Get in Touch with Nature this Spring
When you think of the Midwest, hiking isn’t typically the first thing that comes to mind. But just beyond the busy cityscape of Chicago, you’ll find countless trails nestled in beautiful trees, fishing lakes and quiet wildlife. With flowers in full bloom, now is the perfect time to lace up the sneakers for some outdoor recreation.
Ned Brown Forest Preserve
Trees, trees, and more trees. Better known with locals as “Busse Woods,” the Ned Brown Forest Preserve is a must-see for any nature buff visiting the area. With 10.8 miles of trails for walking, jogging, or biking, multiple picnic areas, a 460-acre lake, boat rentals and even an elk pasture, Busse Woods is great for active couples or families looking to spend a day outside.
The lake is also a popular spot for fishing, as it is filled with largemouth bass, bluegill, northern pike, brown bullhead, channel catfish and walleye. If you’re more into bird watching, you’ll find a great variety of wet grassland birds, such as sparrows, herons, and cranes.
Just don’t forget to pack yourself a lunch, because it’s easy to lose track of time here!
Spring Valley Nature Center
Silly rabbit, this one’s for kids! Okay, and for adults, too. Located just down the street from Busse Woods, the Spring Valley Nature Center offers an afternoon of family fun. Tucked away beyond the tall prairie grass, Spring Valley has over three miles of laid back, kid-friendly hiking trails, an 1880s living history farm (yes – with costumed guides and everything!), and a nature library.
With 135 acres of fields, forests, marshes, and streams, the center is a great way to get kids excited about nature and how we all play a role in conserving it.
The Morton Arboretum
This is a stop worth getting up early for. From 7 am until sunset, the Morton Arboretum opens up its 16 miles of trails to the public. Running alongside the DuPage River, the Morton Arboretum offers multiple different hiking options from an easy paved route to a wood-chipped advanced trail that you’ll definitely need your boots for.
The Arboretum also offers multiple unique events throughout the spring including yoga, a children’s discovery garden, forest therapy walks and Stroller Strides®, just to name a few.
After a long day on the trails, enjoy stunning floor-to-ceiling windows at the Ginkgo Restaurant & Cafe. Whether you just stop by to grab a sandwich and coffee or stay to enjoy craft brews and organic meals, this is a great stop to end your trip. Besides, how else will you replace all those calories you burned?
Don’t Stop There
With nearly 350 miles of trails in DuPage and Cook County alone, these are just a few suggestions to get you started on your Midwest hiking trip. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing stroll around a reservoir or a challenging jog through the woods, you’re bound to find something that suits your style.
When planning your trip, make Eaglewood Resort & Spa your home base! Perfectly positioned within a few miles of trails – but also conveniently accessible from the highway so you can road trip through your favorites – Eaglewood offers world-class relaxation after what’s sure to be a busy day. Eaglewood is also home to a wellness-inspired spa, so you can truly find balance in your wellness journey.
Happy trails to you!