Hey, guys. I'm new to the board and I was wondering if anybody knows any good trails near chicago. I'm not looking to go to any regulated pay trails, but instead I would like to take the rubicon to some natural, free, offroad trails, where I won't be bothered to much by the authorities. Any info would truly be appreciated.
Natural, free, public offroad trails? Sure. Just find a herd of unicorns and follow them.
What you're looking for is pretty rare. The closest I know of in Illinois is the Shawnee National Forest south of Carbondale, and the trails there aren't much. Next is the Mark Twain National Forest in southern Missouri.
There are commercial off road parks though; The Badlands in Attica Indiana just east of Danville, and Rockport in Pike County over toward Quincy, and another offroad park, the name escapes me, south of I80 around I39 somewhere. If you're new to offroading they're a good place to learn techniques and equipment. There's a variety of trails from easy to darn near impossible, people to help if you get in a jam, and no worries about winding up on private property and getting into a REAL jam.
There might be public trails in southern Wisconsin, but I've never heard of any. They would be a pretty small area.