Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hiking in Cuba Marsh in Barrington

Hiking at Cuba Marsh

Last year, we visited Citizens Park in Barrington and enjoyed a short hike. We didn't realize at the time that Citizens Park abuts with Cuba Marsh. We were delighted to see that the preserve extended past what we thought. However, rain curtailed our visit.


An egret at Cuba Marsh in Barrington.


Steam at Cuba Marsh in Barrington

Fast forward to this spring and we found a lovely afternoon to return explore some of the trails of Cuba Marsh winding our way through groves, wetlands and prairie. A boardwalk inspires hikers along one of the trails. Just a beautiful spot and who can resist the chance to walk the boardwalk?

Boardwalk at Cuba Marsh in Barrington

As we ventured further from Citizens Park, we encountered more wildlife. Cardinals, egrets, robins and more birds made their presence known. My favorite spot for seeing birds was just beyond a grove of pine trees. We took a trail heading towards Ela Road in the distance and found a section alive with swallows. This area melded into a prairie, so I am sure that it is often teeming with more birds and butterflies as the prairie plants come back to life.

Pine Grove at Cuba Marsh in Barrington

We did have a few surprises on the trails. First, we did see a few butterflies. They flitted by too quickly for me to get a real good look. But, I am definitely excited some are already in the area! We also discovered a deer nibbling on a munchie in a grove. Very sweet! Plus, we saw an adorable woolly bear caterpillar make its way across the trail!

Woolly Bear Caterpillar at nature preserve

What a pleasant hike! We are very lucky to live near so many preserves. I definitely encourage exploring them throughout the year to see the change in landscape and wildlife. The difference even week to week can be marvelous!

Trail through pine grove at Cuba Marsh

Tips:
  • There is a restroom by Citizens Park and by the Cuba Road entrance.
  • The park at Citizens Park is a child's dream. So, pair a hike with playtime!
  • Don't forget water, sunscreen and snacks.
  • The area may get buggy, so be prepared with bug repellent.
  • Dogs are welcome.
  • Bikers also enjoy the trails. We found the trails easy to share with bikers.
  • Citizens Park has a lovely field just asking for a picnic!
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