Past Meetup

Let's Explore: Cap Sauers and Swallow Cliff Loop

Location visible to members


Lets end Outdoor Afro 2013 year with a hike!

As part of the larger Palos/Sag Valley Preserves, Cap Sauers Holdings and Swallow Cliff offer great hiking close to Chicago. The terrain is varied and sometimes dramatic, with bluffs and ravines, pristine oak savannas, scenic stream crossings, and one of the state’s best examples of an esker. In a county of more than 5 million people, the wild and isolated ambience of Cap Sauers Holdings seems like an impossibility. Named after the first superintendent of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, Cap Sauers is the largest roadless tract in the county and the largest nature preserve in Illinois. One of the most striking parts of this hike is the section toward the end that runs along the top of a sinuous ridge known as an esker. Another section features an 80- to 100-foot-high bluff known as Swallow Cliff, formed by torrents of meltwater as the most recent glacier retreated about 12,000 years ago. As the last glacier shrank, Lake Michigan swelled. The growing lake eventually released some of its meltwater by carving a couple of channels in the Palos area. One of these outlets sculpted the bluffs and the basin of the nearby Des Plaines River, and the other created Swallow Cliff and the Calumet Sag Channel, which flows just a quarter mile north of the cliff.

Trail overview:
The loop is a 4.75 mile loop trail rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, mountain biking & trail running and is accessible year-round. Hike duration is 2 to 3 hours

We will meet at the parking lot

Items to bring:
Dress in layers
Proper shoes for hiking

Rain/Snow date: November 24th