If you’re looking for a unique hike, then make your way to Joliet Iron Works Historic Site. What was once the second-largest steel mill in the nation now functions as an informative trail through abandoned ruins. Such a contrast from the previous hike we did in Joliet through the forest and at the lush greenhouse

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Getting Started at Joliet Iron Works

We plugged in the address 927 Collin Street and found plenty of parking in the lot. There are bathrooms by the parking lot as well as a trail map. And yes, leashed pets are welcome.

Learn about the history

As we hiked through we read informative plaques to help paint a picture of life as it was before. Along the way, we found abandoned ruins of the buildings of the stock house, blast stove, blast furnaces, and more. Pretty cool!

If we wanted to continue to hike further, we could access the I&M Canal Trail to our left. We made a right and continued back on the trail to the parking lot. Before continuing, we peeked through the trees past the tracks to find the former Illinois State Penitentiary (also made famous on Prison Break). The structures on this side were more intact and some of my favorites of the hike.

Final thoughts of Joliet Iron Works

This was one of the most unique hikes that we’ve been on. If you’re looking for a little history and something a bit different, I would definitely check it out.

While You’re Here

  • For more of a traditional hike, head to Pilcher Park. Pair this with Bird Haven Greenhouse for a fun day out!
  • Explore Joliet’s Route 66 attractions. More on this later!
  • Stop by Rich and Creamy on Broadway for soft serve ice cream.

Nitty Gritty:

Website: https://www.reconnectwithnature.org/preserves-trails/preserves/joliet-iron-works-historic-site
Location:  927 Collins Street, Joliet
Cost: Free
Parking:  Plenty of parking
Crowded:  We hiked on a Friday afternoon and it was not busy at all.

Go on a unique hike at Joliet Iron Works Historic Site, the site of a former steel mill. Learn about site as you hike through the ruins. Go on a unique hike at Joliet Iron Works Historic Site, the site of a former steel mill. Learn about site as you hike through the ruins.

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