenty of picnic grove spots (covered to protect from wind, rain, snow and sun), parking is easy and abundant and you can make your walk as long or as short as you desire.  There are port-o-potties at each grove.  Given that these woods are in the city, it’s easy to make a trip here only a couple of hours of your day.  Some great outdoor time might guarantee a nice afternoon nap for tots and babies who partake in the wooded adventure.    

Reenie O'Brien King
My Location
A Chicago native, Reenie grew up in the city's Old Town area. After 6 years on the east coast (Boston and Philly) with her husband, Cabell, they returned to Chicago in 2018 and have settled in the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood area of the city. Reenie is the proud, dedicated and playful mom to two kids, Tiernan (4) and Adeline (2) and one on the way (due in May 2021). She holds a Master's in Education from DePaul University and has taught Kindergarten, First Grade, Middle School Drama and 8th Grade Art. Despite taking time off from full- time classroom work, Reenie remains passionate and active in the educational field serving on the boards of ISCJ School in Chicago and Ingles Sin Limites in El Salvador. She is a founding member and former chairman of the Junior Board at Chicago's Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. Reenie has also done work at Scattergood Ethics at The University of Pennsylvania and consulted with Free Forest School Illinois and Hike it Baby Philadelphia. Currently home "daily adventuring" with her kids, Reenie also serves as the Director of Online and Print Content at her family's Mental Health company, MADO Healthcare. A passionate traveler, horseback rider, yogi, mental health advocate and aspiring Children's Book Author, Reenie is glad to share some views of the city she loves with!
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Part of the Cook County Forest Preserve’s North Branch Trail


Parking Hiking Biking Bird Watching Nature Picnic

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