Outdoor enthusiasts in Wheeling can enjoy a day spent at the Cook County Forest Preserve. The preserve intertwines through several communities and allows residents to take part in various outdoor activities. The scenic trails are located throughout the preserve to accommodate bikers, hikers, and horseback riders. Fishing and nature watching are also popular activities throughout the park. Several nature centers are used as resting points along the trails, including the Crabtree Nature Center. The nature center is home to several species of birds and is the ideal place to make a stop if you enjoy bird watching.
In the early 1800s, the area now known as Wheeling was rich with fertile soil. Settlers took advantage of the crop production and when transportation networks began moving into the area, farmers began exporting their crops. Around this time, Wheeling became a stop for those traveling to Chicago due to the location of the Overland Trail, which is now known as Milwaukee Avenue. Taverns, eateries, and inns began establishing themselves to accommodate the needs of those visitors. After being incorporated in 1894, the city saw rapid growth due to the expansion of Metro Chicago.