Beautiful landscape along the hiking trail in Kaskaskia Canyon. Starved Rock State Park, Illinois, USA.
EJ_Rodriquez/Getty Images

The Best State Parks Within a Couple Hours of Chicago

Getting away from the big city is easy with so many outstanding parks to camp, hike, and fish just a few hours out of Chicago.

As summer sets in and the weather warms up, residents and visitors to the Windy City are packing their schedules with everything the metropolis has to offer. But along with all the fun that summer has to offer also comes the crowds and the heat. It's enough to make anyone want to escape into the outdoors for a short stint.

And while Chicago itself is home to over 8,800 acres of green space to explore and plenty of waterfront for fishing, visitors and residents alike might find themselves craving a little more of the outdoors.

Thankfully, with several state parks just a few hours away, the area surrounding Chicago isn't all just hustle and bustle. Whether you're a life-long Chicagoan or just a visitor, getting away from the big city and into the quiet outdoors is easy.

With many state parks within a three hours drive, day trips are entirely possible, and well worthwhile, with many parks offering everything from canoeing to camping, hiking to fishing, and even some seasonal hunting opportunities.

Ever visited any of these nearby Chicago destinations? Share a photo at our Wide Open Spaces Instagram!

READ MORE: 18 Road Trips To Take This Summer, In Every Part of the Country