The entrance is on Saint Mary's Road south of Route 176 and north of Route 60 (Townline Road). Comfort stations and water are available at each picnic grove.
Trail surface type is gravel and the following activities are allowed: Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding, Cross-Country Skiing.
One of our most popular preserves, offering miles of trails, great bass fishing and secluded picnic spots in the heart of Lake County. Old School's sled hill is one of the most popular features of this preserve and can be seen from I-94.
Gravel trails, a paved roadway trail and a fitness trail are available here.
Gravel: A 2.7-mile loop trail explores woods and prairies and is open for hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. A portion of this loop is part of the Des Plaines River Trail
(DPRT). The one-mile lake loop trail encircles the lake and is open to for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. The 1.2-mile fitness trail is open only to foot traffic and offers workout stations that build strength and endurance.
Paved: 1.5-mile roadway trail winds through the preserve offers a special one-way lane popular for biking and in-line skating. It is also open to hikers.
Please keep dogs leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them.
The Des Plaines River Trail
winds through this preserve and is open to hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders and cross-country skiers. From Old School you can make your way south to Lincolnshire without crossing any major roads.
Large oaks dominate these woodlands that blend with small prairies. This landscape resembles what Lake County looked like when it was first settled. Bluebirds, foxes and screech owls are just a few of the animals living here. Time one of your visits to coincide with the August peak of prairie flowers blooming. You'll be treated to a rainbow of colors, ranging from golden alexanders to purple milkweed.
Restoration has long been a priority at Old School. With the help of its dedicated volunteer Site Steward and team of volunteers, much work has gone into restoring the prairie and monitoring its wildlife. However, the preserve needs further assistance with removal of invasive species and reforestation with native species.