Saturday, April 5, 2014
Best of the Midwest Blog Hop: Time to Explore Highlighting National Parks
The weather may just be getting a little warmer....just maybe...So, it is time to really dust off those hiking boots, pack that backpack and visit some of our great natural treasures. For this month's Best of the Midwest Blog Hop, we would like to highlight some of the natural treasures right in our own backyard! Every weekend is ripe for adventure, so take advantage of the beautiful weather that is sure to come this Spring, Summer and Fall! If you have any natural wonders that you would love to share, feel free to add them to the linky below. It is time to generate some ideas for future travels! We are fortunate to have many natural wonders not too far from Chicago and I would love to share with you one of my favorites, the Volo Bog!
Volo Bog: A National Natural Landmark
For many years, I passed the Volo Bog as we drove up Route 12 on the way to my grandparents in Wisconsin. I was always curious about the bog but we seemed to never have time to investigate. With my interest piqued, I did some research on Volo Bog and learned that it is the only quaking bog in Illinois. Plus, the preserve is an excellent example of the progression of ecosystems. In fact, the site includes marshes, woodlands, prairie, shrubland and savanna. In the 1960's the bog was threatened by development. Fortunately, local citizens were able to come together and save this wonder. The Volo Bog received the designation of a National Natural Landmark in 1970 further signifying its importance.
Once we learned more about the bog, a visit was in order. After being entirely captivated during our first visit a few years ago, we try to visit a couple of times a year for a little serenity and to observe the changing landscape.
Walking Around The Bog
Walking around the bog itself is quite delightful and can be particularly amusing for children as you walk on a boardwalk through the bog itself. However, I do recommend keeping as quiet as possible so that it is easier to see native life. We especially enjoy visiting this time of year because the lack of foliage makes it easier to see native life.
There are several paths at the bog, each taking you through various landscapes. I love, love, love the tamarack trees by one of the ponds. There is another pond that is a bit tucked away that seems to always be teeming with waterfowl when we are there. Such wonderful landscapes lend to contemplation!
Things To Know
There is a Visitor Center with interpretive exhibits and the all important restroom needed before and/or after a hike! You can bring your dogs for a hike. However, they are not permitted on the boardwalk trail do to the sensitivity of the ecosystem. There are picnic tables available near the Visitor's Center and plenty of grass nearby to set out a blanket. Naturalists do lead hikes on the weekends, so check the website for details. The bog also hosts other programs. Last year, they had a little tree identifying game that our daughter enjoyed. Remember to bring a bottle of water, sunscreen and a snack for your hike. You will be mesmerized by the bog's beauty and will no doubt be out there for awhile! The Volo Bog is truly one of our favorite natural escapes!