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Take a Hike Then Grab a Beer With One of These Perfect Pairings


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North Park Village Nature Center 
This not-so-strenuous half-mile loop features wide paths and footbridges that take you through wetlands, woods, and prairie. 5801 N. Pulaski Rd., North Park

Courtesy of Alarmist Brewing

Then Drink Here

Alarmist Brewing 
Cool off at the coziest taproom you’ll ever find in a plaza warehouse, and try the brewery’s latest, a malty Bock named Sebastian (get it?), or Le Jus, its juicy flagship IPA. 4055 W. Peterson Ave., North Park

Courtesy of Forest Preserves of Cook County;

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Schiller Woods 
Deer spotting is an art when hiking — except here, where dozens are found just off the east parking lot. After admiring Bambi, take a peaceful stroll along the Des Plaines River. Irving Park Road, west of Cumberland Ave., O’Hare

Photograph by Erik Holowicki

Then Drink Here

Short Fuse Brewing Company 
This food-focused spot features beer with names like Cinnamon Roll and Saturday Morning Stacks. For lunch, order anything made with their famous beer cheese, including the Bomb Burger (you’re welcome). 5000 N. River Rd., Schiller Park

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The Grove 
For a side of history, trek through the gorgeous oak-hickory savanna surrounding the former home of naturalist Robert Kennicott, who in 1857 founded what’s now the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. 1421 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview

Then Drink Here

Macushla Brewing Co. 
Plant yourself on the lovely sprawling front patio decked out with string lights, and down a Head Rush, a rare Belgian IPA. 1516 E. Lake Ave., Glenview

Photograph by Chicago Tribune

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Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve 
Trot through this 2,503-acre preserve (watch out for bucks sprinting across trails) before stopping for a photo op at the Rocky Glen Waterfall, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Cass Avenue and Northgate Road, Lemont

Photograph by Paul Ananias

Then Drink Here

Miskatonic Brewing Company 
The hip, homey brewery is family friendly (bring your favorite board game), despite slightly scary beer names like Dungeon Master: Gelatinous Cube, a mind-boggling cinnamon mocha imperial milk stout. 1000 N. Frontage Rd., Darien

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Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center 
If you grew up here, you might have made a school trip at this charming preserve, with three scenic unpaved loop trails and an actual 1886 schoolhouse that is indeed little and red. 9800 Willow Springs Rd., Willow Springs

Photograph by Grant Hamilton

Then Drink Here

Imperial Oak
Order anything aged in a bourbon, maple syrup, or toasted pecan barrel. Or if you prefer something lighter, opt for a fruity saison. Forage for nourishment from rotating food trucks, Thursday through Sunday. 501 Willlow Blvd., Willow Springs

Photograph by Kris DaPra

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Kickapoo Woods
Go for a stroll (or launch your canoe at the landing on the Little Calumet River), then get your giggles watching model airplane enthusiasts crash and burn. Halsted Street, south of 144th Street, Riverdale

Then Drink Here

Blue Island Beer Co.
This small brewery hosts festive live music nights on its patio (bring your own lawn chairs). Purists will relish Massive Political Corruption, an amber ale, but if you prefer something unexpected, ask the bartender for a summer shandy — they’ll recommend a beer to mix with a housemade soda. 13357 Old Western Ave., Blue Island

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