A couple of weeks ago, we stretched our legs a bit with a walk at Independence Grove in Libertyville. Independence Grove has a gorgeous lake, many trails, paddle boating, canoeing, a beach and much more. We have been to the beach several times but somehow had never walked the trails before. So, when we finally had nice weather this spring, we decided to give it a whirl.
We opted to walk along the lower trail which follows the lake. Independence Grove has approximately 6.25 miles of trails. The trail that we chose loops the lake and runs a little over 2 miles. If you are walking with little ones, the trail is fairly easy. Before starting, make sure that you have hit the restroom especially when walking with the little ones. There is a restroom towards the end of the trail, so if you have to go in the middle, you are a little out of luck.
Our walk around the lake was pleasantly peaceful. There was a lot to observe while walking. The preserve was definitely alive with wildlife. We spotted quite a number of birds and a few actually let me approach quite closely with the camera. Really neat! There were some benches along the trail providing perfect spots to rest and hydrate. Bikers are allowed on the trail, so just be aware and move to the right when necessary. (All of the bikers were very polite, so we did not have any problems.)
While you are hiking, you will notice some other fun things to do at Independence Grove. There is a beach that I highly recommend. The beach area is fairly shallow and calm, so in the summer it is an ideal place to bring little ones. There are fish in the lake, so kids usually love look for some at the beach. We usually bring a long a picnic and camp out for the day. In the summer, there are also concerts on Tuesdays. I have not made it to one of these events yet. However, I am told that they are quite fun!
Behind the beach area is a multi-level playground. This playground is one of my daughter's favorites. (As in we hear about it all of the time.) Kids really love the multi-level structure with plenty of place to crawl, jump and climb. On the lake, you will find people paddle boating. You can rent your own paddle boat and join in the fun! There is also a canoe launch area for those who would like to get in a little canning. Kayaking, boating and fishing--there is so much to do at Independence Grove.
The preserve is really a beautiful spot. A couple of years ago, we attended a wedding there with the beautiful lake as a back drop. As you can see, Independence Grove is full of activity. I cannot possibly capture it all!
Parking at Independence Grove is free for Lake Country residents. Parking costs $5 Monday-Thursday and $10 Friday-Sunday for non-residents. There are separate charges for beach admission as well as marina, boat and bike rentals. Independence Grove is located at 16400 W Buckley Rd in