About Pilcher Park

We stumbled upon Pilcher by chance. I was driving us around, trying to find a new park or forest preserve to explore, and I felt like taking us a bit further than usual, about 12 miles southwest of us in Joliet. My memory fails me now, but essentially we were whereabouts Briggs Street and Lincoln Highway, and we followed Highland Park Drive east and uncovered Pilcher Park. You’re literally following Hickory Creek, and on your way to the playground you’ll pass by the Pilcher Park Nature Center.

Highland Park Drive is a very narrow forest road, and you feel like you’re heading up to some remote chateau in the countryside. We were lucky no one was going the opposite direction because I’m not sure how we were going to share the road in winter, but we’ll cross that bridge one day when we encounter that situation. But don’t worry parking is easy: just park right there on Highland Park Drive in a spot. And there’s a public restroom! Can’t have enough of those, especially with kids.

You can also enjoy cross-country skiing aswell as hiking//bicycle/walking trails. The more than 640 acres of land provide a habitat for wildlife and the perfect environment for outdoor recreation. Though we have only experienced it in winter time, it’s not doubt as beautiful in the other seasons. We will definitely return.

Favorite parts: My daughter loved the playground set, but I think her favorite thing was the big life-size play car you saw in the photos above.

Sidenote: I learned from a mom in the Tinley Park Moms Facebook group said that Pilcher Park is said to be haunted, but I couldn’t find any supporting evidence, except that there were some murders at Pilcher Park back in the day. Some say online that it is unsafe at times, that there are gangs that hang out there, although that does concern me for future reference, it seemed perfectly lovely and safe when we visited.

Location Address:
Highland Park Drive and Gougar Road, Joliet IL 60451


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