Enjoy Natural Beauty in Willow Springs
The Des Plaines River valley has long favored Willow Springs as a place of rustic beauty along Cook County’s far western edge. Less than 20 miles from Chicago, Willow Springs is known for its topography, including ravines, amid the flatness of northern Illinois. Much of what is now Willow Springs was known to geologists as Mt. Forest Island, a large upland moraine left by Ice-Age glaciers. Canal boats used to stop at area springs, later inspiring the town name.
Early railroads turned Willow Springs into a favorite picnic place for Chicagoans, who flocked to “Lake Willow Springs” along the Des Plaines. The village was incorporated in 1892.
Willow Springs celebrates its connection to the historic and scenic Illinois & Michigan Canal corridor, hosting the annual I&M Canal Rendezvous and maintaining a bike trail along the canal. Interstates 294 and 55 run through Willow Springs, and Metra's Heritage Corridor line stops here, enhancing transportation options for residents.
A significant percentage of the village is owned by the Cook County Forest Preserve, providing residents with an outstanding recreational resource. Willow Springs is home to the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, delighting children (and adults) with its 2.5 miles of hiking, garden trails and nature exhibits available on a year-round basis.