Favorite Fall Frolics
Visitors can walk amidst fall’s fiery colors through woodlands, over kames and along moraine ridges. We’ve scouted out just a sampling of local places to enjoy autumn.
Coral Woods in Marengo is a favorite fall colors hike by visitors who enjoy the blaze of red, gold, yellow and orange painted hues that fill the trees and then carpet the forest floor throughout the 297-acre maple forest. Choose from a 1.2 mile foot trail, a 1.2 mowed grass trail that leads through open meadow and forest, or the .4 mile maple sugar loop.
Marengo Ridge in Marengo offers quiet, peaceful spots along a variety of looped nature trails ranging from .5 interpretive trail describing the natural history of the area to the 2.6 mile Kelly Hertel Nature Trail. The oak, hickory and maple forest is ideal for birding.
Hickory Grove Highlands & Lyons Prairie and Marsh
Hickory Grove Highlands & Lyons Prairie and Marsh complex in Cary create a great refuge for wildlife. To the north, a .5 mile trail travels to the Fox River along the river’s edge and connects with Silver Creek Conservation Area for those looking for a longer trek. To the south, a 1.2 mile looped trail runs through upland hickory forest and skirts the central wetland and an .8 mile eastbound extension links to 1.6 mile trail within Lyons Prairie.
Pleasant Valley in Woodstock offers 5 miles of trails within 1,777 acres of beautiful woodlands, savanna and prairie. Visitors will find varying trail lengths along different loops and marvel at the view from the stone amphitheater.
Glacial Park in Ringwood offers the most spectacular scenery and the most extensive trail network. Wander on the 1.1 mile Marsh Looped Trail. Park at Keystone Road Landing and meander the .8 mile (one way) trail along Nippersink Creek to the river bridge. Follow the 1.2 mile Coyote Loop Trail or the more challenging 2 mile Deerpath Trail that offers an option to climb the Camelback Glacial Kames to view the panoramic view of the 3,300-acre site and Nippersink Valley. Sit and watch the hawks soar or listen to the sound of various waterfowl announcing their migratory departure.
Rush Creek in Harvard allows you to experience autumn color as you hike through stands of hickory, white and red oak, and black cherry trees along the a 1.5 mile interpretive hike or a longer 2.75 mile trail. Encounter a flurry of activity in the woods as squirrels and other rodents hoard nuts and seeds preparing for the onset of winter months.
Brookdale in Woodstock is a great spot to spy the reflections of color off the 11-acre pond. A 1 mile looped nature trail leads hikers around the west side of the lake and into woods and an old pine plantation. An accessible, paved trail winds around southeast side of the lake to a fishing bridge and shelter. A 4.5 mile, looped multi-use trail on the east side of Paulson Rd. travels through fields and to two small ponds.