Singing Hills serves as an important trail hub for the Millennium Trail, with car and horse trailer parking, and a toilet.
This planned 35-mile regional trail connects neighboring communities and forest preserves as it winds its way through western and northern Lake County. The trail will eventually link to the northern section of the Des Plaines River Trail in Wadsworth.
Today, 26.75 miles are complete and open for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. Please keep dogs leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them. Learn about our off-leash Dog Parks (permit required).
The trail surface alternates from gravel to paved along various completed sections of the trail.
Horseback riding is permitted only along a 9.25-mile section of gravel trail from Lakewood north to the horse trailer parking area at Singing Hills. From here, the trail surface changes from gravel to paved, and horses are not permitted on the paved section.
We acquired the original 541-acre "Singing Hills Farm" parcel in September 1997. The preserve name dates back to 1942 when Dan Nelson, Sr., purchased the property as a country retreat for his family. Nelson's son Cliff describes how his father named the site:
"There were so many birds on that land... a Great Blue Heron nest in the trees along the north edge of the farm... pheasants, grouse, songbirds of all kinds. The land was so musical that my father called his farm The Singing Hills."
According to Cliff, his late father's name choice may also have been influenced by an old cowboy song entitled "Singing Hills" from the days of Gene Autry. Cliff Nelson thought his father would have been delighted to know that the name might be retained for posterity. A barn on the property still reads "Singing Hills Farm."
Singing Hills includes 58 acres of natural oak woodlands and 171 acres of wetlands, with additional farm lands suitable for wildlife habitat restoration.
The preserve provides protection to Monahan Lake, a wetlands complex that is a documented nesting site for sandhill cranes and other waterfowl.
The entrance is on Fish Lake Road, just north of Gilmer Road.
Before heading out, check the current status of trail underpasses. Also...
While enjoying activities outside, don’t forget to take action to prevent...
Use our NEW interactive trail map to help navigate your next adventure...
Safeguard against auto burglary. When property is left unlocked or in plain...
Cold weather brings winter fun in your forest preserves.